BLOOMINGTON — While the Urbana High School girls track team defended its title as expected on Monday, Ellie Weltha, Brooke Misukonis, Lydia Spychalla and Anita Calvacante made sure Intercity individuals didn’t leave the Big 12 Conference Indoor Meet at Shirk Center empty handed.
Urbana scored 97 points followed by Normal West with 77.5. Bloomington was fourth (60) and Normal Community sixth (46.5)
An Illinois State softball recruit, Bloomington’s Weltha threw the shot put 44 feet, 11 inches to win for the fourth consecutive year. Teammate Kelise Johnson was second at 39-6.
Weltha also had marks of 44-8 and 42-10½. She narrowly missed her 2017 meet record of 45-0½. Her season best is 45-5½.
“It feels really good (to have two 44s), especially this early in the season,” Weltha said. “Right now we’re just focusing on getting form in and practicing as much as we can with softball and everything. I haven’t thrown under 40 yet.
“I have a great coach (in Don Anderson). Some of these kids don’t even have coaches. I’m excited to see what the rest of the season holds. Forty-seven feet is probably the most realistic goal and hopefully a state championship along with a team trophy.”
A Murray State recruit, Misukonis of BHS won the pole vault at 11-4, which is a state-leading mark in Class 3A. The 2017 state runner-up went out at 11-8.
“I’ve been doing a lot more reps at practice,” said Misukonis, who was happy to improve on her season best of 11-0. “I’m looking at 12-6 as my goal.”
Normal West’s Spychalla, the top-seeded triple jumper, defended her title with a mark of 35-11, which was five inches shy of her recently set indoor school record.
“It was not quite as good as last Saturday, but after the 200, that’s what I could do,” she said. “I’m happy it was as good as it was.”
Spychalla also placed third in the long jump at 16-4 and tied for fifth in the high jump (4-8).
In the 800, returning state qualifier Cavalcante of NCHS won in 2 minutes, 32.06 seconds to edge Normal West’s Tess Birlingmair by two hundredths of a second. A sophomore, Cavalcante had run a 2:32 split earlier in the 3,200 relay.
“I started running the 100 as a seventh grader and I just went up (in distance) as the years passed by,” said Cavalcante, whose goal is 2:15. “I’ve been working really hard for that.”
Normal West regained the 3,200 relay title it last won in 2014. Stopping the clock in 10:20.43 were Mackenzie Piazza (2:40.1), Grace Gallagher (2:35.9), Mara Smith (2:34.1) and Birlingmair (2:30.2). The Wildcats never trailed after Gallagher’s leg.
“My team has been working really hard so I wanted to do what I could for my team,” Birlingmair said. “I think (10:20.43) is great for this early in the season. I think we can get under 10 minutes real soon.”
Other area runners-up included Bailey McGill of BHS in the 60 (8.04), NCHS in the 800 relay (1:54.00) and West in the 1,600 relay (4:29.33).
The star of the meet was Danville’s Ameia Wilson, who set meet records in the 200 (25.56) and long jump (18-8¾) and won the 60 (7.61).