FRANKLIN — It will be a small, but potent contingent from Columbus heading to the Girls Track and Field State Finals.
Columbus North qualified its 4×800-meter relay team, and all four of the girls from that unit qualified in individual events from Tuesday’s Franklin Regional, leading the Bull Dogs to a fourth-place overall finish as a team.
Sophomore Carys Glyn-Jones and seniors Julia Kiesler, Julie Klaus and Lily Baker kicked off the meet by winning the 4×800-meter relay in a regional-record 9 minutes, 13.76 seconds.
“I think we did amazing,” Kiesler said. “We just pulled together a really strong team, and everyone of us worked really hard tonight.”
The Bull Dogs broke the regional record they set last year in the 4×800. Baker and Klaus return from that team.
“I knew we’d make in in the 4×800,” Baker said. “It was just a matter of what our time would be. I think we went out, and we ran great. Coach (Rick Sluder) wanted us to hit 65 in our 400, and I think we all did a great job of doing that.”
Baker came back to win the 1,600 in 4:59.94 and finish second in 800 in 2:14.78.
“I had higher expectations for myself in the 1,600. But it was nothing to complain about,” Baker said. “Then the 800, it was just a survive-and-advance moment. I was pretty tired, but I had to kick it in the last 300 and see what I could do.”
Kiesler won the 3,200 in a regional-record 10:31.90.
“I was pretty comfortable,” Kiesler said. “It’s getting warmer, which is good for me. I do well when it’s warmer. I was really trying to push myself because it’s kind of hard to run by yourself sometimes. I know I’ll be running with people at the state meet, so I just pretended someone was right on my shoulder the whole time.”
Glyn-Jones, who is running varsity for the first time this spring, finished third in the 800 in 2:16.17. She will be making her first trip to the state finals.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Glyn-Jones said. “I’ve never done that before, so I’m just real excited in general.”
Klaus finished fourth in the 3,200 (11:14.10), but earned a call-back to the state meet. After the top three in each of the eight regionals earn automatic state berths, the next-best three performances from around the state qualify, and Klaus was the third of those call-backs.
Kyleigh Wolf placed fourth in the 1,600 (5:17.86). Also for the Bull Dogs, Moana Steele finished sixth in the shot put (38-5 1/2), Lana Wisler took eighth in the high jump (4-10) and Mariame Niang was 12th in the pole vault (8-6). North placed seventh in the 4×400 relay (4:08.99), and Natalie Ho, Mariana DeLuca, Maggie Russell and Ava Collier were 10th in the 4×100 relay (51.70).
Columbus East’s top finisher was Emma Gray, who placed fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.07). She also was 10th in the 100 hurdles (16.90).
East’s Megan Tracy finished ninth in the discus (109-10) and 12th in the shot (33-11 1/2). Gabbie Meier took 10th in the long jump (15-6 1/2), and Taylor Scott was 11th in the 100 (12.96).
Gray, Makenzie Cheek, Carsyn Schlehuser and Taylor Scott finished ninth in the 4×100 relay (51.76). Carly Otte, Amelia Fay, Morgan Scott and Chloe Krueger took 11th in the 4×800 relay (10:33.36). Sophie Glick, Morgan Scott, Gray and Taylor Scott were 12th in the 4×400 relay (4:18.72).
South Decatur’s Brayley Sundal, Clair Schoettmer, Hope Barker and Zoe Meer finished 15th in the 4×100 relay (53.48).