Squaws take 2nd at New Haven sectionals; Homestead tops

    NEW HAVEN—Six wins, including two new track sectional records, wasn't quite enough for Bellmont Tuesday night but the Carl Risch-led Squaws still qualified for 12 of the 16 events at next week's IHSAA regional at Wayne.
    After a strong showing in the NHC meet just over a week ago in which Bellmont won its first-ever NHC title, the Squaws finished second Tuesday night to NHC foe Homestead while the Wayne Generals were in third. Homestead also had six wins and scored 148 points while Bellmont tallied 119 to 89 for Wayne. Following the Generals were New Haven 64.5, Whitko 53, Columbia City 51.5, South Adams 49, Heritage 22, Canterbury 16, Bishop Luers 13, and Adams Central 6.
    Holly Hankenson continued her streak of collecting blue ribbons this year for the Squaws with three individual wins and she also keyed the BHS 4 x 800 relay team to a new New Haven sectional record as the Squaws finished at 9:56.46 to break a 2009 mark set by South Adams.
    In the relay, Hankenson blazed her way from the starting line to give Bellmont a comfortable lead just in the first 200 meters of her 800 meter split and then Bailey Beery, Emily Gunsett, and Emily Roman kept up the pace to set the new sectional standard.
    "That was something we really wanted (the 4 x 800 record) but it turned out to be more difficult than one would think because it was warm and windy out and we didn't have any other team really pushing us to run hard," noted Risch
    Hankenson was also responsible for the other new sectional mark as she was easily the class of the 300 low hurdles field going :45.01 (old record in 2005 was :45.18). The second place runner in the event, Wayne sophomore JeBria Green crossed the line in :47.83.
    The other two victories on the night for Hankenson were events which she has dominated all year, the 100 high hurdles and the long jump. Her :14.74 time in the hurdles is one of the best efforts this year in the state (the automatic qualifying time for the state finals is :15:09). The long jump event had Hankenson seeded first with a season best of 17'1 but she went 17'3 1/4 to nose out Whitko's Elaine Warner at 17'2 1/2.
    Beery was seeded second in both the 1600 and 3200 races but finished first in both for the Squaws, a feat that Risch said he was not surprised to see.