Zionsville — The Zionsville girls track and field team is heading into its biggest meets of the year with some momentum.
The Eagles easily took the title at the Zionsville Invite on Friday night, winning the meet with 124 points. Brownsburg was second with 84 and New Palestine was third with 83.
“We had a lot of girls show up big tonight,” Zionsville head coach Drake Sterling said. “With as windy as it is, we still had a lot of really good performances.”
Friday really kicked off “championship” season for the Eagles.
They have the HCC Meet on April 30, a dual meet with Brownsburg on May 8, and then the post-season.
The Eagles are currently ranked sixth in the state, and were able to beat two other top-20 teams Friday.
“It was a big meet for us,” Sterling said. “We wanted to use this to gauge where we were heading into conference, sectional, regional, and on. We haven’t had a lot of chances to run super fast outside because of the weather, and we definitely performed how we wanted to going into some big meets.”
The Eagles won three events on the night and finished second in another three.
In the 400-meter relay, the Eagles team of Michelle Nazarov, Sophia Yovanovich, Lily Robinson and Cam Gietl won the event in a meet record 49.42.
“It’s three freshmen and a junior in the 4x1 and they are running really fast,” Sterling said. “They are coming back and running 4x4 or open 100 and 200, so it is a really special group for the sprints.”
The Eagles 4x400 also won in a time of 4:04.38.
Zionsville also got a win in the 3,200-meter run from junior Katelyn Wasson, who made a big move in the middle of the race and cruised to the victory in 10:45.80.
“She totally dominated that race, especially the second half,” Sterling said. “It all comes back to her speed. Health has been a big thing for her, but she has improved her speed so much. She was never a great 800 or 1,600-meter runner, but now she is close to breaking 5:00 in the 1,600, and you can see that translating. I’m not sure if she could have run this fast a year ago.”
Gietl was second in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.53.
Lily Robinson placed second in the 200-meter dash in 26.24 seconds, with older sister Ella placing second in the 800-meter run n 2:16.98.
The elder Robinson is a 300-meter hurdle specialist who is one of the favorites to bring home a state title, but the Eagles have had her running some longer distances to build stamina.
“She ran a great 800 and that just shows her versatility,” Sterling said. “At one point a few years ago she almost set our 100 record, and now she can do well all the way up to the 800. It is something we have fooled around with to keep her interested because there isn’t much hurdle competition for her, but I think it is going to help her in the long run.”
Also scoring for the Eagles: Nazarov in the 100-meter dash (fifth, 12.92), Yovanovich in the 100-meter dash (sixth, 13.15) and long jump (third, 16-04.75), Reagan McCooey in the 800 (seventh, 2:26.25), Margaret Allen in the 1,600 (seventh, 5:20.80), Anna Settle in the 3,200 (ninth, 11:31.14), Shea Sullivan in the 100-meter hurdles (eighth, 17.40) and the 300-meter hurdles (third, 49.56), the 3,200-meter relay team (sixth, 10:34.37), Sophie Collier in the shot put (eighth, 34-feet-01-inches), Lydia Lupinski in the discus (sixth, 104-00), Anne Busse in the pole vault (third, 10-06) and Ale Nelson in the pole vault (fifth, 9-6).
Sterling said heading into conference, the Eagles want to do well, but have bigger goals in mind.
“We want to do well in conference and I think we have a chance to place near the top,” Sterling said. “But at the same time we have to weigh what the long term goals. We have a stronger team individual events wise than we have in a long time, and the ultimate goal is state. Our conference is tougher than our sectional, so it will be a good test and will work out well for us.”
Boys Track and Field
The Zionsville boys team placed fourth at the Zionsville Invite with 79.33 points.
Harrison won with 115.
The Eagles had two champions on the night. The 1,600-meter relay team won easily in a time of 3:28.00.
Also winning was Joe Romanyk in the 800-meter run, who ran the fastest time in the state this year with a 1:53.75.
Also placing for the Eagles: Robby Pratt in the 800 (sixth, 2:00.24), Jesus Garcia in the 1,600 (seventh, 4:32.76), Logan Cole in the 3,200 (ninth, 9:54.91), Will Varner in the 300-meter hurdles (fifth, 42.72) and in the long jump (ninth, 19-09.50), the 400-meter relay team was sixth in 45.63 and the 3,200-meter relay team was sixth in 8:39.02. Gus Hartwig placed third in the shot put in 50-04, with Joe Tanona placing ninth in the shot put (45-08) and ninth in the discus (136-00).
Bennett DeCoursey was seventh in the discus in 137-00, Zach Sibila was ninth in the discus in 135-02, Trey Arnold was tied for second in the pole vault in 14-00, Josh Brandon was tied for fourth in the pole vault in 12-00, Sam Meyers was seventh in the pole vault in 12-00 and Kyle Harmon was eighth in the long jump in 19-10.