MOUNT VERNON — Four girls sat together in the middle of the Mount Vernon High School football field Friday night, drinking water and catching their breaths.
“We should go cheer for the boys,” panted one. But after a moment’s thought, they stayed to relax and recover.
The four girls — Mount Vernon’s Brittany Shelhorn, Katie Curry, Celia Leonard and Tate Devlin — had just won the 4x400-meter relay at the 2010 Mount Vernon News SpecTRACKular on Friday night. With the win, Shelhorn also won the Most Valuable Competitor award for the meet. Curry was second, only two points behind.
“Winning that was one of her goals for the season,” said Buzz Wallace, Shelhorn’s hurdling coach at Mount Vernon. “She has a shot to go a long way this season; she can go to state.”
Shelhorn started the night with her first-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished in 16.36, and Highland’s Amanda Mosier was second in 16.93. Hayley Derikito of Fredericktown placed third with a time of 17.06.
“I was pretty confident, because the 100 hurdles is my race,” said Shelhorn.
Shelhorn placed second in the high jump competition, then came back to the track to win the 300-meter hurdles. Her time of 49.72 was her best so far this season.
“I can probably go about three seconds faster though,” she said. “I haven’t really pushed myself in the 300 hurdles yet this year, because I always have the 4x4.”
Hannah Shank of Northridge placed second in 49.98, and Hayley Derikito of Fredericktown was third in 50.57.
Curry had as many wins as Shelhorn, but where Shelhorn earned a second-place finished, Curry earned a third
Curry won the 100-meter dash by over a half of second, with a time of 13.41. Finishing second was Katrina Cartwright of Johnstown in 13.96, and third was Rachel Johnson of Northridge in 14.07.
Curry won the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:01.05 — her fastest this season. Sadie Hitchman of Clear Fork was second in 1:01.73, and VanDervort was third in 1:01.98.
“A huge gust of wind hit me in the face,” said Curry. “I thought I was going to fall over, but this still was my fastest race of the year.”
Curry’s third-place finish came in the 200-meter dash. Dana VanDervort of Northridge won the 200-meter dash in 27.68. Fredericktown’s Tayler Carpenter was second in 28.09, and Curry finished in 28.35.
The Northridge team of Kelly Stafford, Rachel Johnson, Kaela Hatfield and Danielle Hume won the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 53.10.
“We were pumped,” said Hume. “We had some really good handoffs tonight, and we all ran our best times of the season.”
Clear Fork was second in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 53.45, and Mount Vernon was third in 53.59.
Clear Fork’s team of Martha Staab, Hannah Johnson, Torri Freeman and Deanna McClain picked up a win in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:51.79.
“We had a lot of adrenaline helping us,” said McClain. “We never held back, and we all set personal records today.”
Northridge was second in the 4x200 with a time of 1:52.46, and Mount Vernon was third with a time of 1:52.58.
The night steadily became more windy as the meet progressed. By the time the girls’ 3,200-meter run was under way, strong gusts of wind whipped around Yellow Jacket Stadium, and into the faces of the runners.
“That’s it Sarah, lean forward, lean into it,” shouted Pat Gray, Mount Vernon’s girls’ track coach. He was shouting to Sarah Baker, who had been leading the entire race.
“Holy cow, this is horrible to run in,” Gray shouted as a burst of wind knocked him back a step. “Lean forward, Sarah, lean forward.”
Baker took her coach’s advice, and leaned forward.
“It helps their balance,” Gray said.
Baker led all eight laps of the race, and won with a time of 11:59.73, almost 25 seconds slower than her seeded time.
“Pushing through that wind was so hard,” said Baker. “When I ran around the corner, it felt like I was running into a brick wall.”
Clear Fork’s Erika Garn placed second in the 3,200-meter run, with a time of 12:03.01. Stephanie Loshbaugh, of Johnstown, finished third in 12:21.99.
Baker also faired well in the 1,600-meter run — she was second in 5:27.20. She was less than two seconds behind her teammate, Celia Leonard.
“I tried to catch her in the last 100-meters,” said Baker. “But she had a faster kick than me.”
Leonard won with a time of 5:25.97.
“I came in ranked first, so I took the lead right away,” said Leonard. “I like to take the first lap fast. This wasn’t my fastest time of the year, but I’m happy.”
Leonard’s goal is to run a 5:00 mile by the end of the season.
Mount Vernon’s Sarah Fowler placed third in the race with a time of 5:30.68.
Leonard collected another win during the 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2:26.58. Rachel McKinley, of Clear Fork, was second in 2:26.88, and Leonard’s sister, Zoe, finished third in 2:29.96.
The Mount Vernon team of Baker, Celia Leonard, Zoe Leonard and Noella Nzishura won the 4x800-meter relay in a time of 10:03.43 — three seconds faster than their qualifying time. Clear Fork was second in 10:25.72, and Johnstown was third in 10:39.59.
Mount Vernon won the final event of the night — the 4x400-meter relay. Celia Leonard, Tate Devlin, Shelhorn and Curry combined for a time of 4:14.43. Northridge was second in 4:18.19, and Clear Fork was third in 4:19.28
The Mount Vernon squad was quite pleased with the outcome of the night. If team scores would have been kept throughout the night, the Yellow Jackets would have doubled the second place team’s score.
“Tonight was for the kids,” said Gray. “We let them pick what events they wanted to run, so they could have fun in front of their home crowd for the last time this season.”
With Shelhorn and Curry on the same team, Mount Vernon is hoping to do well in the coming weeks. They will be competing at their conference meet next week, then the district meet the week after.