Squaws qualify for nine spots at IWU
Bellmont returns all four relay runners from last season's state run. (archive photo)
ANDERSON—Efforts in qualifying events the past two Saturdays have resulted in the powerful Bellmont girls track team qualifying athletes for nine of the 11 events at the state indoor track event this coming Saturday at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.
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According to information provided by veteran track statistics guru Josh Heckert and BHS coach Carl Risch, Bellmont did not qualify girls in only the 3,200 meter run (in which they did not field an entry) and the shot put although Kenzie Funk came within a few inches of picking up a qualifying distance with a toss of 31'9.
There were 26 meets across Indiana that served as qualifying events for the state meet, the ninth such indoor event held in Indiana. Risch noted that some meets were just dual or triangular meets as opposed to the bigger meets that Bellmont entered like the qualifier at IPFW on March 2 and the Patriot Invitational hosted by Jay County at Anderson University last Saturday.
The top 24 distances or times in all the combined qualifiers will compete in the state indoor meet with Bellmont having two number two seeds and four number three seeds.
Risch said he believes the Squaws "have a chance to win" the 4 x 400 relay where they are seeded second with a time of 4:14.07 (at IPFW). They trail only number one seed Bishop Chatard of Indianapolis (4:12) and the BHS foursome includes Bailee and Holly Hankenson, Alexis Harvey, and Andrea Fruchte.
The other number two position is held by Harvey in the 55 meter dash. Harvey posted a 7.45 second clocking at IPFW and then shaved 0.07 off that at Anderson to trail only Symone Black of Fort Wayne Concordia.
In third position in the 1-A, 2-A, and 3-A school championship event on Saturday (schools in 4A and 5A will run at 8 a.m. while the smaller schools, including Bellmont, go at 2 p.m.) for the Squaws are Holly and Bailee Hankenson and the 4 x 800 relay team. Holly notched strong performances in the hurdles race (8.67 seconds) and in the long jump at 16"5 3/4 in the IPFW qualifier while her twin sister is tied for third in the high jump with a clearing leap of 5'1.
Both Hankensons will most certainly add more team points for the Squaws in the 4 x 800 relay as they will join Bailey Beery and Sarah Garner with a 10:19 time. West Lafayette, however, is a solid favorite in the race with a 9:51 qualifying result.
Several improvements were noted this past Saturday for the Squaws. Rachel Klingensmith added six inches to her March 2 pole vault jump to finish at 8'0 which ties her for sixth. Megan Schueler's 8'6 bar clearing at IPFW was good enough for fifth in that same event.