GIGI MILLER prepares to run the 55-meter dash preliminaries at Sunday’s State Meet. The Eagle junior set a school record in the finals and finished fourth. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 04, 2013HANOVER — The day ended on a tough note for the Kennett indoor track team, but that shouldn't dampen what was a spectacular day for the Eagles at the Division II State Meet on Sunday at Dartmouth College's Leverone Field House.
In the day's final event, the Kennett 4X200-meter relay team was seemingly poised to break its own school record, but the final two runners on the team, Gracie Ryan and Gigi Miller, both got mixed up with Oyster River runners near the exchange zone, putting a damper on the fine day.
"They certainly would've broken the record if they hadn't had those troubles," coach Bernie Livingston said. The school record was 1:54.96 and the girls finished in 1:55.07, despite the fact that Ryan was cutoff by an Oyster River runner moments before handing off to Miller, who then ran into a Bobcat runner who hadn't left the track after completing her leg. The Bobcats were not disqualified and finished fifth.
The Eagle team of Shelby Hill, Cassie Doucet, Ryan and Miller finished with a ninth place finish overall in the aforementioned 1:55.07.
However, that one moment couldn't take away from some stellar performances by the Eagles.
The top performer of the day was senior Mike Mason, who capped off his indoor track career in fine fashion, jumping to a second place finish overall in the long jump.
The Eagle star jumped an even 20 feet, a new personal best and a new indoor school record. Even more impressive, according to Livingston, was that he did it on his fifth jump of the day.
"That was awesome. He got two really high quality jumps in," Livingston said. "Obviously he did everything right. It was the perfect jump for him."
The other top performer for the Eagles was Miller, who competed in the 55-meter dash.
In the preliminary round, she ran to a time of 7.68 seconds, which placed her fifth overall and qualified her for the finals.
In the finals, she did one step better, finishing fourth overall in a time of 7.61 seconds, breaking the school record and setting her own personal best.
"She got two beautiful starts," Livingston said of his junior star.
While those were the only two Eagles to earn points on the day, there were a couple of other relay teams in action for the Eagles in Hanover.
The 4X400-meter relay team of Eliza Burke, Marissa Anderson, Maggie LaRoche and Sarah Hernandez ran to a 16th place finish in a time of 4:45.72, which was close to a school record.
The same four girls ran in the 4X800-meter relay and they did set a new school record, running to seventh overall in a time of 10:39.22, five seconds better than their previous time.
"That's the reason we were here for that event," Livingston said. "We wanted that."
Ryan, who was among a number of the Eagles who were not feeling their best on the day, also competed in the long jump and finished 11th with a best jump of 14 feet, 4.75 inches.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126