Midgets pull off sweep at Cahokia Conference meet

News-DemocratMay 2, 2013 

— It was another dominating performance for the Freeburg girls and boys squads at the Cahokia Conference track and field meet.

The girls won nine events in piling up 212 points, while the boys won eight events in earning 204.

Red Bud was second in the girls meet with 119 points, while Wesclin was second in the boys meet with 97.

"It was a total-team effort,'' Freeburg coach J.R. Brentlinger said. "These kids have worked all year long. This was a goal that they wanted to achieve at the beginning of the year, and with them working together, they were able to do it.''

The Freeburg girls set three meet records in claiming the championship for the 29th time in the 39-year history of the meet.

Lauren Mense broke the record of 9 feet, 6 inches that she set last season in the pole vault by clearing 9-9 and Abby Lealaimatafao broke the record of 37-4 1/2 that she set in 2011 in the shot put with a toss of 39-4 1/2.

"Every one likes breaking records, so it was a goal of mine to beat my record from last year,'' Lealaimatafao said.

Lealaimatafao, who also won the long with a leap of 16-3.5 and placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 34-7, was most proud of running the first leg of Freeburg's 1,600-meter relay that set a meet record with a time of 4:11.74.

The record had been a 4:14 run by Freeburg in 2005.

"This one means more because one of our 4x400 runner's sisters was on the relay team that set the record,'' Lealaimatafao said. "It was kind of sister rivalry thing. It meant a big deal to us just because we have been working on it since last year, and we were so close. We were like miliseconds off it last year.''

Lauren Mense's older sister, Kristen, was a member of Freeburg's 1,600 relay in 2005.

The Midgets' Emily Hartmann won the 300 hurdles by nipping teammate Mary Wolf. Hartmann was timed in 50.93, while Wolf was timed in 51.38.

The Midgets swept all four relays.

Red Bud's Brittney Burmester won three events and broke two meet records, including one that had stood for 19 years.

Burmester ran the 3,200 in 11:34.54, breaking the record of 11:40.8 set by Wesclin's Susan Gibson in 1994. She also ran the 1,600 in 5:24.85, breaking the mark of 5:25.3 set by Freeburg's Kristen Busch in 2012.

Burmester knows Kristen and her twin sister, Caitlin, well.

"I ran with them ever since my sophomore year,'' Burmester said. "They inspired me. It was a goal to get (the records) once I got here. Obviously, the times weren't (personal records) for me, but you just take it.''

Burmester also moved passed Freeburg's Taryrne Knuckles in the last 50 meters of the 800 to place first with a time of 2:25.47. Knuckles finished in 2:27.91.

Freeburg's Chelsea Hill won the 400 in 59.13, falling just short of Central star Jena Hemann's record of 58.99 set in 2011.

Red Bud's Kalli Hentis won the 100 in 13.21 and the 200 in 26.72.

Columbia won two events in the girls meet as Amy Rzepczynski cleared 5-6 in the high jump and Becca Krebal had a throw of 95-11 in the discus.

Wesclin's Erin Johnson won 100 hurdles in 16.74 and Central's Ciara Lohman won the triple jump with a leap of 35-1 1/2.

In the boys meet, Dupo's Matt McDonald won the high jump (6-3), the long jump (20-0 1/4) and the triple jump (43-1).

"It went pretty well,'' McDonald said of winning three events. "That's what I did last year, and I was happy to do it again.''

McDonald said he qualified for the state meet in the triple jump and the high jump last year, and he's looking to do the same this year.

"I feel like I should be able to do it again,'' McDonald said. "In the long jump, I have the potential to, but it depends on the day.''

Wesclin's Jason Bivens and Justin Goff were double winners. Bivens won the 110 hurdles in 15.94 and the 300 hurdles in 40.66, while Goff won the 100 in 11.52 and the 200 in 23.33.

Goff also won in a photo finish over Freeburg's Brett Stroder (23.4) in the 200.

The Midgets' Jacob Marler took first place in the 1,600 and 3,200. He was timed at 4:48.81 in the 1,600 and 10:36.09 in the 3,200.

Also winning events for the Freeburg boys were Nick Gravot in the 400 (52.27), Tristen Schneider in the discus (127-10) and Dominic Brown in the pole vault (9-6).

Gavot nipped Wesclin's Ronnie Drummond (52.34) at the finish line in the 400.

The Midgets also placed first in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

Wesclin prevented Freeburg from sweeping the relays by claiming the 400 relay with a time of 45.37.

Columbia's Sean McCarty won the 800 in 2:02.84. The Eagles' Grant Snow won the shot put with a throw of 45-6.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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