ValerieSue Meyer is only a freshman, but she’s already making her presence felt.
Meyer set a freshman record by running a 58.88 en route to recording the fastest 400 time at Saturday’s NIAA Division I track trials at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex on Saturday.
Meyer was among a large group of CHS athletes to move on to next Saturday’s regional finals, also at CHS. The top three in the finals advance to the state meet at CHS on Memorial Day weekend.
Also advancing in individual events were Josilyn Daggs 100 and 300 hurdles (16.49 and 50.90); Athena Favero 300 hurdles (47.73); Teresa Boehmer shot put (32-11); Erna Knobel long jump (15-5) and discus (105-7); Asa Carter long jump (20-3 3/4) and triple jump (40-11); Corey Reid high jump (5-10), pole vault (12-6), 400 (48.36) and 300 hurdles (40.76), Dakota Baker 110 hurdles (15.63), 300 hurdles (41.84) and high jump (5-10), Jessie Balkwell 1600 (5:46.18), Eveline Delgado 1600 (5:45.14), Madison Preston long jump (16-5 3/4), triple jump (35-7) and high jump (4-8), Anya Woodbury triple jump (34-5 1/4), Daniel Jauregui 1600 (4:48.44); Josue Orozco discus (129-6); Aaron Woodbury long jump (20-1 1/4) and triple jump (40-6); and Lauren Hudak 800 (2:30.05). The Senators’ 400 relay team (girls) and 800 relay team (boys) also made it through.
It was Meyer’s first time under 59 seconds, and she breezed to victory. On the stagger start, she gained the lead at about the 200-meter mark, and never relinquished it.
“I was shooting for 58.9, so I got it,” said Meyer, whose previous best was 59.20. “After I got under a minute, the next meet I went over a minute, so I really wanted to get under 60.
“When I run the shorter races, they are over so quick. When you run the longer races, there is time for you to think.”
Daggs got her day off to a good start by qualifying first (second overall) in her 100-meter heat (16.49) and finished the day by taking second in her 300-meter hurdle heat (50.90) which earned her the final qualifying spot. She has been bothered by a hamstring injury which was heavily taped.
“It hurts when I try to push off it (hard),” said Daggs after the shorter hurdle race. “I do have a lot more in me (time-wise).”
Daggs had the lead briefly in the 300, but lost it over the last 150 meters. She admitted she was fatigued and “out of shape.”
Preston had a relatively easy day. She needed to clear just 4-8 in the high jump to move on, was third in the long jump at 16-5 3/4 and won the triple jump with a leap of 35-7. She also ran a leg on the 400 relay squad.
“I just wanted to jump as far (or high) as it took to qualify,” Preston said. “I would have liked to PR (in the triple jump), but Aarik (coach Wilson, former Olympian) only let me take two jumps.”
Preston has her sights set on Wooster’s Nala Payton, who has beaten her two straight weeks.
“In the long jump, now I have competition with her,” Preston said. “It will make me work harder. I want to be in the high 17s next week.”
Delgado snuck into the 11th spot (12 moved on) in the 1600. She was fourth in her heat after the first lap, but lost a spot on each of th next two laps before climbing back into the fifth spot.
“I don’t think I started fast enough,” Delgado said. “I should have gone out a little faster.”
Knobel, a German foreign exchange student, was a pleasant surprise. Her discus throw was a PR by more than 13 feet.
As expected, Reid qualified in all four events. He jumped just once in the high jump, clearing 5-10 which was enough to move on. He was one of seven pole vaulters to clear 12-6, and he won both the 400 and 300 hurdles in come-from-behind fashion as has become his custom. In the 400, he went from fourth to first at the 200-meter mark, and set a PR/school record of 48.36. In the 300-meter hurdle race, he took down Isaac Artinger en route to a 40.76.
“He’s too competitive to take second,” said Maw as he watched Reid in his 400 race. “He doesn’t like to lose ever.”
“In the first 150 I just run my own race,” Reid said. “I don’t care about anybody else. Halfway through I check (the field) and go catch them, I was hoping to beat Connor Ross (of McQueen, who won the second heat). I stuttered a little in the 300, I knew I could catch him, though it helped when he hit that one hurdle. I can’t stutter next week.”
Reid admitted that his lack of attention to he high jump is the reason he hasn’t had any big jumps this year.
“I’ve been focusing on the vault and hurdles, and I’ve done better in those events,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to get to 6-5. It depends on the day.”
Baker, sporting a Mohawk, was second in both of his hurdle heats. He logged a 15.63 and 41.84.
“I hit a bunch (of hurdles) in the 110s,” Baker said. “Next week is the big one. I just wanted to make the finals.”
Carter qualified second in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump. He’s had back-to-back 20-foot jumps in the long jump.
Not all the news was good for the Senators, however.
The Senators’ girls 800 relay team had a huge mistake and was DQd. The quartet had come into the event with the second-fastest time behind Damonte Ranch. The mistake came between the third and fourth leg when the handoff between Alison Greene and Sahara Winder didn’t get made in the zone. Not only did it cost Carson potential points toward a possible regional team championship, it also eliminated the quartet from a possible state-meet berth.
“Alison outran her zone,” Maw said. She took off too quickly. It was a huge disappointment. They would have gone on to state.”
Boehmer failed to move on in the discus, throwing just 97-10. She did bounce back in the shot by moving on to the finals with a sixth-place effort in the shot (32-11). Favero failed to move on the 100 hurdles, finishing fourth in her heat and ninth overall at 17.29, one spot out of the money. She did bounce back with an impressive win in the 300 hurdles (47.73).
“We were just trying to get Athena through (in the 100 hurdles),” Maw said. “Her fastest time of the season came early, and she hasn’t been able to reproduce that.”
Aaron Woodbury also failed to move on in the pole vault. He was unable to clear his opening height.
“He’s been bothered by some back issues,” Maw said.
Another letdown came in the boys discus. Ian Schulz, who was seeded third in the event, failed to put up a mark.