SPRING VALLEY — Haley Weidner doesn’t need much motivation when it comes to running, but she gladly took what Bureau Valley coach Dale Donner threw her way Saturday.
When she was asked where she got her motivation to pull away from Amboy/LaMoille’s Megan Grady in the last lap of the 1600 meters to easily win the Rollie Morris Invite at Hall, she said, “Coach Donner said I didn’t have to run the 4x400 anymore.”
Walking by, Donner joked with Weidner she must have been hearing things.
The Bureau Valley girls were also motivated to win their fifth straight invitational of the outdoors season, topping runner-up Amboy/LaMoille 134-90. The Storm had 20 athletes score points in the meet and scored in all but one event.
“With the streak we have going, it’s my motivation,” Weidner said. “We knew we were capable of doing it, but it’d be a long shot. I think we’ve shocked ourselves honestly. I know I’m shocked.”
“We have a lot of team depth, which definitely helps us out in the long run,” said BV senior Marissa Mungia, who won the 200 (27.37). “I especially like to be a leader for the younger girls; let them know this is a tradition we want to carry on.”
The St. Bede Bruins beat out Streator 126-113 for the boys title.
Weidner swept the distance runs for the Storm, winning the 1600 (5:39.03) and 3200 (11:56.38). She also finished second in the 800, an event she hasn’t run in a while she said, in a narrow finish behind Putnam County’s Lindsey DiazDeleon.
The key to the Storm’s success has been their team conception, Weidner and Donner said.
“We have such hardworking runners, and the freshman are unbelievable. It’s just a lot of people stepping up, especially with Tiana (Kennedy) out with an injury. It all shows it’s a team sport.
“We’ve got a great group of kids. They come to practice every night working hard; and they take pride in what we’re doing; and they’ve really bought into the team concept. Whatever you need us to coach, we’ll do it if it helps us win,” Donner said.
“It’s a team effort. Everyone has to score a couple pints, and they add up.”
Hall senior Madi Quinn used the stage of her home track to turn in the lone individual trifecta of the day, winning the 100 (12.71), pole vault (10-6) and the 100 hurdles (16.15).
“The win was a little bit of a challenge in the pole vault, but that’s about it. Otherwise it was a good day,” said Quinn, noting her times on the track were better than she expected they would be
Hall’s Jenna Lusietto won the high jump (4-9), and Kaelyn Hamalle won the triple jump (33-11).
Amboy/LaMoille swept all four relays. The Clippers’ Katelyn Pankhurst also won the long jump (15-10 1/2).
St. Bede was led by Bret Dannis, who claimed wins in the 200 (22.21), 110 hurdles (14.65) and 300 hurdles (40.74). He also ran on the Bruins winning effort in the 4x100 (44.91) with teammates Adam Poundstone, Jacob Croissant and Austin Torri.
“The wind was at our back for some races, which really helped. And the team did great today. Just a good time for everybody,” Dannis said.
While he’s been blowing away the competition this spring, the double hurdles state champ said he tries to maintain a low-key approach.
“I just try to stay pretty neutral with my attitude. Never want to be overconfident. Just kind of run your races and hope for the best,” said Dannis, who added he took about three weeks following last year’s state finals and started preparing for this season.
The Bruins also got wins from Poundstone in the 400 (53.68) and Carter Funfsinn in the 3200 (10:49.96).
Bureau Valley’s Kendile Whitford won the pole vault (10-6) and ran with teammates Kale Barnett, Payton Moore and Mac Nugent to win the 4x100 (3:43.5).
Hall’s Nick Edgcomb won the high jump (5-11).
• Notes: Bureau Valley beat out Streator for the combined co-ed championship with St. Bede (160) taking third and Hall (136) fourth.
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Rollie Morris Invite
Girls’ meet at glance
• Bureau Valley scored in all but one event, defeating runner-up Amboy/LaMoille 134-90.
• BV junior Hailey Weidner won the 1600 and 3200 and took second in the 800.
• Hall senior Madi Quinn won the 100, pole vault, 100 hurdles.
• Amboy/LaMoille swept all four relays.
Boys’ meet at glance
• St. Bede topped Streator 126-113 for first.
• SBA’s Bret Dannis won the 200, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and took part in the Bruins’ winning 4x100.