Girls Track Wins 9th Straight Grant 4

Posted on April 28, 2018 in Girl's Track, Spring Sports

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
GAS CITY–The Oak Hill girls track and field continued its Grant Four dominance Friday evening at Mississinewa by cruising to its ninth consecutive title.

Senior Margo Hornocker spearheaded the Golden Eagles effort winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 and helping the 4×800 relay team to a win to close out her Grant Four career in style.

Oak Hill scored 108 points to outdistance Eastbrook (72), Mississinewa (53.5) and Madison-Grant (4.5).

Though it was satisfying to continue the winning streak, Oak Hill coach Paige Brunner wasn’t totally pleased with his team’s performance.

“It’s a coaching moment for us. We haven’t had a lot of competition this year so its tough to gauge where we’re at,” Brunner said. “I haven’t liked where we’ve been at and to be honest we haven’t been as good as some people think we are.

“I think sometimes our girls – and maybe Oak Hill kids in general – need to be reminded there’s other people in the world and we have to show up and we have to compete and people want to beat us,” he added. “I thought we fought…I want them to get to the point where somebody like Margo doesn’t have to bail them out.”

Brunner said he used the 4×800 relay as an example by putting three girls to run in front of Hornocker.

“I wanted them to earn their medal. We’ve got a lot of seniors – and you’re only as good as you’re seniors in spring sports and we’ve got some were still trying to kind of get motivated,” Brunner said. “They’re motivated on meet days and we’ve got to find a way to get them motivated in between. We’re definitely happy we won and we’ll take but it gives us an idea where we need to grown and where we need to get better.”

Oak Hill got second place

finishes behind Hornocker from Mollie Gamble in the 1,600 and 3,200 while senior Savannah Hart ran second in the 800. Hart, Selah Jackson, Kate Hornocker were all part of the winning 4×800 team.

The Golden Eagles dominated the all the relays, though Eastbrook was disqualified and Mississinewa dropped the baton on the last exchange while leading the 4×100. Carlee Biddle, Cassi Derby, Elizabeth McDivitt and Tegan Phillips crossed first in 55.53 to win the race.

Ireland Dodson, Hart, Jackson and Auja Smith captured the 4×400.

Auja Smith also won the high jump while Adrianna Trexler won the long jump and finished a close second to Mississinewa’s Carli Fones in the 400. Zoey Salter finished second in both the long and high jump. Leslie Tibbets and Olivia Smith swept the top two pole vault spots.

“I was looking to see tonight if we fought. We’ve had way too many easy meets where we didn’t have to fight,” Brunner said. “Sometimes its interesting what happens when somebody punches you in the mouth and how you respond. You’ve got some girls on Mississinewa and Eastbrook who have some talent and you’re definitely not going to coast in every event.

“I thought the fight was there and it showed us some things we need to do to get better.”

Fones, a sophomore for the Indians, proved again she is the fastest girl sprinter in Grant County by sweeping all three sprint races for the second straight Grant Four. Fones tied or set school records in winning the 100 (12.60) and 400 (1:02.21) while adding the sprint sweep in winning the 200 (27.41).

“We looked at them times and she said ‘I think can win the 400,’” said Ole Miss coach Leonard Arbogast of Fones. “She can still get in a little bit better shape but so can everybody.”

Fones had just enough to edge Oak Hill’s Trexler in the 400, winning by a scant .21 seconds in what might have been the best race of the night.

Eastbrook is the team that’s closing the gap and could be in line to dethrone the Golden Eagles in the next couple of seasons.

The Panthers got an outstanding performance from junior Audrey Altum, who swept the 110 (15.81) and 300 (49.25) hurdles. Eastbrook also got winning points in the shot put from sophomore Baylee Ditsler and swept the top two spots in discus with Jenna King and Maggie McLaughlin finishing first and second, respectively.

“I’m a little surprised that the points were as far away as they were. Our girls team is a lot better and we ran better tonight,” said Panther coach Stu Goble. “Oak Hill just has an incredible amount of depth right now and their distance scores and incredible amount of points. I’m very proud of the way our girls performed across the board. We’re getting better and I’m looking forward to what’s coming in the future for them.”

With just one senior on his girls roster, Altum has become a leader despite being an underclassmen, and her performance Friday night showed she can do some heavy lifting for the Panthers. She’s also just over a year removed from ACL surgery.

“She’s an extremely strong athlete that is just learning how to be confident and train,” Goble said of Altum. “You have to train great in order to run great and she’s just starting to figure out all that. She is seeing the results for it right now which drives the training a little bit more.

“It’s confidence. Audrey has that confidence and she’s learned it from some of the upperclassmen.”

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