Hamilton dashes by competition, SJO wins track sectional

Amassing 139 points, just five more than runner-up Salt Fork, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls track program earned their first post-pandemic sectional championship title last Wednesday.

It was a spectacular evening for two-time state Long Jump champion Atleigh Hamilton, who led the Spartans with three individual titles. The senior gave gold medal performances in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Later, she broke a long-standing school record of 59.2 in the 400-meter dash.

Hamilton also qualified for this week's state meet on Thursday in her signature event the long jump. The Illinois State University signee finished in second place behind Salt Fork's Gracie Jessup with her best attempt at 5.25 meters.

Meanwhile, Abby Behrens cleared 1.52 meters to win the High Jump competition. Teammate Macy Reed-Thompson finished third to help SJO rise to the top in the 14-team meet.

The Spartans also swept all three relay events.

Kailyn Ingram, Helene Jones, Malorie Sarnecki and Ashlyn Lannert combined for a time of 10:27.70 in the 4x800 Meter Relay besting squads from Urbana University High School (2nd), Clifton Central (3rd) and Milford.

The Spartans faced stiffer competition from Bismarck-Henning-Rossville and Uni High in the 4x200 Meter Relay. The SJO foursome of Payton Carter, Raegan Crippen, Grace Schmitz, and Hope Rajlich finished less than a second ahead of the Blue Devils with their time of 1:51.47. Uni High finished third at 1:55.59.

To close out the meet, Lannert, Ingram and Jones from the four-by-eight, along with Rajlich from the 200-Meter Relay squad punched their ticket to state with a 4:15.17 finishing ahead of Uni High and BHR.

Also turning in top-three finishes were Raegan Crippen, who finished third in the Triple Jump, Ava Knap clocked in at second place in the 1600 meter run

Grace Schmitz and Payton Carter finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the Pole Vault