TRAVERSE CITY — It was a banner day for the Traverse City Central girls track team.
The defending regional champion Trojans repeated, dusting the competition at Friday’s Division 1 meet at Central High School for a 70-point win over second place Alpena.
Central came into the meet as the prohibitive favorite and didn’t have a letdown, winning five events, coming in second in three more and scoring in all but two events.
“I think our kids had a lot of pressure,” said Central coach Lisa Taylor. “We sensed it a little bit in practice (earlier this week), but today when we saw them for the first time it was like, ‘wow, they’re really relaxed.’ Then to get things off to a good start with the kids advancing in the prelims and semis ... it panned out really nicely. This is the fifth regional I’ve won since I’ve been head coach and I’ve not had one be so relaxing before. Once we got to 80 points with about nine events scored I knew we were on track.”
Katie Moses was at the forefront of Central, taking firsts in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:04.81 and the 800 in 2:19.38. She also ran the anchor leg of the winning 3,200 relay (9:23.31). Lauren Marsh, Lila Dreves and Joy Reist joined Moses in the 3,200 relay.
“I just wanted to go out and run as fast as I could and see what I could do and it happened to be enough,” said Moses.
Moses was impressive in each of her victories, but none more than the 1,600, where she stayed within striking distance throughout the race, then surged to the front of the pack in the final 200 meters and ended up with a nearly two-second victory over Midland Dow’s Kali Dent.
“That was one of my favorite races I’ve ever run. My coach and I, we had a plan. I just followed the plan and it worked out well,” she said. “That’s my favorite part of the race (the last 200 meters).”
Courtney Cadotte also played a big role for the Trojans, winning the 100 dash in 12.8, coming in second in the 200 with a 26.98 and helping the 800 relay place second, along with teammates Makenna Beers, Morgan Scollard and Madison Ostergren, in a time of 1:48.47.
“I just pushed, listened to my pumped up music and tried to go as hard as I could,” said Cadotte.
Graceanne Tarsa picked up a first in the pole vault for Central with a vault of 10’0” and Beers claimed second in the long jump (16’8.25”), an event won by West’s Olivia Bishop (16’10”).
The Trojans ended up with 138 points, with Alpena scoring 68 for second. Midland Dow was third with 65, Midland was fourth with 62 and TC West took fifth with 57.
West’s 1,600 relay team of Kimmy Bilinski, Quinn Hall, Kate Melvin and Allida Smith came up with a second-place time of 4:10.1 to help the Titans’ effort.