The Jefferson varsity girls track & field team handily won their own Jefferson Invitational Tuesday. The Blue Jays outdistanced second place Potosi, 156 to 100.5. Hillsboro finished third with 68 points.
“Our girls had a great night,” said head coach Alex Rouggly. “We have a couple of hand off issues to fix, but overall, it was a great night for the Blue Jays. Taya Allen, Kiersten Vandeven, Jenna Courtois, Abi Chipps, Catryn Cattoor, Chelsea Badger, Jordan Heacock, Peyton Cattoor, and Ashley Edmond all had great nights for us.”
Here’s a rundown of those athletes and relay teams that finished in the top three places in their events.
Kiersten Vandeven–400 meter dash with a winning time of 1:05.01. Vandeven edged out a runner from St. Pius by .14 seconds. “At first, I was very nervous going into the race knowing I was in the slower lane,” she said. “I knew I had to push myself as much as I could. Knowing that some of the girls were right behind me helped me finish strong with a personal best. I owe a lot to my teammates because they always encourage and support me. I am looking forward to the upcoming meets.” Vandeven is just a freshman.
Taya Allen–100 meter hurdles with a winning time of 16.17. Allen won her race by .16 seconds over a young lady from Hillsboro.
Taya Allen–300 meter hurdles with a winning time of 48.67. In this race, Allen won by almost a complete second over a hurdler from Potosi.
Peyton Cattoor/Taya Allen/Abi Chipps/Kiersten Vandeven–4×400 meter relay with a winning time of 4:24.18. This team defeated second place Lutheran (St. Charles) by .61 seconds. “We ran great as a team,” said Chipps. “If we can continue to run the times that we have been running, we will have a very successful season.”
Peyton Cattoor/Chelsea Badger/Kendall Runzi/Jordan Heacock–4×800 meter relay with a winning time of 10:42.32. This squad torched the track, leaving the opposition behind. Second place Potosi came in almost 11 seconds behind the Blue Jays. “I think our 4×800 looked really strong yesterday,” said Runzi. “We all ran confidently and competitively, and we saw the results we wanted. This is definitely a nice start to help us get to where we want to be when conference and districts rolls around.”
Jenna Courtois–triple jump with a winning leap of 33-00.25, defeating an athlete from Hillsboro by one foot, eight inches. “I felt pretty good about my performance,” Courtois said. “My first jump wasn’t exactly what I wanted, so I knew what I needed to do to get a better jump. My second jump was my best jump, and at that point I was pretty comfortable with it.”
Ashley Edmond–pole vault with a top vault of nine feet. She defeated a girl from Hillsboro by over a foot and a half. “Opening height was six feet, and I did not come in until 8’6, so it was a long wait of just sitting there,” she said. “But once I started vaulting, it was dark and freezing cold. I only vaulted nine feet, so I was a little upset, but it’s hard to pole vault when I can’t feel my hands. I’m definitely thinking I can get ten feet next meet on Tuesday.”
Catryn Cattoor–discus with a winning toss of 111-01. That was almost two feet farther than the second place athlete from Festus.
Chelsea Badger–3200 meter run with a time of 12:55.35. A runner from Fox blew away the field, running an 11:11.10. Badger defeated the third place runner from Lutheran (St. Charles) by over three seconds.
Jenna Courtois/Catryn Cattoor/Maddie Edmond/Abi Chipps–4×100 meter relay with a time of 53.82. This team finished just behind Festus by .07 seconds. Third place Windsor came in almost a second behind the Jays. “I feel like we could have gotten first,” Edmond admitted. “But since we have not worked on handoffs as a whole, we were a little rusty. We will definitely need a lot more work to shed off a couple more seconds if we want to go to state.”
Catryn Catoor–shot put with a throw of 30-06. Cattoor was a foot and three inches away from the second place finisher from Festus, and three feet, three inches away from the winner from Hillsboro.
Taya Allen–high jump with a jump of five feet. Allen equalled the second place finisher from Valley Park, and two inches away from the winner from Potosi.
Jordan Heacock–1600 meter run with a time of 5:56.03. Heacock trailed the second place finisher from Potosi by just over ten seconds, and the winner from Fox outdistanced the field with a 5:18.79. “My run felt okay,” she said. “I tried to pace for a 5:45 mile but slowed down the last two laps. I’m happy for my time for it being the beginning of the season.”
Coach Rouggly wanted to make sure he expressed his appreciation to the folks who helped run the meet without a hitch. “I wanted to thank every person and coach for coming out and helping us run a successful meet,” he said. “There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that many people don’t see in order to make a meet with that many teams run successfully. Our Jefferson people made that happen!”
The Blue Jays are back in action on Friday when they compete at the Rebel Relays in Park Hills. The meet is scheduled to get underway around 2 p.m.
Trophy photo courtesy of Coach Rouggly