Perhaps it wasn’t quite mid-eason form, but the OTHS girls track team certainly flexed their collective muscles in their opening meet of the season.
Traveling to the 36-team SIU-C Indoor Meet last Friday, the Lady Panthers sprinted, jumped and threw their way to a 10-medal performance. The Carbondale Indoor does not tabulate team scores, but OTHS coach Neil James didn’t really need any additional confirmation that his charges were ready to compete on a high level.
The Lady Panthers returned to O’Fallon with three first place finishes, six seconds and a third—not bad for the first day on the job in the 2015 spring season.
A trio of blue ribbons paced the Blue and Gold attack. Kersten Douglas streaked past the field in the 60 meter sprint, winning the event in 7.99 seconds. Mya Watson-Blake soared over the competition in the high jump competition to win by clearing the bar at 5’2”. The OTHS 4x800 relay team composed of Angela Buch, Witzel, Jenkins and Duffy won in a time of 10:29.
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Second place medals were collected by Nautica Lockett (60 m.), Noelle Gilster (3200), Mya Watson-Blake (200), Jasmine Spearman (shot put), the 4x200 relay team (Douglas, Houston, Reese and Watson-Blake) and the 4x400 quartet (Tami Cardenas, Clinton, Reese and Marta Durk). Senior Cardenas rounded the top OTHS scorers with a third place in the 800.
“The SIU-C Indoor is always a good starting point for our team,” James said. “It gives our squad a chance to get rid of some of the anxiety that accompanies the start of a new season and offers our athletes a chance to compete against a lot of schools that we don’t normally see during the spring.
The Lady Panthers will have an opportunity to fine tune their craft after the successful season-opener as their next competition will be in two weeks when they face another early season litmus test at the annual SWIL meet in Edwardsville on Saturday, March 28.