Lady Vikings claim six titles on way to NCC track crown

Kayla Patrick carries the baton for one leg of Huntington North's record-setting 3,200-meter relay team on Friday, April 3, at the North Central Conference Track & Field Championships. Photo by Steve Clark.

The Huntington North High School girls' varsity track team captured six titles at the North Central Conference Track and Field Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University's track and field stadium on Friday, May 3, and won the meet 156 points.

The Lady Vikings' distance runners dazzled. Kayla Patrick took first in the 800-meter run in 2:21.85 and Stephanie McElhaney achieved one of the team's five silver finishes on the day by clocking in at 2:29.64. The Lady Vikes swept the top two spots again in the 3,200-meter run, where Marie Ditzler was golden with a time of 12:08.25 and Karson Rowe crossed the line in 12:14.00.

Freshman Hannah Stoffel blew away the field in the 1,600-meter run, finishing 14 seconds ahead of second place in 5:24.79. Other Huntington North points came from Robyn Karst's fourth place finish in 5:50.18.

The Lady Vikings picked up a pair of golds in relay races, spotlighted by the 3,200-meter relay team's record-breaking finish of 9:41.71, which set the new standard for both the meet and the school.

The 1,600-meter squad took first in its race with a time of 4:02.64.

Machaela Mertz topped the 400-meter dash in 1:00.35 to round out Huntington North's titles. Abby Ness was also a points-getter in the race, finishing seventh in 1:07.78.

Mertz picked up another medal in the 100-meter dash, where she finished second in :13.11. The Lady Vikings' other runners-up on the day were Lindsey Foster in the 200-meter dash and Alexis Wygant in pole vault. Foster submitted a time of :26.52 and Wygant had a final try of 9-0.

The team found a couple of bronzes in field events with Paige Coolman's throw of 103-5 in discus and Maddie Klender's heave of 38-0 in shot put. Onna Doering earned fourth in the former event with a 102-6, while Lauren Sands took fifth in the latter with a 32-1.

Alexa Shoemaker had Huntington North's other bronze, crossing the line in :50.82 in the 300-meter hurdles.

Other Lady Viking points came from Emily Bucher's fourth in long jump with a 15-0.75, Allie Christian's fifth and Shoemaker's sixth in the 100-meter hurdles in :17:87 and :18.11, respectively, Caitlyn Sands' seventh in pole vault with a 6-6 and Bernadette Christiansen's eighth in high jump with a 4-8.

Kokomo's 117 points earned second place at the meet, followed by Marion's 100, New Castle's 69, Logansport's 66, Anderson's 53, Richmond's 32 and Muncie Central's 30.