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Lafayette girls track and field team wins Northwest Invitational

By: Warren Mayes


Lafayette girls track team

The Lafayette girls track team won the Northwest Invitational with a solid team effort.
The Lancers scored 118 points. Francis Howell was a distant second with 78 points in the 13-team meet.
Coach Rick Voss said winning the meet was good for his squad.
“We were fourth down at the Festus meet two weeks ago and to win the JV and varsity meets at Northwest was a big confidence-booster for the girls,” Voss said.  “We always talk about competing with the athletes that are there and striving for [personal records]. The team points will take care of themselves if we take care of what we can control.  There is no defense in track and field.”
Voss said it’s been a tough spring for track teams.
“The season has been cold and wet,” Voss said. “We have had many indoor workouts and the team is not as far along as it could be.  But all teams around St. Louis have had the same weather.”
The Northwest meet was a good test for his Lancers, Voss said.
“Anytime you have teams like Eureka, Marquette and Hazelwood East, to name a few, in the field, it is competitive, ” Voss said. “Our expectations for this meet were to compete. With the bad weather and missing last week’s meet due to weather, the girls just need to compete. All that training and no competition make for long weeks.”
While Voss said his team turned in “some great performances,” no records were set for the meet or for Lafayette.
Several Lancers won their events.
In the 300 hurdles, senior Natalie White won in 49.8 seconds.
“Natalie has competed for four years as a varsity athlete,” Voss said. “She runs on our sprint relays and has been our No. 1 hurdler for the past couple years.  She had a great race but nowhere close to her best times. She will be fine as the season progresses and we will depend on her to be one of our leaders.”
Junior Elizabeth [Ellie] Schilling won pole vault at a height of 10 feet, 6 inches.
Schilling has had an impressive spring, Voss said.
“Ellie is having a breakout season,” Voss said. “The vault was on a borrowed pole.  She broke hers on a previous attempt at 10-6.  That was a PR for her.  Ellie also long jumps for us and runs on our sprint relays.”
Senior Marissa Gianino won the triple jump with a distance of 35.075 feet.
“Marissa is in her second season on the track and field team,” Voss said. “The 35-foot jump was not her best but she competed well for the conditions.  Marissa also runs on our sprint relays and is one of our leaders on the team.”
Junior Brittany Hawthorne won the discus with a toss of 102 feet.
“Brittany had a good day, but she was well off her PR in the discus,” Voss said. “She also is throwing the shot put for us this season.”
A Lancer who caught Voss’ eye in the meet was senior Mollie Rogan.
“Mollie is one of our distance runners who has been putting in a lot of miles,” Voss said. “She was third in the 1,500-meter run. She has been a leader for that group all season and someone we can always count on.”
While the field events were strong in the meet, Voss said this bunch of Lancers overall is talented.
“Our athletes and coaches take pride in being a complete team that scores in every event,” Voss said. “But through the first couple weeks of this season, the field events and hurdles have been strong for us.”
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