Lady Warriors set to defend title
By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls track team will look to defend their state title from a year ago. Coach Drew Sterkel’s squad is sending six athletes in ten events 30 or so miles south to Charleston at the end of this week following a solid outing on the new track in Bethany at the IHSA Okaw Valley Sectional. The Warriors captured second out of over 20 schools and will enter the state championships after securing five first-place medals at the Sectionals.
Lia Patterson qualified in four events securing 36 points and collecting two golds and a pair of silvers. She edged Meridians Kaylin Moreland in the 200 by a tenth of a second to win, crossing the line in 25.51 seconds. Moreland returned the favor, nipping the super soph by a mere 100th of a second in a virtual dead heat. Patterson found her way to the top of the podium in the 300-meter low hurdles breaking the tape in 45.66 and finished in the runner-up spot in the 100-meter high hurdles by less than a half second, clocking in at 15.15.
The freshman distance phenom will be looking to add to her state medal collection after collecting one this past fall in cross-country. She won both the 1600 and the 3200, touring the track four times in 5:26 and eight times 11:10. And then linked up with Rylie Vanausdoll, Mia Hausmann and Kenna Clodfelder in the 4×400-meter relay turning in a 4:20 securing them a spot on the big blue oval in Charleston.
Natalie Hasting was the sixth qualifier earning state berths in both throwing events. The junior thrower won the discus with a toss of just over 114 feet and finished in second in the shot with a personal best throw of 36.94 feet. Olivia Wallace PR’d in the discus and added 2-points to the team totals with a fifth-place finish, while Clodfelder and Bella Notaro combined to deliver another 6-points with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump and a fifth-place finish in the pole vault, respectively.
Patterson enters the state meet with the fourth-best time in the 100 and the second-best time in the 200 and owns the second-best sectional time in both hurdle races. Foltz is seeded in the top ten in the 1600 and top three in the 3200, while Hasting is the fifth seed in the disc and the seventh seed in the shot put. Both will look to deliver team points in both events.