Panthers continue SEC dominance

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


WASHINGTON ? There are three sure things in life: death, taxes and Mt. Pleasant track winning the Southeast Conference. The Panthers cruised to yet another double SEC title on Thursday night at Washington.

The boys? team won 14 of 19 events en route to their 12th title in the last 13 years. The Panther girls made it seven straight SEC championships.

The boys? team scored 178 points, finishing 101 points over second-place Washington (77). Fairfield scored 60 points. Ft. Madison had 43 points and Keokuk finished with 32.

Cody Mertens was a double-winner in the distance events. Mertens took first in the 3200-meter run, finishing in 9:52.54. He won the 1600-meter run in 4:43.66, edging Dalton Moyle?s second place time of 4:45.07.

Zach Beason won the discus throw with a hurl of 151-05. Tristan Dirth was right behind him in second, with a throw of 146-01. Keegan Rich and Rylan Seberg went one-two in the long jump, leaping 22-01.50 and 20-09.75 respectively. Sam Beatty took first in the high jump, leaping a 6-00.

Cole Burns won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.11 seconds, nipping Chase Lamm?s second-place time of 15.81 seconds. Lamm won the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the tape in 58.04 seconds.

Mt. Pleasant went one-two in the 80-meter run and the 200-meter dash. Kyle Vanderham won the 800 in 2:02.46, topping Seberg?s second-place time of 2:08.84. Beason won the 200-meter dash in 23.59 seconds, narrowly edging Rich?s time of 23.70 seconds. Seberg took the 100-meter dash, crossing the line in 11.85 seconds.

The Panthers won four relay events. The 4X800 team of Brody Bender, Dalton Moyle, Jonathan Ita and Vanderham won in 8:34.38. The shuttle hurdle squad of Rich, Lamm, Burns and Konnor Peterson took first in 58.63 seconds. The distance medley team of Tate Shull, Beason, Hoang Mai and Stukerjurgen won in 3:47.49, and the 4x400 team of Bender, Stukerjurgen, Ita and Vanderham won in 3:38.48.

The girls? team scored 144 points, winning the meet by 71 points. Washington scored 73 points. Keokuk scored 72. Fairfield finished with 66 and Ft. Madison scored 34.

Maggie Cristoforo was a double-winner on the day. She took the 400-meter hurdles in 1:07.62, and the 400-meter dash in 1:02.08. Taylor Murray was second in the dash, finishing in 1:03.25.

Lexie Magnani and Grace Bittle finished first and second respectively with throws of 38-06 and 35-04.50. Abby Ryon won the 3000-meter run, crossing the tape in 11:11.92. Serenity Keomanivong won the 100-meter dash, crossing in 16.44 seconds.

Two Panther girls? relay teams won SEC gold. The 4X800 squad of Cristoforo, Claire Holtkamp, Maggie Jennings and Murray took first in 10:28.82. The shuttel hurdle team of Maddie Williamson, Karsyn Lamm, Kalynn Batey and Keomanivong won in 1:09.58.

?Our girls performed well,? said Panther girls? head coach Tyler Kibbee about the win. ?We battled in tough spots and we dominated in others. We took care of each other and had a strong showing.?

The Mt. Pleasant track and field teams will now turn their attention towards the state qualifying meet on Thursday, March 10. That meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.