Twenty-three top-five finishes were just what the doctor ordered for the ADM girls track and field team as they began their outdoor season Tuesday, March 26 in the Cardinal Early Bird meet in Earlham.
Along with a couple of meet records thrown in, the Tiger girls secured one of their best starts to an outdoor season in several years. Starting things off for the Tigers was Cailey Person who took on a 16 person field in the shot put event. In her best mark of the 2019 outdoor season, Person captured a mark of 27-11 to end up in fifth place overall. Multi-sport star Josi Lonneman took home a second place finish in the long jump event with a mark of 15-09.00 which arrived just shy of the meets all-time record of 16-04 set by former ADM star Sydney Bertman back in 2016. Also in the long jump was Olivia Tollari who’s mark of 14-09 was fifth best among the field of 16.
Overall the Tigers were extremely strong in the relay events which brought home five-place finishes for the meet. One such first place finish belonged to the 800 Sprint Medley relay in which the group of Anna Friesth, Kate Shaefer, Anna Kenny, and Sadie Juergens a meet record with a time of 1:55.21. That time also marked a best for ADM girls track within the first three meets of the outdoor season. The 4x800 meter relay group of Julia Case, Abby Conzalez, Sara Reis, and Hannah Welch took home a first place finish out of eight total entries by clocking in a time of 10:36.41. Friesth and Shaefer joined up with the likes of Lizzy Lohmann and Sadie Juergens to place first in the 4x200 Meter Relay at a clip of 1:52.48. The meet record in the 4x200 was set by the 2016 ADM squad of Anderson, Kenny, Mueller, and Bertman.
Friesth, Kenny, Tollari, and Lonneman all joined back up in the 4x100 Meter Relay to take a narrow first-place finish by less than 20 tenths of a second. The foursome clocked in with a first-place finishing time of 53.20 seconds. The 4x400 Meter Relay group of Case, Lohmann, Shaefer, and Kenny grouped together to place first out of eight teams thanks to a time of 4:25.28. That fell just five seconds shy of ADM’s meet-best mark of 4:20.38 set back in the 2017 season.
Chloe Menneke and Zoe Marckmann took on the ultimate endurance race in the 3000-meter run and walked away with a fifth and sixth place finish respectively. Menneke clocked in a time of 13:51.43 and 13:57.89 respectively. In pursuit of breaking the meet record in the 100 meter dash set by Keaton Kester in 2015, Josi Lonneman and Anna Friesth took on a 21 runner field. Both walked away with top-five finishes including Lonneman’s fourth-place finish (13.84 seconds) and Anna Friesth (13.88 seconds). Anna Kenny broke her own Early Bird meet mark and set a new meet best in the 400 Meter Dash with a time of 1:01.69. Kenny has improved each and every year in the 400 and spoke about the success as being a result of a good event fit for her.
“I feel I work well within the 400-meter dash,” said Kenny. “I really enjoy the distance and the challenge that comes with it. It’s not an event where you need the quickest start and it has just enough of a distance where you have to think about pacing yourself. I feel I fit great within that event.”
After gracing the state meet in a hurdles competition last year, ADM’s Kristen Baier posted a time of 17.97 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles and placed third because of it. Abigail Calligan came away with a fifth-place finish in that same event with a time of 18.30 seconds. Julia Case and Sara Reis both handled the 800 meter run well by earning a pair of top-five finishes. Case bested the entire 15 person field with a time of 2:33.00 while Reis clocked in a fifth-place time of 2:49.55.
Olivia Tollari came just a second shy of the meets all-time record in the 200-meter dash. Tollari posted a time of 27.54 seconds good enough for first place. Lonneman placed third in that same event with a mark of 28.49 seconds. Finally, Hannah Welch rounded out the individual first-place finishes by clocking in a time of 5:30.22 in the 1500 Meter Run. That mark was a full 12 seconds ahead of second place Carly Schaffer of Earlham.
A strong start to the outdoor season and certainly something the Tigers would like to continue as they take on their next round of competition Thursday, March 28. There ADM will travel to Grimes to battle a six-team field. Field events kick things off at 4:15 p.m. followed by running events at 4:45 p.m.