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Monarchs claim 3A regional title in Beloit

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' track and field team won its third straight Class 3A regional championship Friday at Beloit.

The Monarch girls had 10 individuals and one relay qualify for the state meet this weekend in Wichita, winning the regional with 84 points -- two better than second-place Cimarron.

"Our girls stepped up, and that is an understatement, I think," TMP coach Matt Dumler said.

Dumler admitted he was surprised the girls were able to win considering the competition they faced.

"We knew going in that it was a really tough regional," he said. "Ultimately, it ended up being the toughest when you look at the seedings for the state meet."

Junior Heather Ruder led the way for the Monarchs with first-place finishes in the 3,200-meter run (12:24.49), 1,600-meter run (5:34.36) and 800-meter run (2:24.66), and she was a member of the first-place 3,200-meter relay (10:03.81), also made up of junior Annie Mindrup, sophomore Kayla Walker and junior Allison Pfeifer.

Pfeifer also finished third in the 1,600 in 5:42.29.

Junior Megan Gottschalk and senior Emilie Taylor finished second and third in the pole vault with marks of 9 feet, 6 inches.

Seniors Jenna Lang and Rachel Jacobs qualified in the javelin. Each threw personal bests, as Lang got second with 120-5 and Jacobs was fourth with 113-0.

Sophomore Mikaela Flax finished third in the 300-meter hurdles in 47.15, and sophomore Samantha Younie placed fourth in the triple jump with 33-7.75.

"We want to give (defending 3A champion) Rossville a run," Dumler said about his team's goal for the state meet. "They've kind of been the team to beat the last couple of years, and rightfully so, they are very good. We want to give them everything we've got and let the chips fall where they may."

On the boys' side, junior Rodney Gracas de Deus was the lone qualifier, finishing third in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in 10.94 seconds and 22.15 seconds, respectively.

Top area finishes

Norton sophomore Bailey Ambrosier won the pole vault with a leap of 10 feet -- the best mark from a 3A regional.

Norton juniors Teslee Nickell and Alec Melvin finished first and second in the shot put with throws of 37-8.75 and 37-8, respectively -- the second- and third-best throws in their classification. Melvin also won the discus (113-6).

On the boys' side, Norton senior Bryan Henry posted a 49.89-second 400-meter dash -- the best at a 3A regional.

Norton senior Seth Antrim and sophomore Austin Hager went 1-2 in the pole vault with marks of 13-0.

Phillipsburg sophomore Grant Wickham won the triple jump with a mark of 43-6.75, edging Russell senior Nash Karst by less than an inch, and Phillipsburg junior Sean Newlan won the discus with a throw of 149-3.