After day one of the conference track meet, the Springfield Wildcats girls team sat in seventh place in the National Division. And Wildcats coach Anthony Moss couldn’t have been happier.
It’s not easy competing in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, one of the state’s top collection of teams.
In recent seasons the Wildcats have seen their share of struggles. Springfield scored 25 points at last year’s division meet. They posted 48 points on Wednesday with two events remaining (the 800 and 3,200 will be run on Friday) and qualified three athletes into Friday’s GWOC championship meet.
Junior Camryn Rakestraw highlighted the afternoon by winning the National Division high jump at 4-11. That’s well below her personal best of 5-3, but a win is a win.
“One of the things about Camryn is she’s a competitor,” Moss said. “She’s had some injuries but as a freshman she was jumping 5-1. She’s had some nagging injuries with her ankle and that’s what’s hindered her the last couple years. … She should be able to make it regionals. She’ll have to go about 5-7 to get out of regionals.”
Rakestraw and senior Tiffany Moss both advanced to Friday’s championship meet.
Moss finished third in both the 100-meter hurdles and the long jump to advance. The top finisher from the American Division and National Division automatically qualified to Friday. The remaining six spots were filled by the best at-large times regardless of division.
Springfield had five different girls place in individual events at the division meet and had three relay teams also score points.
In addition to her hurdles and long jump efforts, Moss finished seventh in the 100.
Senior Takoya Massey finished sixth in the 100 and sixth in the 200. Freshman Amaya Barnes finished seventh in the 400. Freshman Lauren Tate finished sixth in the shot put and sophomore Shiloh Douglass was eighth. Douglass also finished fifth in the discus.
As for the relays, the 400 and 800 relays finished sixth and the 1,600 relay was seventh.
“The last couple years we haven’t scored many points. It’s been a tough meet for us,” Moss said. “Last year we scored eight points (in the championship meet) with Tiffany and Camryn. This year we’ve had girls place and we’ve had improvement across the board.
“I was just telling Lauren and Shiloh how happy I am with the performance we’ve had. We’re really starting to show we can compete. I look for them to do a little bit better in districts. I’m pretty excited.”
Springfield’s boys scored 65.5 points and sit in fourth place with those same two events remaining. The Wildcats’ lone National Division championship came with senior Austin Tyree in the 300 hurdles.