Highland senior Allison Zobrist gave herself a golden memory to cherish by putting an exclamation point on her final regular season of running after being crowned the conference champion in the 1,600 meters at the Mississippi Valley Conference Championships Thursday at Waterloo.
Zobrist clocked a winning four-lap time of 5:32.04,which was a cozy 7.57 seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher, Whitney Liefer of Waterloo (5:39.61). Third-place Alex Singleton of Civic Memorial (5:44.01) finished 12 seconds behind Zobrist.
“It has felt amazing to be running times close to my freshman year times these past few meets,” Zobrist said. “I do not know what clicked, but it must have been something in my head. I enjoy the races so much again and it was such an accomplishment to be able to step onto the track and win the mile at my senior year conference meet. This race will always be my favorite so it means a lot!”
Highland Coach Erin Cotto said while her team did not win the conference, her girls had a phenomenal meet.
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“The biggest highlight was Allison Zobrist, who ran a fresh 1,600-meter race,” said Cotto, whose team will compete at this Friday’s IHSA Class 2A Rochester Sectional. “She pulled ahead in the second lap and came in with a solid time of 5:32.04. She looked strong throughout her championship race.”
Securing Highland’s next best finish came from junior Polly Czar, who garnered the second-place medal in the shot put with a mark of 33 feet, 10.5 inches. Czar made it a good day in the throwing events overall after she placed fourth in the discus with a personal-record mark of 99-3.
Sophomores Rece Portell and Alyssa Freimann both nailed down a third-place finish, with Portell earning hers in the 800 meters with a two-lap time 2:27.68 and Freimann collecting hers in the 400 with a 1:02.44.
The 800 featured arguably the day’s best race to the finish line. Triad senior Abigail Richter and Mascoutah junior Mackenzie Dixon battled for almost the entire 800 meters, with Richter barely holding her off for more than 700 meters.
But with under 100 meters to go, Dixon went all out to close for the win. She snatched the lead and held off Richter to the finish line with a victorious time of 2:25.27, which was less than a second in front of Richter at 2:26.07.
The duo finished just ahead of Portell (personal record time of 2:27.38) and her freshman Bulldog teammate Kate Marti (2:30.82), who were both in the hunt all the way to the stripe.
Portell also both ran a leg of Highland’s 4 x 400 relay team that captured third place with a team time of 4:21.4, which finished slightly more than 2 seconds behind Jerseyville’s winning time of 4:19.16. Also on the team were senior Brianna Becherer and freshman Lily Becker.
Portell also nabbed fourth place in the high jump after clearing the bar on her third and final attempt at 4 feet, 6 inches. That was the exact same height that Jerseyville’s Sydney Merle achieved achieved for third place, but Merle cleared it on her first attempt.
Freimann was also in contention in the 400 before crossing the finish line in third place at 1:02.44, which was just 1.25 seconds behind winner Kiara Chapman (1:01.19) and less than a second in the rear of second-place Anne Snyders (1:01.65).
Junior Ariel Smock also placed in two events after taking fourth place in both the triple jump (30-6) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (53.79).
Also posting noteworthy finishes for Highland were junior Sarah Beth Wiegman with a fifth place in the 3,200 (12:58.21) and Marti with a sixth place in the long jump (14-10).
Overall, Cotto said there were a ton of girls who set personal records, which means they got faster and stronger as the season progressed.
Some of the PRs included: Taylor Braswell in the 100 high hurdles (26.83), Leah Sutton in the long jump (13-3.5) and the ,4 x 200 relay (split time of 30.2), Hengehold in the 4 x 800 (2:49.0), Becker in the 4 x 800 relay (split time of 2:35.), the 4 x 200 relay (split time of 28.9, and the 4 x 400 relay (split time of 1:06.9), Mackenzie Schoeck in the 200 (31.45), Kali Rutz in the 100 high hurdles (27.95) and Emma Drysdale in the 100 (14.97).