It was a good night to be an Althoff Crusader on Friday at the Class 1A Nashville Track and Field Sectional.
Seniors Grace Rowan and Marie Harla won individual championships and the Crusaders advanced eight entries in all to the state finals, while earning a second-place team finish at Nashville High School.
Headed to the University of Dayton, Harla earned her third trip to state by clearing 5-feet, 2-inches to take the high jump. Harla also qualified in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1-minute, 2.43-seconds, well behind winner Sophie Keith of Pinckneyville (58.38).
Rowan won the 800. Her time of 2:24.98 was just ahead of Maryville University recruit and Althoff teammate Megan Seible (2:25.59). Seible also advanced in the 1,600, where she finished second.
Althoff also won the 1,600 relay (4:14.92), placed second in the 3,200 relay and advanced freshman Elizabeth Harla in the long jump, as it finished with 106 points, just 1 1/2 points behind Chester. More importantly, Althoff advanced all eight entries into the Class 1A State Track and Field Meet which begins on Thursday at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
While Althoff had the best-team finish of any metro-east squad, several other of the state’s top Class 1A athletes also punched their tickets for Charleston by winning sectional titles.
Leading the way was Red Bud junior Keri Burmester.
A two-time Class 1A Belleville News-Democrat Cross Country Runner of the Year, Burmester swept the 3,200 (11:21.95) and the 1,600 (5:21.95).
Other local champions included Casey Berberich of Lebanon in the long jump (16-2 1./2) and the 300 meter hurdles (47.72); Teah Bliven of Wesclin in the pole vault (10-10); Leia Campbell of Dupo in the shot put (36-2); Delphanie Griffin of Madison in the triple jump (33-1 1/2) and Easten Hoepker of Nashville in the discus (119-10).
The host Hornettes also won the 3,200 relay (10:24.40).
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at email@example.com or 618-239-2661.