Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


May 9, 2014

Effingham boys, girls each take third in Apollo

EFFINGHAM — The Effingham boys and girls track teams finished in the middle of the pack at Thursday’s Apollo Conference track meet, but not without some standout performances.

Jantzen Michael set a personal best, winning the discus event with a throw of 107-09, earning one of three first-place finishes at the girls conference championship.

The Flaming Hearts’ 4x400 team smoked the field with a winning time of 4:13.61, beating second-place Mattoon by nine seconds. Mattoon took the team title, overall.

Shayna Phillips and Claire Niebrugge finished in the top two positions of the 400-meter race, within two seconds of each other. Phillips finished first with a time of 1:02.43, while Niebrugge came in at 1:04.21.

Phillips also picked up a second-place finish in the 800-meter race, becoming one of only two Hearts with a pair of top three finishes.

Jaclyn Steppe placed third in the high jump, at a height of 4-10, and third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.50, five-tenths off of second place.

The Hearts placed second in the 4x800 relay behind a dominant Mattoon time. Effingham head coach Dannette Williamson said the team entered the day knowing Mattoon would be tough to beat, by the size and skill of the program.

Effingham finished eight points behind Charleston in the team standings. The Trojans tallied 129 points to Effingham 121, which were both far behind Mattoon’s 164 points.

“(My team) should be very proud of what they’ve done,” Williamson said. “I think they were a little disappointed tonight, but when we started talking about sectionals, that pumped them up again.”

Kristina Rivera took a second place finish in the 100-meter dash, less than two-tenths behind the winner. Rivera also placed third in the 200-meter run.

The boys’ team also took third place with 112 total team points. The Hearts picked up a trio of wins, including Kyle Niebrugge’s 6-6 jump in the high jump.

Niebrugge was on top of a one-two finish, as Marcus Robinson took second place with a 6-0 jump. Their finish was one of two events the Hearts placed first and second. Evan Boggs and Billy Arndt took the top two places in the shot put, with throws of 44-11 and 44-5, respectively.

“Evan Boggs and Billy Arndt, they’re going to be tough and they have one year left,” Effingham head coach Terry Harbaugh said. “We’re going to be looking good.”

Collin Hecht placed first in the 300-meter hurdles, rounding out Effingham first-place finishes. The Hearts’ next best finish came from the 4x400 team, which placed second with a time of 3:33.55.

Both coaches said their attentions are turned to sectionals now and Harbaugh said he thinks his team will make some noise down the road.

“If we can keep everybody healthy I think we’ll send quite a crew to the state meet,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got a really tough team. Once they put it on the line, they just run. I love to see them go.”

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

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