Fine-tuning its way to the North Shore Conference outdoor meet that was just days away, the Whitefish Bay girls track team rested several key individuals and still had enough depth to overwhelm the field in the Grafton Invitational on May 16.
"It was a productive night," said Blue Duke coach Ben Van Male. "It was a cold night with the wind off the lake but the kids handled it well. We did a little fine-tuning for the sprinting corps and gave some kids in the distance group some last-chance opportunities (to earn a spot on the conference team)."
The North Shore Conference outdoor was Tuesday, May 20, at Homestead. Bay had won the league indoor, but slipped to a close third behind Homestead and Germantown at the relay meet on May 7.
Van Male said the team may be a little short-handed in the outdoor event, but he's confident that the Blue Dukes' depth will give the team a chance.
"It'll be a battle and should be fun," he said.
The WIAA regional will be Tuesday, May 27, with qualifiers advancing to the sectional at Sussex Hamilton on Friday, May 30.
Sprinter Kaitlyn Jackson was the star of the day for the Blue Dukes in Grafton as they scored 141 points to win the 10-school event as the host Blackhawks were a distant second with 95.
Jackson won the 100-meter dash (12.93 seconds) and then came back to claim the 200 (26.55). She also anchored Bay's ever-improving 4x200 relay team that included Grace Murray, Aly Yurkowitz and Katie Delany to an overwhelming victory in 1:46.55.
Murray was second to Jackson in the 200 (27.72).
Other wins for the Blue Dukes went to Amelia Maradas in the long jump (16 feet-31/2 inches) and the 4x100 relay team of Mia Bauer, Rachel Schmidt, Anna Bednarczyk and Madeline Yunker (53.54). Carina Schiro made it one-two in the long jump with a leap of 15 1/2.
Taking seconds were Elise Hall in the 800 (2:29.57); Jessica O'Neill in the 1,500 (5:17.38); Schiro in the 100 high hurdles (18.27); Yurkowitz in the pole vault (8-6); the 4x400 relay team of Bednarczyk, Yurkowitz, Yunker and Bauer (4:19.64); and the 4x800 relay of Elise Holtz, Sydney Wellenstein, Nina Jankins and Joise Rolfs (10:38.16).
Other finishes of note included the following: 100—Murray, fifth (13.93). 200—Delany, fifth (28.76); and Bednarczyk, sixth (tie 28.77), and Schmidt, sixth (tie 28.77). 1,500—Meghan Graham, fifth (5:25.07). 100 hurdles—Clancy Loebl, fourth (18.72). 300 low hurdles—Loebl, fourth (52.62). Triple jump—Genevieve Kohn, fourth (30-8).
Again, Van Male spoke of the team's depth.
"Everybody's improved so much (over the course of the season), we have definitely improved our depth across the board," he said.
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