By William Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
The host Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians track team steamrolled its way to a 186.17 to 132.83 victory over Greenfield Central to win PH invitational Thursday night.
On a night where Pendleton honored its senior class of track athletes and trainers, it was a junior that stole the spotlight.
Kiawna Cottrell won every event in which she was entered and set records in each of them. She started off the evening with a long jump of 17 feet, 2½ inches and continued through the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints. “I just tried to do what I could for my team and push myself,” Cottrell said.
Cottrell burst out to big leads in each sprint race and beat Greenfield’s Savannah Girolami in the 200 and 400.
When it came to distance running, the Lady Arabians relied on youth and experience and came up a winner with both. Freshmen Monica Dudley and Alex Buck took titles in the 800 and 3200 meter runs, respectively, while seniors Anna Dudley and Emma Manchess finished second.
Juniors Maddi Hinton and Chelsea Blackwell finished 1-2 in the 1600 meter run to give Pendleton a sweep. Buck and Hinton set event records in their wins.
“I could not be anymore proud of the girls,” Pendleton coach Melissa Hagerman said. “Our goal was to work as a team, and everybody score points, we did that (tonight).”
Pendleton won two of the three relay events including the 400 and 3200 while Greenfield took the 1600. The Lady Cougars appeared to be ready to win the 400 relay but a bad exchange on the final leg opened the door for Pendleton’s foursome of Morgan Jacobs, Tristan Vannatta, Valerie Taylor and Kelsey Werling and they took advantage.
In the team standings, Delta was third with 75 points, Muncie Burris was fourth with 72.5, New Castle was fifth with 71.5, Frankton was sixth with 35 and Liberty Christian was seventh with 30.
Katie Key of Frankton was second in the 300 meter hurdles and fifth in the 100 meter hurdles. Liberty Christian’s Michaela McCurdy was fourth in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.
Hagerman and Cottrell both see the positives of winning the meet and that perhaps the best is yet to come. “I saw a lot of things tonight that will get us ready for conference and that will prepare us for sectionals” said Hagerman. “I feel like we are on the right track”.
As for Cottrell, she felt it was her best night, but there is more to come. “So far this is my best open four (events) that I’ve ran. I’m looking to peak a little bit later in the season”.