By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP —
The Geneva Eagles personify the word team when it comes to just about everything, but that idea came to the fore based on individual efforts of 2 super athletes as they won the Premier Athletic Conference girls track meet Thursday afternoon at Spire Institute.
Fortunately, a huge deluge of water from the skies moved field events indoors, and super sophomore Ally Thompson used the opportunity to once again dominate competition in one of the most precise events of the day, the pole vault.
“The pole vault is pretty tough,” she said. “I just try to remember everything it takes to make a good vault.”
She did it well enough to dominate the competion, setting the stage for her efforts to break the league meet record. She did it handily when she vaulted over the bar that was set at 12 feet. Her attempts to raise the record even higher, at 12-3, didn’t pan out, but only because, after getting her whole body over the bar, she brushed it enough coming down to foil the try. Her effort was a school, meet, Ashtabula County, and area coverage, including much of Lake County as well, record, and when she went after the record after reaching success at 11-9 to win the event, it woke up much of the crowd indoors avoiding the rain.
Geneva scored 158.5 points to outdistance Chardon, which had 110.5. South was third with 89, Riverside fell just short of that with 87, Madison had 80, North had 58 and Lakeside with 56 points.
“Ally was just so good today,” Geneva coach Bobby McQuoid said. “It was just one hell of a great day for us. The girls put together an inspiring performance, with a lot of PRs. Ally was great, but the girls all got it done.”
Field events were big for the Eagles. Hannah Ellsworth won the discus with a toss of 119-10, and took third in the shot put as well. Anna Quickle was second in the discus, and Thompson’s winning effort in the pole vault was buoyed by a third place finish from teammate Emily Andrus and a fifth by Summer Arndt.
Arndt also ran legs in the sprint relays for McQuoid, as did Alyce Simoes, Hailey Sandlin, Desha Repko, and possibly the speediest of all the Eagles, Emily Deering. Her efforts anchoring relay teams late in the day made sure rival Chardon had no chance to catch up.
“I had no idea how close the meet was at the end of the day,” Deering said. “This is always a competitive meet, especially with Chardon. I’ve been looking forward to the PAC all season. It gives us a chance to maybe showw off a little and work harder to win as well. the weather wasn’t a factor because everybody competes in the same stuff, so I just try to go out and do my best.”
She anchored the winning 800 relay, and did the same with a blowout leg in the 1600 relay that secured the win. Nobody was able to keep step with her at any time. She also won the 800 on her own with a superb kick at the end.
Her efforts supported winning efforts in both hurdle events for Thompson as well.
Geneva scored well in the 800. Beside the winning effort of Deering, Dareion Marrison took third and Summer Arndt took fifth.
Chanel Crawford paced Madison efforts with seconds in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The Blue Streak 3200 relay team grabbed the first-place prize as well.
Hannah and Hilary Reigle placed well in both distance events, with Hilary winning the 3200 and Hannah taking third in the 1600.
Karen Barrientos did well in the 3200, taking fifth. Aaliyah Allgood took second in the shot put with a toss of 32-2.75, and Arianne Focht snared second in the long jump with a leap of 15-5.5. Dominique Harris also grabbe fourth in the 100-meter dash. Abby Licae, Aaliyah Grady, and Cassidy Mollick took third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 400.
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.