Warsaw sophomore Samantha Alexander kicks up sand while competing in the long jump during Monday night's season opener against Penn and South Bend Washington. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw sophomore Samantha Alexander kicks up sand while competing in the long jump during Monday night's season opener against Penn and South Bend Washington. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Finally getting the weather to cooperate, the Warsaw girls track and field team took advantage Monday night.
Hosting No. 15 Penn and South Bend Washington at the Tiger Athletic Complex, the Warsaw Lady Tigers defeated Penn (85-47) and manhandled Washington (124-8).
“We saw a lot of positives tonight – from our experienced girls with leadership down to our new girls,” Warsaw coach Scott Erba said. “Two-thirds of our team has not competed at the high school level, so it was nice to get those girls out there to experience it. We made some errors tonight. There’s some things we did not do well that we’re going to be able to work on now.”
What Warsaw didn’t do well was far outweighed by what it did do well.
Winning 11 of 16 events, the Lady Tigers showed they have strong competitors in almost every event.
In the sprints, Ann Harvuot dominated the 100 with a time of 13.30 seconds and ran away from the field as the anchor of the 4x100 relay (Mariah Harter, Samantha Alexander, Audrey Rich), which won in 50.85.
However, in the 200, an event Harvuot has been the Northern Lakes Conference champion in the past two years, her teammate Audrey Rich nipped her, winning in 27.33, while Harvuot finished in 27.75.
“Audrey’s a strong runner who ran well last year,” Erba said. “I think it’s nice that Ann has that competition. They can play well off each other. Hopefully it will be iron sharpening iron and they get faster by working together and use it as a healthy competition.”
In the distance events, freshman Allison Miller carried over the success she had in cross country, winning the 3,200 in 11:31.91, while also anchoring the winning 4x800 relay (10:10.05) with Madeline Hooks, Alethia Burritt and Anna Craig.
In the hurdles events, Jackie Ferguson won the 100 (17.42) and 300 (48.43), while Claire Hickerson was the winner at pole vault, clearing 9-0.
Tennie Worrell also had an impressive start to 2014, winning the high jump with a leap of 4-10, the 400 (1:01.75) and also anchoring the winning 4x400 relay (4:14.54) of Nicole Eckert, Haley Peterson and Ferguson.
In the meet-closing 4x400 relay, Warsaw got off to a great start, but Penn’s second leg made an astonishing push, giving her team an approximate 20-meter lead.
However, Ferguson, running the third leg, put a dent in the Penn lead, then Worrell made up the remaining distance and actually ran away with the win.
“(Penn’s) second leg got a great split, going under 59 (seconds), which is impressive for this point in the year,” Erba said. “To have that gap, but to gradually ease our way back in and not panic really showed their experience and maturity. They did not go out too hard and trying to make it up in that first 100 meters, but using the whole 400.”
Most of the Warsaw wins were expected, but at high jump, Erba had his concerns but didn’t need to, as the team went 1, 2, 3, with Lenora Norman (4-8) finishing second, followed by Courtney Farling in third (4-8).
“I was really excited about our high jumps, because coming in, we had no experienced high jumpers,” he said. “To have some girls clear 4-8, 4-10 is very exciting.”
And even though there were no first-places finishes at discus or shot put, Erba was impressed with his girls, as Emily Bailey was second at discus (84-10) and Brooklyn Harrison finished second at shot (35-11).
“We have a lot of new throwers, with very little experience on varsity,” he said. “Those girls threw very well, in particular Emily Bailey, who PR’d by a lot in the discus.”
With an outdoor meet finally under their belts, as they had two scheduled for last week only to be moved or cancelled due to the weather, the Lady Tigers must now wait until April 15 for their next meet, a Northern Lakes Conference affair at NorthWood.

WARSAW 124, S.B. WASHINGTON 8; WARSAW 85, PENN 47; PENN 114, S.B. WASHINGTON 13
Discus – 1. Tongi Moala (P) 91-10, 2. Emily Bailey (War) 84-10, 3. Alexis Burket (P) 84-6; Pole Vault – 1. Claire Hickerson (War) 9-0, 2. Shannon Winslow (War) 7-6, 3. Audrey Rich (War) 7-6; High Jump – 1. Tennie Worrell (War) 4-10, 2. Lenora Norman (War) 4-8, 3. Courtney Farling (War) 4-8; Long Jump – 1. Mikaylah Woods (P) 16-4.5, 2. Samantha Alexander (War) 15-5.5, 3. Courtney Farling (War) 14-4.5; Shot Put – 1. Tongi Moala (P) 37-3, 2. Brooklyn Harrison (War) 35-11, 3. Alissa Richart (P) 34-7.5; 4x800 Relay – 1. Warsaw (Madeline Hooks, Alethia Burritt, Anna Craig, Allison Miller) 10:10.05, 2. Penn 10:52.31; 100 Hurdles – 1. Jackie Ferguson (War) 17.42, 2. Kelcy Bailey (P) 17.82, 3. Claire Hickerson (War) 18.59; 100 – 1. Ann Harvuot (War) 13.30, 2. Mariah Smith (Wash) 13.77, 3. Mariah Harter (War) 13.78; 1600 – 1. Maddie Woods (P) 5:15.85, 2. Danielle Frank (P) 5:23.19, 3. Emma Jankowski (P) 5:26.00; 4x100 Relay – 1. Warsaw (Mariah Harter, Samantha Alexander, Audrey Rich, Ann Harvuot) 50.85, 2. Penn 54.08; 400 – 1. Tennie Worrell (War) 1:01.75, 2. Maddie Kuiawski (P) 1:04.15, 3. Amani Hardrict (P) 1:04.83; 300 Hurdles – 1. Jackie Ferguson (War) 48.43, 2. Kelcy Bailey (P) 48.91, 3. Nicole Eckert (War) 48.92; 800 – 1. Ashleigh Macleod (P) 2:24.67, 2. Sarah Hamilton (P) 2:30.22, 3. Maddie Woods (P) 2:31.38; 200 – 1. Audrey Rich (War) 27.33, 2. Ann Harvuot (War) 27.75, 3. Mariah Smith (P) 28.37; 3200 – 1. Allison Miller (War) 11:31.91, 2. Anna Craig (War) 12:09.45, 3. Emma Hayward (War) 12:19.54; 4x400 Relay – 1. Warsaw (Nicole Eckert, Haley Peterson, Jackie Ferguson, Tennie Worrell) 4:14.54.