Lady Hornets add regional track title to other trophies

Published 8:56 pm Monday, May 27, 2024

The Coal Grove Lady Hornets won their first-ever regional track championship as they took first place in the Division 3 regional track meet on Friday. The regional title is another trophiy for the team which has won 5 straight Ohio Valley Conference champinoships and 4 straight district titles. Team members are: top row from left to right Isabelle Wynn, Raelei Music, Mylie Moore, Rylie Myers, Kalli Vanderhoof, Klara Klaiber, Emma Lively, Regan Jiles, Lara Roach; middle row from left to right, Madison McDaniel, Olivia Kingrey, Laura Hamm, Olivia Newman and Kylie Montgomery; bottom row from left to right, Elizabeth McFann, Jayden Reyes, Alyssa Thibodaux and Alexis Best. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

HEATH — Track is more of an individual sport at tournament time. The Coal Grove Lady Hornets made it both an individual sport and a team event.

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The Lady Hornets qualified in eight events for the Division 3 state track meet but also came away with the team top prize in the process.

The Lady Hornets edged Colonel Crawford 62-to-61 to win their first regional track championship. A total of 42 schools were represented.

The top four finishers in each event qualified for the state meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

The meet came down to the final race of the day as Coal Grove’s 4×400 team of Alyssa Thibodaux, Olivia Kingrey, Kylie Montgomery and Laura Hamm took first place with a time of 4:03.33. Colonel Crawford ran a 4:03.46 and placed second.

“The girls knew what was at stake,” said Lady Hornets coach Aaron Hankins. “If we get first place, we win the regional. If we get second, we don’t. It was truly a refuse to lose effort that came wain our favor in the end. It was an overall team effort like it has been all season long.”

Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ Maddie McDaniel had a big day as she won one event, finished second in another and was part of a winning relay team.

McDaniel claimed first place in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.56 seconds with Jameson Pillifant of Columbus South runner-up at 46.02 seconds.

“That was a season-best performance in her 300 hurdles for McDaniel,” said Hankins. “(Montgomery) also had a great personal best in the 400 meter dash.”

McDaniel finished second to Pillifant in the preliminaries but won when it counted. Pillifant ran a 45.97 and McDaniel 47.04 in the prelims.

The Lady Hornets 4×200 relay team of Montgomery, Kingrey, Hamm and McDaniel took first place with a time of 1:43.52. Tuscarawas Valley was second at 1:45.17.

McDaniel was second in the 100-meter dash at 12.71 seconds. Payton Johnson of Peebles won with a time of 22.55.

Kingrey also qualified for the state meet as she placed fourth with a time of 12.86 seconds.

Montgomery ran her way to the state meet as she finished second in the 400 meters with a 57.75 time. Angela Williams of South Central won at 57.28 seconds.

Hamm gave Coal Grove another individual state qualifier as she placed second in the 800 meters with a 2:16.40 clocking as she was edged by Rachael Hoover of Fairbanks at 2:15.13.

Coal Grove’s Isabelle Wynn was sixth in the discus with a toss of 113-7.

Hankins praised the seniors — Kylie Montgomery, Laura Hamm, Olivia Kingrey, Madison McDaniel, Kylie Runnels, Olivia Newman, Alivia Noel — for their performances and leadership during their four-year careers.

“Those seniors did an incredible job of doing what they do to continue the success of our track program,” said Hankins.