By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls track team has its sights set on the big blue oval at Eastern Illinois University in early June. Coach Drew Sterkel’s squad is solid top to bottom and boasts one of the strongest twosomes in the state. They will be hunting for not only state medals but a team trophy as well.
After dominating their first three invites they went even bigger, squaring off with Class 2A power Mt. Zion at the Lady Sages Invitational in Monticello. The Braves came out on top thanks to depth but the Lady Warriors showed why they are a state favorite in 1A. Alyssa Williams collected four gold medals in all, three individual and another in a relay. She won the long jump with a season’s best leap of 17 feet 5.5 inches for her opener. She then posted another season record, winning the 100-meter dash in 12.16 seconds. Edged the second part of Sterkel’s dynamic duo Lia Patterson in the 200 crossing the line in 25.58.
It was the only time Patterson didn’t reach the top of the podium in her four events. The fantastic freshman swept the hurdles winning 100-meter high hurdles breaking the tape in 15.27 before crossing the line first in the 300’s a full three seconds in front of the runner up with a time of 46.17.
They then joined forces with Mia Hausmann and Jillian Alexander in the 4×200-relay for another win. Williams ran the first leg, handed off to Hausmann, who handed the baton to Alexander, who passed it to Patterson for the anchor run resulting in a 1:49.97 first place finish beating a very good Uni High team but just under a second.
Hausmann and Alexander connected with Harley Woodard and Kenna Clodfelder for a near miss at the top ten in the 4×100-relay and Adrina Simmons and Ryleigh Vanausdoll in the 4×400. Vanausdoll was close in the open 800 taking 12th overall with a personal best time of 2:42. Talia Morgan and Lauren Woods posted personal bests at the meet as well in the open 400 and 1600 respectively. Add Addisyn Pettry to the PR list crossing the line in 55.88 seconds for 13th overall.
Natalie Hasting was a near miss on some hardware in the throws. The sophomore took 7th in both throwing events firing the discus a personal best distance of 104 feet 9.5 inches and the shot 30.25 feet. Woodard was strong in the field also, taking 9th in the high jump and 11th in the long jump. Clodfelder added an 11th as well in the triple while Vanausdoll (high jump), Belle Notaro (pole vault) and Pettry (triple jump) secured personal bests in the respective events.