by Tom Utescher
Winning all 11 races on the track – eight individual events and three relays – the girls of Germantown Friends assured themselves of a comfortable dual meet victory over visiting Westtown School, 89-57. Westtown performed well in the field events at last Tuesday’s gathering, outscoring the host Tigers by almost 30 points there, but Germantown was simply dominant in the footraces, sweeping the top three places in the 400, 800, 1600, and 3200-meter contests.
Three days earlier, some of the GFS girls had been down in Williamsburg, Va., competing in the annual Colonial Relays at the College of William and Mary. In the 4 x 800 relay, the Tiger foursome of juniors Brigit Andersson and Arielle Frank, sophomore Caitlin Harrity, and junior Taryn Milbourne placed third in 9:33.75, a time which head coach Rob Hewitt feels will meet the qualifying mark for the Penn Relays.
All four girls were in action again last Tuesday, but only Frank ran the 4 x 800, performing the second leg in a group that included senior Cece Dye (lead-off), and sophomores Ella Komita-Moussa (three) and Eliza MacNeal (anchor). They won with a time of 11 minutes, 19.6 seconds, while in the 4 x 400, a figure of 4:29.7 locked up first place for Dye, sophomore Sarah Walker, Frank, and Andersson.
In the 4 x 100, the line-up of Walker, Milbourne, sophomore Emma Wagner, and freshman Caroline Carabollo prevailed in 53.5 seconds.
In the individual events, Milbourne won both the 100 (13.5) and 200 (28.9), while Westtown actually had some of its best outcomes in the running events by taking second and third in each race. The teams finished in the same order in the 100-meter high hurdles, where the winner was GFS senior Emma Clark in 18.8 seconds. Clark also nailed first place in the 300 intermediate hurdles (52.9), and in this race her classmate Sarah Alden placed second (53.9).
In the 400, a victorious Andersson (1:03.2) was followed across the line by Frank (1:09.0) and Dye (1:10.1). Walker, the Tigers’ 800-meter ace, loped to victory in a leisurely 2:28.2, with second and third going to Harrity and her 10th-grade classmate Alice Wistar, who shared a time of 2:45.6.
The 1600 featured not one, but two sets of Tigers finishing in tandem. Coming in first and second were senior Allison Love (5:44.1) and freshman Griffin Kaulbach (5:44.2), and they were quickly followed by Walker in third (5:45.6) and Andersson in fourth (5:45.7).
It was Harrity and Wistar together once more in the 3200, ending up first and second, respectively, in 13:19.2 and 13:19.3. Love completed the GFS sweep, taking third in 13:47.5.
Over at the field events venue, it seemed like a different meet altogether. Westtown went one-two-three in the shot put, javelin, and discus, and only a third-place effort by GFS junior Alison Biester (13’1”) prevented a sweep by the visitors in the long jump. In addition, Westtown also took first and third in the triple jump, with the Tigers’ Wagner sandwiched in between as runner-up (29’6”).
Still, there were a few bright spots for the Tigers. Hurdle queen Clark won her third event of the day by clearing the pole vault bar at seven feet even. She was the only entrant, but still, her effort would’ve tied her for second in the boys’ meet that was being held at the same time.
Alden won the high jump for the Tigers at a height of 4’10”, and the versatile Milbourne rose to 4’8” to take third.
It was a sunny afternoon, but the wind gusting across the exposed GFS track quickly chilled anyone who didn’t bring a few layers of clothing. Special mention must be made of GFS assistant coach Kelsey “Popsicle” Rose, who endured the entire meet in just a T-shirt.
A new assistant on the GFS staff, LaTavia Thomas, brings some truly impressive credentials to Coulter Street. As part of a phenomenal West Catholic High School squad, Thomas won the state title in the 800 meters twice. She went on to star at LSU, where she was a 12-time collegiate All-American, winning NCAA championships in the open 800 meters and in the 4 x 400 relay. Now 25, Thomas competes as a member of the New Jersey/New York Track Club.