Girls track and field: St. Viator, Carmel have top sectional performances
St. Viator junior Mary Grace Hegberg finished the 1,600 meters not expecting to hear that she had recorded a great time.
"I thought I was off my splits and way over 5 (minutes)," Hegberg said. "The last 400 felt so great I just went for it. My time was a shock to me."
Hegberg blazed through in 4:56.91, a personal-best and won the 1,600 by more than a minute Wednesday at the Class 2A Carmel Girls Track and Field Sectional at Baker Stadium.
Hegberg dominated the two distance races to qualify for next week's state meet at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Stadium in Charleston. The Lions also will send sophomore sprinter Emmi Scales in the 100 and 200.
Carmel, which finished second in the team standings with 95 points, qualified in all four relays and will send Hannah Arends (800), Maddie Ives (800) and Grace Hartzer (3,200, 1,600) in individual events.
Marian Central won the team title with 107 points. St. Viator was third at 59.
Hegberg still is a novice at the 3,200, but won that race in 10:34.96, another personal-best time.
"I was just really hoping to get a good time and be sure I got a top seed," Hegberg said. "It's hard to pace when you're by yourself. I've barely ran the 3,200, I've run the 800 this year. I'm just learning. Every (3,200) race is a little bit more of a learning experience. It was a run race."
Scales was happy with her performance in taking seconds to Marian senior Dominique Thomas in the 100 and 200.
"My first event was the long jump and I got third (and did not qualify)," Scales said. "I was upset about that, of course, but then I was like, 'OK, I still have two more events.' I PR'd in both, it was really good. My goal is to stay with (Thomas). Honestly, she's where I want to be."
Carmel's Mollie Gibbons, Alyssa Coe, Arends and Ives won the 4x800. Arends nudged out Ives in the 800 as they finished 1-2.
The Corsairs will send Jordi Landry, Nora Christenson, Sophie Puszynski and Anna Kegel in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Christenson, Landry Puszynski and Carly Sasman won the 4x400.
"I didn't come expecting that," Arends said. "I was hoping for it, but just came to do what I could and I'm really excited about going to state. This is my first time going and it's a nice end to my senior year.
"This is our last meet at Carmel. It's a nice goodbye to Baker Stadium."
Ives has overcame celiac, an autoimmune disease, from her sophomore year that left her exhausted during the 2019 cross country season.
"After the second time I collapsed, I was diagnosed with this," Ives said. "You can't eat gluten. I've improved so much since then. I'm really excited to see what I can do next year too because I'm a junior."
Ives was a little nervous to start the 4x800, but her mind was put at ease by the time she ran the anchor leg.
"Alyssa (Coe) and Hannah (Arends) went out like berserker, so that really helped," Ives said. "I've never gone with a relay."