The 2022 Track season is underway for the Festus Tigers. The Girls Varsity team competed at the Notre Dame “Frozen” Invitational this past weekend on Saturday, March 19th. The Tigers showed up and showed out with their 105 team point performance, earning them an excellent second-place finish out of 18 teams.
It’s always difficult to gauge a team’s potential before facing actual competition. However, with one meet under their belt, Head Coach Wesley Armbruster is excited about the season. He said, “The coaching staff is really pleased with where all of our event groups are at the beginning of the season. We saw several personal records in the throwing events and some near personal records in all other events. All of this was done in less than ideal conditions. These early-season marks are a testament to the commitment of our athletes this winter and a sign of more good things to come.”
There was certainly some stand-out performances from this team, including from returning All-State athlete Kayla Roberts-Day, who tossed the shot 10.61 m to win the Shot Put event. She blew away her best throw from last year of 7.79 m. Said Coach Armbruster, “Her commitment to her craft and work in the weight room is really paying off!”
Sectional qualifier Ciara McDonald also won her throwing event, the Javelin. She set a new personal record of 33.28 m to win the day. She also threw a personal best in the Discus with a throw of 29.29 m, earning her the Bronze Medal. “Fueled with confidence this season, we expect a lot more PR’s from our Sophomore,” said Armbruster.
Rylie Moore and Riley Connors also had excellent throwing performances. In her first Varsity meet, Connors set a personal record with a 25.76 m javelin toss. Freshman Moore took fifth place with a 29.02 throw in the event.
There were also a few multi-event stand-outs. Ella Shy, a returning All-State athlete cleared 9’9″ in the Pole Vault, earning her a Silver Medal in the event. This was miles ahead of her 7’6” performance in the same event last year. She also won the 100 m hurdles even with a 17.13 time.
Finishing third in the Pole Vault was Sophie Nolen. She tied her second-best career jump with 9’, a full foot better than her performance from last year. Also, amidst a group of tough competitors, Nolen took ninth in the Long Jump.
The sprinters also had a big impact on the team’s point total, including having individual scorers in every event, including the relays. The 4×100 m team of My’Kaila Batee, Mikayla DeClue, Olivia Gillam and Kinsey Benack won the Gold Medal, finishing in 53.45 seconds. Teaming up with Angela Bloodworth and Presley Perry, Batee and DeClue joined them in the 4×200 m Relay, where they finished in fourth. Batee, Perry, DeClue and Bloodworth all then added to the relay scoring with a seventh-place finish in the 4×400 m event.
Injured early last season, the team is excited to have Benack back at full health. She took seventh in the 100 m and fourth in the 200 m sprint. These were near her personal best. Armbruster noted, “Kinsey’s presence will pay dividends to the young and talented Tiger sprint squad.”
Festus also had some excellent showings from their distance runners. Allison Faerber and Ava Leftwich finished in fifth and sixth place respectively, in the 1600 m run. They did this having just competed in the Distance Medley with Alyssa Collins and Jeannie Thornborrow, earning a fourth place finish.
In the 3200 m, Madison Caskanett finished in seventh. Just behind her was Thornborrow who barely missed the scoring in the event. Pleased with the outcome, Armbrusted commented, “This was another testament to a great offseason!”
The Tiger Track and Field stars have yet to shine their brightest, but they will certainly be given that opportunity many more times this season. If the team can remain healthy, there’s no reason why the Tigers can’t bring home many more Gold Medals.