Three of the four Bellmont 1600 relay runner set season's bests, including a sizzling 59.7 leg by lead runner Alexis Harvey, as the Squaws held off a strong Carroll group for the victory Tuesday at the BHS oval, and they did it with the fastest recorded time in the history of the Squaws track program.
But it wasn't a record.
Harvey, the oldest member of the team as a sophomore, was joined by freshmen Emily Roman, Bailee Hankenson and Holly Hankenson as they ran a 4:08.6, obviously better than the 10-year-old record of 4:08.6, and the girls celebrated afterwards.
It seems that since the record set by Jennna Shaffer, Cassy Egley, Jenny Blythe and Margaret Reyling in 2001 was accomplished in a meet with an automatic timer, .24 of a second has to be added to a any hand-held time in establishing a new record.
"It doesn't officially beat the automatic time. I guess it ties our record," said veteran Bellmont coach Carl Risch, who was present the day the mark was established. Apparently, Risch has math deficiencies since the .24 added to the 4:08.6 clearly puts that time second to the old mark.
Risch, however, understands that there are a lot more great times ahead for this young foursome, who faced off with likely the best other squad in the NHC Tuesday as the Chargers ran a 4:10.4. "We're hoping that there are better times to come," said Risch. "The girls realized that they ran their best time of the season and tied the record. They didn't set the record."
Harvey, who rocked the field in the 100 and 200 with a pair of outstanding times (12.4 and 25.4), roared off the start and took the lead. She won round one with her 59.7 as she became the fourth girl in BHS history to run a leg under a minute, even with a .24 penalty. Roman yielded the lead by a couple of steps with a 1:05, a second off of her best time, but third-legger Bailee Hankenson quickly overcame that as she sprinted out in front along the first turn. She held a lead for twin sis Holly with a best time of 62.7, then the Bellmont points-leader pounded out a best 60.5 second finale for that best-ever foursome mark .... kinda.
"The girls are working well together. They showed great potential for dropping that time some more this season. Probably Carroll and Norwell will be the teams to beat in the 1600 relay next week at the NHC (at Carroll)."
The Squaws won five events Tuesday as they compiled 34 points to the 68 of Carroll and 65 of Columbia City. Holly Hankenson went 15.8 to win the 100 meter hurdles by nearly a second, then added a very strong 46.6 in the 300 sticks to win by over three seconds as she tied her best mark of the year, post timer.
"I'm proud of all the girls for competing hard and setting some season and personal bests," lauded Risch.
"May is here and it's time for the big meets and the big performances. The weather hasn't been too cooperative this spring, but the girls are still working hard and improving each and every meet."