MOUNT VERNON — A Mount Vernon senior made the 30th running of the SpecTRACKular her own little showcase on Friday night. Danae Rockwell broke three SpecTRACKular records and just missed a fourth to earn the Most Valuable Competitor award at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
Right from the start of the track events, it was clear a select few were going to challenge Rockwell, who scored 45 points, and few did. In each of her events she dominated the competition. She won all of her events by about a two-second average.
“This is amazing,” said Rockwell. “To win, for one is an amazing feeling, but then to win all four events and break three records is great. ... All of my hard work has finally come through. It is all finally coming together.”
In her solo events — the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles — Rockwell made record time, finishing in 14.5 seconds and 45.6 seconds, respectively. As a member of the 4x100-meter relay team, they broke the record by finishing in 50.1 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay team, of which Rockwell was the anchor, just missed the record. The team finished in 4:11.90, less just over a second off the 4:10.8 record pace.
“I think the competition was stronger,” Rockwell said. “We had a lot of older girls this year. The hurdlers are getting better and better. The 4x100 was also really competitive. Clear Fork had a good team, and everybody was pushing each other.”
Rockwell wasn’t the only strong performer from Mount Vernon, however. She was challenged for the MVC honor by teammates Jhazmyn Anderson (35 points) and Katie Curry (28 points) as well as Johnstown’s Stephanie Loshbaugh and Danville’s Kendra Mills (24 points each).
“I’m really proud of Danae,” said Anderson, who was the Most Valuable Competitor in 2008. “She has been working hard to be this good. I’m really proud of her.”
Anderson won four events and tied the record in the 400-meter dash, while Curry won three. Mills took the 100-meter dash, while Loshbaugh took two events (4x800-meter relay and the 1,600-meter run).
“I ran pretty well,” said Anderson. “I won all of my events, and tied the record in the 400, which was good. ... The 200 was really hard because my legs were cramping up. It was tough. The competition was a lot harder this year, I thought.”
Johnstown’s distance runners proved strong in addition to Loshbaugh’s accomplishments. The Johnnies took three of the top four places in the 800-meter run, which was won by Johnstown’s Kaila Cramer (2:30.8). Cramer edged Ashley Mast at the finish line. In the 3,200-meter run, Erin Radigan earned a second-place finish.
“That was only my second time ever running (the 3,200),” said Radigan. “It was actually a lot of fun. ... Our 4x800 did really well. We broke our school record on Wednesday by five seconds and then broke that record tonight by 13 seconds. We are really, really happy about that.”
Clear Fork’s Erica Garn, who won the 3,200 run, was happy to have the opportunity to compete.
“I had it in my mind that I was going to give it my best and see what happened,” said Garn. “I was really surprised (when I won). ... I like this meet. It was a lot of fun. This gives me more confidence in what I’m doing.”