On Saturday, March 27, fifteen members of the DGS girls track & field team traveled to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington to compete in the Illinois Top Times meet. Those fifteen girls represented DGS in 10 of the 16 events competed. Depending on the event, only the top 12-25 girls in each event are invited to compete, so just getting the opportunity is quite an honor. Our Mustang athletes took advantage of that opportunity, recorded lots of great times, distances, and PR’s. Several records were also set in the process.
Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Sr) staged her own coming out party on Saturday. She won two different events and placed well in two others. Shaliyah started the day by dominating the prelim heats of both the 60m hurdles and the 60m dash. Her 60m hurdle time of 8.65 was the fastest time in Illinois this season and a new DGS indoor record. Her 60m dash time of 7.50 was not only a DGS indoor record, but a Top Times meet record and the #1 time in Illinois this year. These two races were run about 15 minutes, making the feat even more unbelievable. While Shaliyah ran slightly slower times in the finals of both events, they were still fast enough to win both events in impressive fashion.
Just as impressive was the performance of Michaela Hackbarth (Sr) in the 800m run. As the defending state champion, she will be the favorite in most races she runs this season, and it was especially obvious on Saturday. Michaela won the 800m in 2:12.26, winning her race by 4 seconds, setting the #1 time in Illinois, and breaking her own DGS indoor school record. Like Shaliyah before her, Michaela had a short turn around before she competed again in the 400m dash where she placed 6th overall in 58.82. Her 400m time was only 0.24 seconds away from the DGS record set by Olympic triple jump hopeful, Tori Franklin ’11.
Maddie Manganiello (So) placed 6th in the long jump with a jump of 17′ 11.5″. The springy sophomore set a PR and eclipsed the DGS F/S indoor record. She will have two more years to close in on Tori Franklin’s varsity record of 18′ 1″. Soren Umali (Jr) was the 2nd DGS athlete competing in the 60m hurdles. Soren’s prelim time of 9.11 was a PR and helped her earn a position in the finals and where she placed 6th overall.
Katie Stapleton (Jr) ran a good 3200m race in 11:11.64 to place 8th in the field of 15. Katie had already set the DGS indoor record by running 11:02 a couple of weeks prior. She will be looking to become the 3rd DGS athlete ever to break 11:00 once the outdoor season begins in earnest. Becky Versaskas (Fr) gained some valuable experience competing in the 800m and placing 8th in 2:19.60. Her time just missed the F/S indoor record of 2:19.52 set by former Missouri State athlete, Nicole Thate ’09. The talented and versatile freshman has proven to be extremely competitive in all 3 distances (800, 1600, and 3200).
The 4x800m relay team of Kelley Hackbarth (So), Maggie Seitz (Sr), Kara Petersen (Jr), and Gillian Thomas (So) held their own against a talented Top Times field, placing 11th overall with at time of 9:58.99. Three out of the 4 girls ran season best 800m splits. The 4x200m relay team placed 2nd in their heat and 7th overall. The sprint quartet of Umali, Nicole Muccianti (Jr), Arianna Finely (Sr), and Dixon-Tucker ran a season best time of 1:47.66 in doing so. Dixon-Tucker came back to win her heat of the open 200m dash in 25.61 and place 4th overall. Her time was a new DGS indoor school record, breaking the 25.64 mark set by former DGS head coach and Olympic athlete, Egle Staisiunaite ’07. The 4x400m relay team closed out the day by placing 4th overall with a season best time of 4:05.00. Lauren Wong (Sr) led off the relay, handing off to Sonja Renowden (Jr). Those two sprinters waited nearly 7 hours to compete before handing off to Becky Versaskas and Michaela Hackbarth to complete the relay and the meet.
It was an exciting meet to watch, especially with Mustang athletes in so many of the events. It was also a great conclusion to the indoor portion of the season and gives us outstanding momentum heading into the outdoor portion! #goMustangs