BLOOMINGTON — Kiawna Cottrell had the best high school track meet of her life. Plenseh-tay Sakeuh accomplished something believed never before done in her school's history.
Together the Madison County stars turned a beautiful Friday evening at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex into an historic one as well.
Cottrell — a senior at Pendleton Heights — and Sakeuh — a junior at Lapel — combined for five podium finishes in five individual events during the 41st annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field State Finals.
"I was looking at every race as being my last high school race and trying to leave everything I had on the track," Cottrell said. "I believe I did that."
The numbers certainly support her.
Cottrell set personal bests in the long jump (18-feet-4.25), 400-meter run (55.76 seconds) and 200-meter run (25.18 seconds). Her peformances were good enough for fifth place in both the long jump and 200, and she finished as the state runner-up in the 400.
Cottrell appeared to be in the lead of that race as the competitors turned the final corner, but Pike's Lynna Irby ran her down in the final 80 meters or so to win in a time of 54.38 seconds.
There was no shame in finishing behind the freshman Red Devil. Irby also won state championships in the 100 and 200.
"That Irby's a heck of a runner," Cottrell said. "But I'm really pleased with second place."
Sakeuh also had a brush with a potential state championship.
She appeared to be in the lead of the 300-meter hurdles near the race's midpoint when her foot clipped an obstacle. The momentary pause it took to reset herself pushed the Bulldog back in the pack. But she rallied down the stretch for a fourth-place showing in a time of 43.97 seconds.