The main goal for Catholic Central High School’s girls 3,200 relay team on Tuesday was to chase down a personal record. They came up shy, but the Irish foursome settled for the next best thing.
Catholic Central’s relay team of Bridget Engel, Lauren Stannard, Sydney Yontz and Addie Engel won the district championship at the Division III meet at Milton-Union High School. Central received a spirited challenge from Cedarville during the first two legs before Yontz and Addie Engel pulled away during the final two legs.
“My mom told me we’re first in the seeding and it pumped us up to do our best,” Yontz said. “It doesn’t really make me nervous. It just pushes me.”
Catholic Central won in 10 minutes, 36.9 seconds. That’s 14.52 seconds off their personal best. The Irish are confident the can trim some time before next Wednesday’s D-III regional championships in Troy.
“I’m hoping they can put in a good effort. They’ve been shaving seconds off every meet,” Catholic Central coach John Derr said. “This meet was a little bit slower than their best time … but we’re expecting good things out of them.”
On Tuesday’s first leg, Central sophomore Bridget Engel passed Cedarville senior Audrey Waymire on the backstretch of their second and final lap. Engel handed the baton to Stannard, a sophomore, who battled with Cedarville junior Megan Coe. Coe gained some momentum for the Indians with a seven-second lead after two legs.
Yontz, a junior, started the third leg trailing Cedarville senior Kayla Helmick. Yontz reeled her in and passed Helmick in turn four on their final lap.
“I did the 400 most of the year,” Yontz said, “so I used my 400 strategy to stride it out on the straightaway and on the curve run fast and sprint it all in.”
Yontz passed the baton to Irish hammer Addie Engel, a sophomore distance standout in both track and cross country. Engel increased the lead over Cedarville freshman Elly Coe for an 18.49 second victory.
Cedarville, which posted the third-best time entering Tuesday, also qualified for regional with the runner-up finish.
“I have so much confidence in (Addie),” Stannard said. “The Cedarville girl passed me on the second lap and I knew as soon as she passed me, Sydney and Addie would be able to catch them. They’re just amazing people. … We have a lot of work to do, but we have so much team chemistry. It’s so fun to come to practice with all these girls every day.”
Catholic Central finished third at the district meet last season and 10th at regional.
“We’re thinking this year we’ll do better,” Stannard said. “We have a promising future and we’re just having fun with it every day.”