Strong finishes please track coaches

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By Andrew Harner

HILLSBORO – Both Vandalia High School track coaches were pleased with several finishes from a meet at Hillsboro on Tuesday.

Freshman Kelsey Rubin was in the 1600-meter run for the first time of her career, and veteran coach Mike Travelstead said she easily exceeded his expectations.

“There’s a fear factor there. What if I start out too fast?” Travelstead said. “She said, ‘What’s a good time?’ And I said, ‘If you run a 7:20, that’ll be pretty good.’

“She went out and ran a 7:09. I think she’ll be in the mile now.”

Rubin placed third in the race, one of several third-place finishers that Travelstead said contributed to the team placing third, which was better than he had hoped for.

He was also impressed by his 4X400-meter relay team of Megan Masters, Brittany Cook, Chelsea Roberts and Kendall Leander. Those four combined to run the race in 5:10.1, the fastest time of the season, to finish third.

Sophomore Sierah Ruffner logged the only first-place finish for the Lady Vandals, leaping 4 feet, 11 inches in the high jump, and senior Courtney Gordon placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.9 seconds.
The girls have a tough week ahead, with meets on Thursday, Friday and Monday.

On the boys side, it was senior Daniel Bell who provided the performance of the day, winning the 800-meter run.

He completed his first lap in 1:03, which is a bit quick, but he maintained that exact pace to finish the race in 2:06.4. More importantly, he fended off a Greenville runner that had been on his shoulder the entire race.

“That was really gutty,” said coach Jane Bell. “He had that Greenville guy on that shoulder the whole way, and when the Greenville guy made his push, Daniel held on.

“Sometimes, when you hold off a guy, he’ll lose heart. That guy did, and didn’t mount another charge.”

Bell also won the high jump, with a leap of 5 feet, 10 inches, and sophomore Ryan Ambuehl, junior Quenten Austin and freshman Dalton Smith also recorded first-place finishes.

Though it only garnered a fourth-place finish, Jane Bell was very pleased with sophomore Chase Woolsey’s throw in the shot put of 38 feet, 11 1/2 inches.

Other personal bests from the meet were Smith in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Ambuehl in the 300-meter hurdles and sophomore Wade Cowger in the 800-meter run.

“We’ve been training pretty hard, and it’s exciting to see people dropping times,” Jane Bell said. “Some of the athletes, say, ‘This is easier. I felt better.’”

The Vandals’ next meet is on Saturday at the Pana Open, where they will compete against 12 teams from the area. Field events will begin at 9 a.m., with running events to start at about 10 a.m.

Tuesday, April 12
Girls at Hillsboro

First-place finishers
•Ruffner, high jump (4 feet, 11 inches)
Second-place finishers
•Gordon, 100-meter dash (0:13.9)
Third-place finishers
•Iris Daiber, 300-meter hurdles (1:04.4)
•Randi Evans, 100-meter hurdles (0:19.3)
•Gordon, long jump (13 feet, 3 inches)
•Rubin, 1600-meter run (7:08)
•Evans, Dokey, Gordon and Ruffner, 4X100-meter relay (0:56.8)
•Pennington, Masters, Booker and Evans, 4X200-meter relay (2:06)
•Masters, Cook, C. Roberts and Leander, 4X400-meter relay (5:10.1)
Fourth-place finishers
•Gordon, 300-meter hurdles (1:04.6)
•Ruffner, 200-meter dash (0:29.4)
•Cook, M. Roberts, C. Roberts and Leander, 4X800-meter reay (12:17)
Fifth-place finishers
•Daiber, 100-meter hurdles (0:20.5)
•Taylor Parrish, shot put (26 feet, 1 inch)
•C. Roberts, 400-meter dash (1:14)
Team scores
Mater Dei 151
Greenville 100
Vandalia 53
Carlinville 46
Hillsboro 27

Boys at Hillsboro
First-place finishers
•Ambuehl, triple jump (37 feet, 7 ½ inches)
•Austin, 100-meter hurdles (0:16)
•Austin, 300-meter hurdles (0:42.7)
•Bell, 800-meter run (2:06.1)
•Bell, high jump (5 feet, 11 inches)
•Smith, 200-meter dash (0:24.4)
Second-place finishers
•Ambuehl, 110-meter hurdles (0:16.84)
Third-place finishers
•Ambuehl, 300-meter hurdles (0:44.15)
•Cowger, high jump (5 feet, 8 inches)
•Smith, 100-meter dash (0:11.8)
•Austin, Cowger, Bell and Ambuehl, 4X400-meter relay (3:53.24)
Fourth-place finishers
•Austin, discus (101 feet, 6 1/2 inches)
•Cowger, 800-meter run (2:11)
•Woolsey, shot put (38 feet, 11 1/2 inches)
•Jackson, Woolsey, Rogers and Collinsworth, 4X200-meter relay (1:52.27)
Fifth-place finishers
•Zach Jackson, triple jump (34 feet, 4 inches)
•Logan Rogers, discus (95 feet, 6 inches)
•Jackson, Woolsey, Rogers and Smith, 4X100-meter relay (0:52.4)
Team scores
Greenville 90
Vandalia 84
Mater Dei 82
Hillsboro 71
Carlinville 35

Monday, April 11
Girls at Breese Central

First-place finishers
•Evans, Dokey, Gordon and Ruffner, 4X100-meter relay (0:57.8)
•Cook, M. Roberts, C. Roberts and Leander, 4X800-meter relay (12:30.3)
Second-place finishers
•Evans, 100-meter hurdles (0:20.1)
•M. Roberts, 800-meter run (3:18)
•Gordon, long jump (14 feet, 2 inches)
•Evans, Frakes, Booker and Masters, 4X200-meter relay (2:10.3)
Third-place finishers
•Gordon, 300-meter hurdles (1:02.9)
•Masters, Cox, C. Roberts and Leander, 4X400-meter relay (5:18.5)
Fourth-place finishers
•Nikki Bolyard, 1600-meter run (8:32)
•Sarah Frakes, 300-meter hurdles (1:11.4)
•Gordon, 100-meter dash (0:14.8)
•Parrish, shot put (27 feet, 2 1/2 inches)
•C. Roberts, 400-meter dash (1:15)
•Rubin, 800-meter run (3:24)
•Ruffner, 200-meter dash (0:30.1)
•Ruffner, high jump (4 feet, 10 inches)
Fifth-place finishers
•Dokey, 100-meter dash (0:15.1)
•Leander, 400-meter dash (1:19)
•Pennington, long jump (12 feet, 6 3/4 inches)
Sixth-place finishers
•Booker, 200-meter dash (0:31.4)
•Cook, 800-meter run (3:30)