FHS girls’ track and field open outdoor season at Ithaca
by Head Coach Mike Snyder
The Frankenmuth Girls Track and Field team travelled to Ithaca on Wednesday, April 12, for their first outdoor meet of the season. Ithaca won the MHSAA Division 3 State Finals last year so we were looking forward to see how their team looked this year and how we stacked up to them. Swan Valley was also there and they always have strong athletes. Frankenmuth won the double dual meet which is scored as if all the three teams competed one-on-one against one another.
Our girls topped Ithaca 84.5 to 51.5 and also won over a small Swan Valley team 123 to 13. Coach Hayes and I were very pleased with the performances of our team. We have many new track and field athletes this year and we are very excited to help them achieve their first-year goals. Kelsey Ritter joined us this year as a volunteer coach and we are very excited about that as well. Kelsey was a standout athlete for FHS and Central Michigan University, and still holds records on the FHS record board. She is already making contributions and connecting with the girls. All of the new athletes set their high school personal records today. This gives them a mark to shoot for in future meets. The athletes that either scored in the meet (top three) or set personal records that they set in high school include:
4 x 800m relay: The team of Hannah Loucks, Autumn Gentner, Gabby Harris and Carissa Schurr took first place with a team season best time of 10:25.80. This is a great start for this team as this is only the first meet that they ran the relay. Autumn did not run track last year and we are glad she is back as she adds the needed strength the team is looking for. We know the time will drop as Carissa backed off her pace as the anchor leg to reserve energy for her next race as we knew they would win the relay.
100m hurdles: Our 100m hurdlers are off to a good start with senior Megan Ihrig (18.32 / second), junior Faythe Bergman (18.48 / third), and sophomore Natalie Clark (20.35 / fourth). Starting the season close to their personal best is a great sign of what is to come.
100m dash: We loaded up the 100m to get benchmarks for most of our sprinters. We really liked what the results were. Freshmen Hayleigh Atkin and twin sister Heather topped the first two positions with personal record times of 13.27 and 13.31. Sophomore Alexa Cross has a much better running form this season already and set a personal record (13.52 / fourth). Returning athletes, juniors Oliva Schmitt and Grace Kaiser also set personal bests with 14.56 and 14.91 respectively. Junior Sarah Pasco pulled up in the 100m as she felt her hamstring pull about a quarter of the way through the race. Sarah has been working hard all winter and this is a tough break for her and the team. We are hoping she will be back with us
4 x 200m relay: This early in the season, we are trying different combinations of our sprinters out in this relay to look for the best foursomes. The 𠇊” team will have tough competition to get on this team based on the race results that we saw today. Our team of Hayleigh Atkin, Alexa Cross, Sara Aldrich, and Heather Atkin finished second with a time of 1:53.64; .29 seconds out of first. Senior captain Sara Aldrich filled in at the last minute for injured teammate Sarah Pasco and did a great job. She had other events going on, but jumped right in and helped the team. This is exactly what a captain does.
1600m run: Our girls in the 1600m run had a great start of the season as sophomore Gabby Harris set a personal best time of 6:02.89 taking second followed by freshman Samantha Rapson with a personal record 6:03.99 in third. Senior Autumn Gentner had a good race as well finishing fourth with a time of 6:10.66.
4 x 100m relay: This is another relay we are trying different combinations to find the right mix moving forward. We have several girls that can run on this team. Freshman Lauren Somerville stepped up to fill in for an injured Sarah Pasco and did very well. The team of Hayleigh Atkin, Adalee Beller, Lauren Somerville and Heather Atkin finished .22 seconds out of first with a time of 54.80.
400m dash: Sophomore Halia Andrews captured third in the 400m with a time of 1:12.15 and is getting close to last season’s personal best already. This is one of her favorite races, so we are looking for her to continue to reduce her time.
300m hurdles: Senior Megan Ihrig lead the team with a second place finishing time of 55.45 followed by junior Faythe Bergman (56.12 / third) and sophomore Natalie Clark (58.72 / fourth). This is one of those races that the girls will get stronger in as the season progresses as they build their aerobic capacity and work on race strategy.
800m run: Senior captain Carissa Schurr ran a very strong race and showed that her strong work ethic is paying off as she pulled away from a strong Ithaca runner down the home stretch. Carissa won with a time of 2:23.34 which is currently the top time in D3.
200m dash: Sophomore Alexa Cross looked strong in the 200m as she won with a personal best time of 27.97. Freshman Heather Atkin was also a scoring member finishing second with a personal best time of 28.14. We are looking stronger in the dashes this year as we have young athletes that are posting good start of the season times.
3200m run: Junior Hannah Loucks looked strong capturing first place with a time of 11:55.10 just one second off her personal best. Freshman Alyssa Abke had her debut in the 3200m and finished with a 13:47.0. Alyssa is a hard worker as she is currently dual sporting with tennis, but runs the distance workouts on her own when she cannot be with our team. This is another very dedicated young lady.
4 x 400m relay: We are looking to put a strong 4 x 400m team together and the distance team started that process as the team of Autumn Gentner, Madison McKimmy, Hannah Loucks and Carissa Schurr finished second with a time of 4:32.97. Our sprinters are starting to develop their aerobic capacity and will be able to compliment this team going forward.
Long jump: We had a great start in the long jump taking the top three places with junior Grace Kaiser leading the way with a first place leap of 14’ 1”. Freshman Courtney Palmer is trying her hand in the long jump and did well with a personal best jump of 13’ 11.5”. Senior Sara Aldrich placed third with a jump of 13’ 6”.
High jump: We are looking stronger this year in the high jump with a deeper team of girls that have great potential. Freshman Chelsea Merkiel looked very good as she set her high school personal best with a jump of 5’ 0” taking first place overall. Junior Olivia Schmitt captured second place with a jump of 4’ 6”. Olivia is over 5’ 0” easily, but just needs to continue working on a few technical challenges. We are confident that we will have at least two jumpers consistently over the 5’ mark this season.
Pole vault: Seniors Sara Aldrich and Megan Ihrig captured second and third with jumps of 7’ 0”. Both girls have higher heights in them which will come once the season gets a little further in and they are conditioned to vault after they run races. That is one of the hard things for the athletes that are in jumping events. They usually have to compete in their running events before they finish jumping and until they are in strong enough condition, it will be a challenge.
Shot put: We had a good start in the shot put as junior Kenzie Harman placed second with a toss of 28’ 11.5” followed by senior Kylee Reinert with a fourth place toss of 26’ 5”. They are getting close to their personal best already, so we are looking for good things in the future meets.
Discus: We faired very well in the discus as Kenzie capture first place with a toss of 96’ 01” followed by Kylee with an 87’ 0” throw good for second place. Senior Lidia Vesterfelt also came close to scoring with a toss of 65”.
Overall, Coach Hayes and I are happy with the first meets results and look forward to getting into the season. Keeping athletes healthy, we are looking to have a good season.