2014-05-28 / Sports

Lady Pioneers continue dominance in County track

Lerma sprints to top award

Marlette’s Haley Cross went a career-best 16’7.5” to win the girls long jump at the County Meet. 
Photo by Dale Ball Marlette’s Haley Cross went a career-best 16’7.5” to win the girls long jump at the County Meet. Photo by Dale Ball CROSWELL - It is no coincidence that when the Croswell-Lexington school board, or whoever was in on the decision, opted to leave the St. Clair Area League for the Thumb C Conference in 1998, that considerable success in most of the athletic programs began to blossom. It also does not hurt that Cros- Lex is now, by far, the largest school in Sanilac County.

Winning in the old TCC started to ignite more interest by students in competing in the programs. Success has followed from there, including the girls track program.

The Cros-Lex Pioneers girls team won their 15th straight County championship last Thursday at Pioneer Field. The Lady Pioneers put up 196 points to retain the girls crown in the 39th annual Sanilac County News Track & Field Meet. Also putting up good numbers were Sandusky and Marlette, which tied for second in the team standings with 98 points.

“It was real exciting for us,” explained C-L coach Lisa Shaw. “By the end of the meet, we had some of our best times of the season..... we had a lot of really good performances.,”

Individually, a showdown in the sprint events was looming between Cros-Lex’s Desiree Lerma and Marlette’s Keara Wilson. Lerma, a sophomore., won both head-to-head battles in the 100 and 200 and went on to earn two more gold medals to lay claim to the Purl Wark Award for Female Athlete of the Meet.

Just .02 off her season best time of 13.2. Lerma held off Wilson, the Red Raider senior, to win the 100 meter dash. Later, they met again in the 200 and Lerma held off Wilson, who had recently just started training in the event.

The other two golds for the Lady Pioneer sprint star came in the 400 meter dash and on the winning 4x200 relay, which set a season-best mark of 1:51.03. Lerma linked up with Ashley Fletcher, Abby Hope and Emily Rees in the relay, Her winning time of 1:01.66 was also a PR.

“Desiree started off the year really strong. She was a little injured towards the end, but in this last week, with the weather warming up, it helped heal that,” said Coach Shaw.

Shaw added that the head-to-head wins against Wilson were a must, but the addition of the 400 to her repertoire of events also helped out.

“This was only the second time she’s run the open quarter. So, that was nice for Des.”

Wilson, along with her three silvers, did add a gold medal in the 4x100 relay, teaming with Breanna Cooper, Angel Garant, and Renee Miller.

Cros-Lex also had a double-winner in freshman Calli Townsend, who took first in the 100 (17.62) and the 300 (50.4) meter hurdles. She also joined Fletcher, Rees, and Hope on the winning 4x400 relay (4:27.78)

The Lady Pioneers had individual gold medal efforts in three other events - junior Madison Phillips in the 800 (2:33.47), sophomore Miranda Cates in the 3200 (12:27.2) and Rees, a senior, in the pole vault (8-0). Cates, with a PR in the 3200, edged out Sandusky freshman Crystal Tovar.

An unheralded Lady Pioneer showed some great versatility, too, and won four medals. Breanna McEntee, a senior, was second to Townsend in the 100 hurdles, second in the pole vault, third in the long jump (PR 15-0), and ran a leg on the second place 4x100 relay team, replacing Lerma.

“She was a little down in the middle of season,” commented Shaw on McEntee’s strong meet. “I was pleased in her coming back so well. I had to place her in that 4x1 relay.... and she came on. It ‘s nice for her as a senior to end with those great performances.”

Miranda Cates, Megan Cates, Phillips, and Kylie Klaas turned in a season best time of 10:31.0 to win the 4x800 relay, just over two seconds in front of Sandusky.

The Lady Redskins of Sandusky picked up three gold medals, including two from freshman Jessica Kursinsky, who turned in a PR throw of 103’11” in the discus and went 33’10, another PR, in the shot put. Meanwhile, sophomore Madison Polewach ran to a personal best time of 5:48.23 to win the 1600 meter run.

There was one more PR established on Thursday. Sophomore Haley Cross of Marlette won the gold in the long jump with an effort of 16’7.5”

Brown City’s lone gold went to senior high jumper Kelly Wheeler, who cleared 4’10”.

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