Record Repeat: Ali Bishel, Sarah Kehe, Kelly
Peller and Cassie Peller
combined efforts to repeat as state champions in
the 3,200 relay Friday
at the girls track and field championships in
(Photos by Geoffery Lambert)
By AP and JIMMY KISSEE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — For the second year in a row, Chesterton won the
3,200-meter relay in record time at the girls track and field state meet
held at Indiana University’s Robert Haugh Complex on Friday.
With three of the same runners, the Trojans came in at 9:09.50, almost two
seconds ahead of the former state record of 9:11.30 they set last year and a
comfortable nine seconds ahead of second-place Zionsville.
In the final competition of her brilliant high school career Cassie Peller
ran a blistering anchoring split of 2:11 to seal the deal for the Lady
Trojan foursome, which included Peller’s younger sister Kelly, along with
Sarah Kehe and Ali Bishel.
Peller went on to place fourth in the 1,600 (4:55.98), before scratching
herself out of the 800. Mary Ballinger added an eighth place finish in the
3,200 for the Lady Trojans, who finished ninth with 18 team points.
The IHSSA’s centennial celebration in track and field looked awfully
familiar, at least for the Fort Wayne Northrop girls.
Shauntel Elcock and Lakeesha Burnett finished 1-2 in the 400-meter run for
the second straight year, and Elcock repeated as the champion at 200 meters,
pushing the Bruins ahead of Fort Wayne Concordia for a record fifth straight
“This one feels great. I’ve never been this tired in my whole life, so I
know I ran really, really hard,” Elcock said. “And this is five in a row.
That’s like, wow, WOW!”
The IHSAA moved both meets from Indianapolis to Indiana University’s Robert
Haugh Complex. The move was part of its 100-year celebration commemorating
the first sanctioned state championship, which was held in track and field
in Bloomington in 1904. The girls meet has been contested only since 1974,
and Friday night’s 9-point victory over Concordia was Northrop’s sixth title
With victories in the 100, 1,600 and 400-relay, Concordia took the lead and
seemed primed to upset Northrop, which was hurt earlier when Jasmine Russell
was disqualified for a false start in the 100-hurdles.
But Russell came back to finish second in the 300-hurdles, pulling Northrop
within one point of Concordia. Then in the next event, the 200, Elcock won
again, and Burnett came in fourth as the Bruins took the lead for good.
“It really didn’t hit me during it,” Russell said of the false start
possibly costing Northrop the championship. “But afterwards, when it was
getting really close in the meet, I was like, yeah, that probably didn’t
help out the team.
“I was happy and relieved” after the Bruins clinched the title, she said.
Concordia’s last chance to win came in the 3,200, where Alissa McKaig was
fourth and Adele Mitchell, sixth. That cut Northrop’s lead to one going into
the final event, the 1,600-relay.
But Northrop already had clinched the championship because Concordia did not
have a team in the final relay and the Bruins placed second in that event,
finishing the meet with 90 points. Concordia was second at 81 points.
“In a track meet, little things can go wrong. A couple points here, a couple
points there,” McKaig said. “It really adds up when you’re going against
Northrop. They’re going to be on, and you’ve got to be on, too.
“And even though you know you can’t beat them, just to give them a run for
their money was awesome. That’s what we wanted to do,” she said.
Carmel was a distant third with 32 points. Carmel’s Marie Grabinski received
the IHSAA award for mental attitude.
Northrop’s first individual victory was by Tamara Adams in the 100-meter
hurdles. But the Bruins lost a chance to gain up to eight more points in
that event when Russell, who finished fourth last year, made a false start.
“I just moved forward,” she said. “I was hoping they didn’t catch me, but
everybody else went ahead of me, and I was just sitting there.”
Northrop made up for that in the next event, the 100-meter dash, when
Burnett and Zakiya Robinson finished third and fourth, adding 13 points to
their team total and putting them temporarily into the lead.
It didn’t last long.
Joy Eloms of Concordia won the 100 in 11.97 seconds, less than a 10th of a
second ahead of Jeanne Roberts of Lawrence Central. Then in the 1,600, a
first by McKaig and fifth by Mitchell put Concordia into the lead.
Eloms also ran on Concordia’s winning 400-relay team, and Amber Williams
contributed thirds in both hurdles events and in the 200.
Another repeat champion was Lawrence North’s Temeka Kincy in the 800. She
couldn’t match her state record of 2:09.82 she set last year but still won
Another record was set in the pole vault, although that is still a
non-scoring event in just its second year of competition. Katie Veith of
Homestead won the vault at 12 feet, 6 inches, breaking the record of 11-10
1/4 set by Tori Allen of Lawrence Central last year.