The Effingham Lady Hearts track team sent their seniors out in style yesterday on Senior Night, winning 97-35 in a dual meet over a talented, yet thin-rostered squad from Altamont.
"It was a good opportunity to get out and continue to get better," Effingham interim coach Norene Ault said. "This was just kind of to work on some fine points before we hit the bigger invitationals and get ready for the conference meet."
Already stacked up against the Lady Indians, Effingham also had to deal with some less than forgiving temperatures and consistently strong winds.
The harsh conditions didn't stop the Lady Hearts, as Shayna Phillips got Effingham ahead of its opponent with wins in the 800 and 400-meter runs. Jaclyn Steppe won three separate events, starting with her performance in the high jump. Steppe cleared 4 feet, 8 inches to narrowly edge Altamont's Kelsey York.
Having finished her field event, Steppe took to the hurdles, where she captured wins in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Her time of 50.30 in the 300 was nearly 10 seconds faster than the closest competitor.
"Steppe was able to take some of the stutter out of her hurdles," Ault said. "Her form is improving and her time will come down as we get into some warmer weather."
Kristina Rivera, Jenna Bingham and Reagan Keck also won events for the Lady Hearts. Rivera finished the 100-meter dash in 13:45, Bingham dominated the 1600-meter run in 5:45.24 and Keck narrowly edged out her competition in the 200 for a winning mark of 28.43.
"We had some performances that were good, given that there weren't a whole lot of people to compete against and the weather being as it was," Ault said.
Effingham ran a couple of the events as the sole team, winning the 4x100 without an opponent.
In the field events, Jantzen Michael won the discus with a solid throw of 101 feet, nine inches. Lauren Stephenson took home the shot put title with her throw of 27-08. The long jump featured another Effingham win, with Holly Moore leaping 15-04 for the victory.
With a roster heavily in their favor, the Hearts were able to secure the comfortable win while also receiving tough competition from the events that Altamont entered.
"It was just a numbers game," Ault said. "They only have nine or ten girls that they brought with them. I know they mentioned they had some good times, I'm sure they were very pleased."
Altamont may have wound up on the losing side, but the Lady Indians still had some solid performances. York won the pole vault by clearing 08-06, and also finished second in both the long jump and high jump.
Elizabeth Homann led from start-to-finish in the 3200-meter run, finishing with a time of 15:58.7 for another Lady Indian victory.
Six Effingham seniors were honored during the track meet in Dani Ashbaugh, Stacy Dyer, Holly Moore, Cort Mosier, Megan Wage and Taylor Willis.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Effingham (E)-97
2. Altamont (A)-35
Pole Vault-1. York (A)-8-06. 2. Hanna (A)-7-00.
Long Jump-1. Moore (E)-15-04. 2. York (A)-14-07. 3. Goldstein (A)-11-04.5.
Triple Jump-No entries
High Jump-1. Steppe (E)-4-08. 2. York (A)-4-06. 3. Keitel (E)-4-02.
3200-Meter Run-1. Homann (A)-15:58.7. 2. Keitel (E)-16:02.8.
100-Meter Hurdles-1. Steppe (E)-18.55. 2. Hannah (A)-19.50. 3. Miller (A)-20.24.
100-Meter Dash-1. Rivera (E)-13.45. 2. Keck (E)-13.96. 3. Rupinski (A)-16.66.
Shot Put-1. Stephenson (E)-27-08. 3. Willis (E)-27-01. 3. Grimsley (A)-22-08.
800-Meter Run-1. Phillips (E)-2:40.21. 2. Donaldson (E)-2:51.77.
400-Meter Dash-1. Phillips (E)-1:03.84. 2. Niebrugge (E)-1:07.53. 3. Hannah (A)-1:13.25.
Discus-1. Michael (E)-101-09. 2. Stephenson (E)-73-07.5.
300-Meter Hurdles-1. Steppe (E)-50.30. 2. Miller (A)-59.61.
1600-Meter Run-1. 5:45.24. 2. Donaldson (E)-6:07.05. 3. Wolf (A)-6:33.94.
200-Meter Run-1. Keck (E)-28.43. 2. Goldstein (A)-28.63. 3. Trzupek (A)-31.08.
4x800 Relay-1. E-11:30.69. 2. A-12:55.80.
4x100 Relay-1. E-58.02.
4x200 Rela-1. E-1:57.20. 2. A-2:00.95.