As one of the few seniors on the talented and successful Whitefish Bay girls track team, Sara Coffey realizes what a good thing she's a part of right now.
Because the Blue Dukes built off their titles in their own Lois Wolf Invitational and the WTFA State Indoor last week by claiming an impressive 10 events and repeating as North Shore Conference indoor champions at Milwaukee Lutheran on April 10.
"It's been really fun," said Coffey, who won both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. "We've all been working very hard since the end of the cross country season (last fall). It's so fun to see all this hard work pay off.
"We all ran like crazy last week and we did even better this week."
The Blue Dukes scored 144 points for their title in the eight-team field as Homestead won two events and took second with 115. Germantown was fourth with 59 and Nicolet sixth with 34.
Everyone steps up
When asked if he was happy with the performance, Bay coach Ben Van Male smiled broadly as if thinking to himself what a silly question and then said, "Of course."
"Everyone just stepped up and ran so well," he said. "Just very solid across the board. ... Everyone is working so hard."
And it showed up in Bay's depth of coverage, as the Blue Dukes won all three relays, (4x800 meters, four-lap and 4x400), all three distance events (800, 1,600 and 3,200) and all three sprint events (55 dash, 200 and 400).
Just for fun, French AFS student Amelia Maradas stunned the long jump field and claimed the event for the Blue Dukes with a leap of 15 feet, 8 inches.
It was just that kind of night for Bay.
Coffey is the "mother hen" of what Homestead distance coach Victor Vilar calls "one of the deepest distance teams" that he's ever seen, as she claimed the 1,600 in 5 minutes, 31.18 seconds and then took the 3,200 in 12:00.81.
The late-meet 3,200 race clinched the team title for the Blue Dukes, as Coffey got help from Hannah Lyons in second (12:01.26) and Alana Blegen in third (12:29.07).
Bay distance coach Mike Miller was so pleased with the effort that he got a photo of the trio together just after the race.
Dashing to wins
Another dominant showing was turned in by Blue Dukes sophomore sprinter Kaitlyn Jackson, as she won the 55 (7.73) and the 200 dashes (28.05) and also led off the victorious four-lap relay team that included Aly Yurkowitz, Rachel Schmidt and Katie Delany (1:29.88).
"I got off to a little bit of a late start this season because of basketball (she was a guard on the fine 18-7 Blue Dukes squad), so I needed a little bit of practice," said Jackson. "We're hoping to improve even more because we've been having so much fun so far."
Another keynote effort was turned in by long sprinter Grace Murray, who won the 400 (1:04.09) and led the 4x400 relay to victory in 4:25.96. Other members of that team were Mia Bauer, Madeline Yunker and Reilly Koch.
Freshman distance phenom Cami Davre is showing no signs of let-up, as she brought the 4x800 team that included Blegen, Nina Jankins and Claire Hentzen home to victory in 10:07.88 and then came back to claim the 800 in 2:22.83.
She got help in the 800 as Koch took second in 2:24.3.
It all added up to a great day for the Blue Dukes.
"This is the first one (meet) that we really aim for," said Jackson. "We've got a lot of talented new freshmen and sophomores and that's made it even more fun."
"Everyone is working hard, the sprinters, the distance runners, everyone," added Van Male. "Now we'll look for bigger and better things in the outdoor season."
Two wins for Highlanders
For Homestead, the Highlanders got a pair of wins as Elyssa Tracy set a school record in winning the pole vault at 10-6 and also claimed the 55 hurdles (9.38).
Monica Caputa also won the high jump at 5-1.
Taking seconds for the Highlanders were Mary Kate Simon in the 400 (1:04.54), Grace Karegeannes (28.22) and Caputa in the long jump.
Thirds went to Alex Burns in the 55 hurdles (10.02), Anna Kreynin in the 1,600 (5:38.02), the four-lap relay team of Leigh Berman, Tracy, Allison Fochs and Caputa (1:30.91); Mary Kate Simon in the 200 (28.69); the 4x400 relay team of Grace Karegeannes, Simon, Mikaela Hoard and Tori Puhl (4:35.13) and Nia Feaster in the long jump.
"I was proud of the effort, we had a lot of personal bests," said Highlanders coach John Krueger. "We did as much as we could do. We could only control what we could control.
"Overall, it's been a good indoor season with a lot of personal bests. We have a great group of upperclassmen who are using that experience to help the newcomers."
Nicolet was missing top performer Jnana Martin because of a school commitment, and its best finishes were fourths from its 4x800 relay team of Isabella Mahlik, Madeline Mauer, Katie Novak and Michelle Pigg (10:29.53), Katie Novak in the 1,600 (5:45.620 and from Anna Novak in the pole vault (8-6).
"I thought we had some good performances across the board," said coach Chad Melotte. "I thought we ended the indoor season on a high note."
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