TRACK & FIELD: Saline Girls 2nd at Regiona, Send Large Contingent to State Meet

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Maddie Stern won the 1600 meter race on her final race day at Saline High School.

The Saline girls track and field team finished a strong second to Huron in the regional meet held Friday at Saline High School Friday.

The Hornets finished with 106 points, 15 back of first place Huron. Pioneer finished with 99.5 points.

Senior Madison Stern had a storybook ending to her racing career. In her final meet at Saline High School, Stern won the 1600 meter race.

Stern ran the race in a personal best 5:00.83 - nearly eight seconds faster than her previous best and more than two seconds faster than Cookie Baugh, who won the event a week earlier in the SEC Red meet. 

Stern didn't expect to win the race with Baugh and her Pioneer teammate Emily Cooper running strong all year. She instead hoped to qualify for the state meet by beating the standard instead of taking one of the top two places. But early in the race, something changed.

"I was told (by coaches) before the race that if I felt good, I need to make a move because it's windy, it's tough and all those girls was going for those top spots. I felt good. So I knew it was a battle between me and my mind, so I just had to push through," Stern said.

Stern held off a late charge from Baugh on the final straightaway.

"It was unreal. There's no way to describe it. It was crazy. I have no words. I'm speechless. It was a great feeling," Stern said.

Coach Eileen Creutz said Stern has made the mile her race this year. Still, it was a tough draw on a windy, hot day with her chance to go to the state meet on the line.

"Her race instincts kicked in. She felt the race slow and she wasn't going to get stuck in third without the state qualifier, so she made that race happen," Creutz said. "She's got a lot of strength and got a lot of room for improvement in that event. It was exciting to see her fall into that confidence of her training and really go for it."

Stern also qualified for the state meet with her 4x800 relay team and 4x400 relay team.

It was a great day to be a sprinter with a stiff wind at your back.

Junior Jacquelin Kolano ran a personal best 12.68 to qualify for the regional final and then took seventh with a time of 12.69.

Mia Rogan ran the 800 in 2:16.72 to take third and qualify for the state meet. Madison Wood was fifth and Mackenzie Sellenraad was sixth. Aubrey Stager was 11th.

Lydia Alig ran the 1600-meter race in 5:21.02 to take fifth, Claire Endress finished sixth in 5:28.44.

A couple of freshmen led the way for Saline in the 3200. Abigail Roth finished third in 11:39.44. Grace Roth was fifth in 11:45.35. Elaina Alig was 6th in 11:46.9.

Senior Alena Miklosovic was fourth in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 15.78 seconds. She was 13th in the 300 hurdles.

Carly Rittenhouse carries the baton in the 4x100 relay.

Kolano, Nicole Warren, Jordan Wickham and Carly Rittenhouse qualified for the state meet in the 4x100 relay by taking second in 50:01.

The 4x200 team of Wickham, Kolano, Warren and Mia Rogan finished third but qualified with a time of 1:46.32. The 4x400 relay team of Stern, Mackenzie Sellenraad, Rogan and Lydia Alig finished fourth and qualified with a time of 4:06.84.

In the field, Caremn Lauchu threw 92 feet to take eighth in discus.

In the high jump, Alivia Burlingame and Tess Sanderson cleared 4'8 to finish tied for fifth.

Nicole Warren leaped 16'8 to take second in long jump and qualify for the state meet. Emma Grill was sixth with a jump of 15'5.5.

Junior Jacki Kolano cleared 11'3 to take second and qualify for the state meet in pole vault. Ashton Davis was sixth, clearing 9;3.

Kolano qualified for the state meet in three events.

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