Squaws take second only to Warsaw at Turtle Town
BATTLING THROUGHâ€”Bellmontâ€™s Bailee Hankenson fights to stay ahead during the 400 Relay at AC. The Squaws earned second out of a tough contingency at the Turtle Town Invitational behind only Warsaw. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
CHURUBUSCO—The Bellmont girls track team won the war of blue ribbons Saturday at the Turtle Town Invitational but lost the points battle in finishing second to Warsaw in the Gold Division (larger schools) competition.
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Bellmont racked up nine first place finishes out of 16 events staged and amazingly enough had the top three point scorers among all participants on the day as both Holly Hankenson and Alexis Harvey recorded three individual wins and were both on a triumphant relay team for 32.5 individual points and Bailee Hankenson had two individual wins, one relay win, and a second place relay finish for 24.5 points.
Warsaw won the overall title with 135 points but had just four first place finishes at the annual Churubusco event. Bellmont coach Carl Risch said "they (Warsaw) had a lot of team depth and had lots of seconds and thirds. They had a strong team." Bellmont was missing several regulars on the team but still finished a solid second with 114.5 points.
No other team scored over 100 points in either the Gold or Black division. Columbia City was a distant third behind Warsaw and Bellmont with 75 followed by Leo 54, Angola 52, DeKalb 49, East Noble 42.5, West Noble 35, North Side 29, Wawasee 24, Heritage 8, and Lakeland 6.
Whitko won the small school division (Black) with 84 points followed by Churubusco 75, Woodlan 73, Fremont 69, Westview 58.5, Manchester 54, Canterbury 50, Culver 49, Central Noble 47.5, Garrett 13, and Prairie Heights 9.
The top two finishing teams in each division received trophies for their placement and while Bellmont didn't get the hardware they wanted, Risch said he was still pleased with the performance by the Squaws.
"It was a positive meet for our team. I give the girls a lot of credit for going out there and braving the cold conditions. We won nine events and that alone gave us 90 points, more than any school but Warsaw and then we had 14 season bests on a day that it should have been tough to get any," Risch lauded.
One of the main positives that Risch pointed out was that when Bellmont won an event, it was usually by a decisive and dominant margin.