State Group 4 Relays
Going into Saturday's meet, we challenged the girls to do something that's never been done before in school history. They knew what was at stake and that three of them were going to quadruple. They knew that if things didn't go according to plan, then we would not run them in four races, but opportunities like this do not come up often. The previous weekend we traveled to Liberty University for a meet, and it was a tune up for this meet. Mostly everyone that went down on the trip tripled.
The DMR was the first event on the track, and the girls wanted to make a statement after seeing what some Kingsway girls ran in the open mile at the MIllrose trials on Wednesday. They did that and then some. Running a season best and US#1 time of 12:12.72, they not only broke the indoor record of 12:26.8,set in 2004, but also eclipsed the outdoor record of 12:21.87 set in 2014. Nikki Clifford got things started off right running the fastest 1200m split in school history at 3:39.9. Ali Cooke took care of the 400 leg running 60.1 which is her fastest 400 ever indoors. Kelsey Niglio was our 800m leg splitting 2:18.4 and freshman Megan Niglio dropped a huge pr splitting 5:13.4 which was over a 10 second pr. Not too bad for a girl that didn't break 6 min in middle school. While that was finishing the duo of Jill Strauss and Bella Kadar teamed up in the pole vault relay to place 3rd combining for 16'. The 4x200m relay was next on the track. They ran 1:53 in Virginia but was missing one of the legs that ran yesterday. Coach Misuraco(sprints coach), knew they were capable of running 1:50 and that may squeak in for 5th or 6th.They ran a season best time of 1:50.78 and placed 3rd out of the unseeded section. Maddie Van Haren(27.6), Jill Strauss(28.4), Erin St. John(27.8) and Ali Cooke(26.9)
The last three events were where things were going to get tricky. Things started off in the 4x800 with Kelsey Niglio(2:20.3), Kerry O'Day(2:25.7), Megan Niglio(2:27.0) and Nikki Clifford(2:28.7) running 9:41.87 to record the second win of the meet. The SMR was next and the girls knew that this was going to take an all-out effort to win. They had previously run 4:18 for a seed time on January 5th. What they ran left me and coach MIsuraco in disbelief once again. Kelsey led off in the 400 splitting 60.3. Maddie Van Haren split 27.1 which is #8 All Time indoors for 200m split. Ali Cooke equaled her indoor pr split of 26.5 and Nikki Clifford split 2:16.6 on the anchor to run 4:10.45. This was also a US#1 and broke the indoor school record of 4:11.93 set in 2012 and also broke the outdoor school record of 4:10.69 also set in 2012.
The meet ended with the 4x400m relay. Going into the last event we knew that RV was ready to run fast after posting a 4:04 at the Millrose trials on Wednesday. This was the fourth event for Nikki, Kelsey, and Ali. We asked them after the Sprint Med if they were all up for it and they were. Running a season best 4:07.10 to bring home their fourth victory of the day in a photo finish was the best way to end this meet. Kelsey 60.0, Ali 63.4, Kerry 64.1 and Nikki 59.5(#7 AT indoors) ended the best indoor meet I have ever been involved with as a coach.
We challenged these girls and they rose to face it head on. I couldn't be prouder of the way they handled every race and stuck to the plan. For this to be the first State Relay Championship in school history is remarkable and couldn't have happened to a better group of girls. Nikki kept telling me all week that she had a good feeling about this meet and she was certainly right. As we now get geared up for Sectionals and all the meets after that, I am excited to see what these girls will accomplish.