Saline settled for second at the girls track and field regional at Saline High School Friday. Saline, led by its distance runners, finished with 100.33 points. Pioneer, which dominated the sprints, won the championship with 157 points.
Junior Hannah Cummings (800), freshman Jessi Larson (3200) and junior Erin Connor (discus) were regional champs in individual events. Cummings, Larson, Abby Rentschler and Haleigh Cummings teamed to win the 4-by-800 relay. Other state qualifiers include Rentschler (1600), Connor (shot put), and the 4-by-400 relay team of Cummings, Lily Scheske, Lisa Gross and Ashley Amegan.
It was a big day for Cummings, who reclaimed her crown as regional champ in the 800 – a title she won as a freshman.
“The race didn’t go necessarily as planned. Coming back from the 4-by-8 was kind of hard. But I got through it and felt good about it,” said Cummings, who hopes to make all-state in the race. “I was hoping to make all-state last year but I got food poisoning the night before.”
Winning the 4-by-800 relay was also an accomplishment.
“We wanted to beat Pioneer really badly. They beat us at SECs and we were like, ‘We’ve got to get them.’ And we did,” Cummings said.
Cummings, Rentschler, Larson and Haleigh Cummings won the race in 9:22.74 – 1.9 seconds faster than Pioneer. Both teams were nearly 30 seconds faster than the third place team from Skyline.
Larson, a freshman, also won the 3200 meters in 11:11.73 – beating Dexter’s Alison McLean (11:13.46). Rentschler, a senior, was fourth in 11:22.23. Junior Gillian Walter was fifth in 11:25.11.
Rentschler also qualified in the 1600, finishing fourth in 5:06.01. Her final meet at Saline High School was a memorable one.
“I was getting kind of emotional last night just thinking about this being my last meet. I went out with a bang. I ran the three hardest distances events you could run,” said Rentschler, who nearly volunteered to run the meet’s final event, the 4-by-4 relay. “There’ve been a lot of ups and downs, but these four years have been great.”
Saline’s other regional champ was junior Erin Connor. She won the discus event with a throw of 114-07 – beating her personal best by more than four feet. She’ll compete in the discus at the state meet for the first time. Last year, Connor qualified for the shot put. She did so again Friday with a time of 36-11.
Sophomore Lisa Gross narrowly missed qualifying in the 100 meters. She finished fifth in 12.83. Andrea Luurtsema ran a 13.11 in the semifinals. Ashely Amegan was seventh in the 200 meters (27.27). Alexia Boden ran a 28.14 in the prelims.
Lily Scheske was fourth in the 400. Her time of 1:01.03 missed the state meet by a little more than half a second.
Regan Smith (10th, 2:29) and Taylor Vaughan (11th, 2:29) also ran the 800.
Haleigh Cummings (10th, 50.32) and Maddie Keith (14th, 52.42) ran in the 300 hurdles.
Carrigan Theisen ran the 100 hurdles (18.34).
In the relays, Gross, Andrea Luurtsema, Amegan and Bowden finished 5th in the 4-by-100. Gross, Luurtsema, Scheske and Amegan were fourth in the 4-by-200. The 4-by-400 relay team of Scheske, Cummings, Gross and Amegan was third in 4:05.29 and qualified for the state meet.
Elaine Schwingel finished fourth in the shot put (34-06) and fifth in the discus (100-01).
Kyra Ross, Maddie Keith and Lauren Sayre all went out at 4-08 in high jump. Scheske and Alexandra Haugen went out at 9-00 to finish 10th in pole vault. Haugen was sixth in long jump (15-02.75). Jesse Davis was 14th.