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GIRLS DISTANCE PREVIEW!!

To start 2024, we’re previewing all 16 events heading into the track & field season. Performances listed reflect an athlete’s best mark on TFFRS from last season. We also have accompanying podcasts that can be heard on Apple or Spotify.

 

800 (6th returning medalists)

Nikki Southerland - 12 - Delta - 2nd at state, 2:05

Nola Somers Glenn - 12 - Bloomington North - 3rd at state, 2:11

Tori Jackson - 12 - Whiteland - 4th at state, 2:12

Summer Rempe - 12 - Noblesville - 6th at state, 2:12

Henny Schminke - 12 - West Lafayette - 7th at state, 2:13

Ciara Kepner - 11 - HSE - 9th at state, 2:14

 

Of note:

Olivia Howell -12 - Eastbrook - 2:15

Carys Glenn-Jones - 11 - Columbus North - 2:16

 

Secondary event:

Josefina Rastrelli - 12 - Warsaw - 2:14

Mallory Weller - 10 - Concordia - 2:16

 

Unlikely to race at state:

Ellie Barada - 10 - Bloomington South - 2:14

Addison Knoblauch - 12 - Homestead - 2:14

Olivia Cebalo - 11 - Carmel - 2:14

 

Freshman from the fall:

Anissa Lammie - HSE

 

Outlook: Delta senior Nicki Southerland is the clear favorite here; she was second at the state meet and currently holds the number three all-time performance, less than a second from Addy Wiley’s top mark. Based on last year’s times, Southerland is six seconds clear of the rest of the field. In the unlikely event that Southerland has a serious challenger, it would most likely be Bloomington North senior Nola Somers Glenn, the number two returner from last spring who also has a top 25 all-time mark. Glenn expanded her range with an All-State finish this cross country season. Six returning medalists makes this a deep event, especially with Southerland potentially threatening the record. Noblesville senior Summer Rempe and Hamilton Southeastern junior Ciara Kepner are returning scorers who could be on teams gunning for the overall title.

 

1600 (5 returning medalists)

Nikki Southerland - 12 - Delta - state champion, 4:43

Josefina Rastrelli - 12 - Warsaw - 2nd at state, 4:49

Julia Score - 10 - Chatard - 4th at state, 4:56

Sadie Foley - 10 - Carmel - 7th at state, 4:57

Mallory Weller - 10 - Concordia - 8th at state, 4:58

 

Of note:

Ava Jarrell - 11 - Pendleton Heights - 4:57

Ellia Hayes - 12 - Northview - 4:56

Taylor Hansen - 12 - Carroll - 5:02

 

Assembly of ambiguity:

Elizabeth Butler - 11 - HSE - 4:59

Maggie Powers - 12 - HSE - 5:00

Jessica Hegedus - 12 - Avon - 5:01

Mary Eubank - 12 - Penn - 5:01

Brooke Byvoets - 12 - Valparaiso - 5:03

Lauren Klem - 12 - Franklin - 5:04

 

Freshmen from the fall:

Whitney Anderson - Valparaiso

Alice Friesen - Huntington North

Lexi Kolbaum - Bloomington South

Alivia Lozier - Westfield

Krista Sytsma - Kankakee Valley

 

Outlook: Five returners from the podium, including three freshman last year, highlight the premiere distance event. Each of those five finished in the top 20 this fall at the state cross country meet as well. Southerland is a big-time favorite here and, like the 800, she ranks third all-time over this distance though not within reasonable proximity to setting a new record. Warsaw senior Josefina Rastrelli was the only competitor who attempted to challenge Southerland at the state meet, and that effort was rewarded with the 13th-best time in state history. Chatard sophomore Julia Score was fourth in this event and seventh in the 3200; given the landscape of the state it seems likely she would just go for both again. Carmel sophomore Sadie Foley and Concordia sophomore Mallory Weller could certainly improve upon last year’s finish, though they both could be needed on potential state championship 4x8s, an event that precedes the 1600. Cross country state champion Libby Dowty, a sophomore at Indian Creek, has very few performances over this distance from her freshman year but did run a 4:57 equivalent in mid-January.

 

3200 (5 returning medalists)

Addison Knoblauch - 12 - Homestead - 2nd at state, 10:12

Mary Eubank - 12 - Penn - 5th at state, 10:44 (at state)

Lexi Panning - 12 - Concordia - 6th at state, 10:45

Julia Score - 10 - Chatard - 7th at state, 10:32

Maggie Powers - 12 - HSE - 8th at state, 10:56

 

Of note:

Nikki Southerland - 12 - Delta - 10:14

Josefina Rastrelli - 12 - Warsaw - 10:45

Jessica Hegedus - 12 - Avon - 10:51

Liz Smith - 12 - Westfield - 10:56

Hadessah Austin - 12 - Seeger - 10:57 (at state)

 

Freshmen from the fall:

Whitney Anderson - Valparaiso

Alice Friesen - Huntington North

Lexi Kolbaum - Bloomington South

Alivia Lozier - Westfield

Krista Sytsma - Kankakee Valley

 

Don’t forget:

Libby Dowty - 10 - Indian Creek - 11:13

 

Outlook: This is another event with some all-time greats leagues ahead of the field but also much returning depth. Homestead senior Addison Knoblauch has the fifth best performance all-time from her 10:12 at the Carmel Showcase in 2023. Sutherland won this event as a sophomore and her 10:14 from that same race last spring ranks eighth ever, though it seems unlikely that she will be in a position to contend for a win here after the 1600 and 800. Dowty should be considered a contender here, especially after running 10:26 in her second race of the day at the Indiana Runner Indoor Opener, good for 16th all-time. Given returners and last year’s scorching temperature at the state finals, this could be a tougher event to earn a medal in 2024.

 

4x8

This is a very intriguing event with several teams capable of running faster than the 9:11.22 it took to win last spring, if those schools to decide to load up their relays with the best runners. Columbus North won this race last year but graduates three of those four. Carmel returns its fastest three from a second-place relay, and the Greyhounds won in 2021 in 9:11.77, the slowest winning time in the last decade. 

It will certainly take faster than that, perhaps challenging the 9:00 barrier, if each powerhouse program uses its best four. Noblesville has its quartet back from a fourth-place relay that includes star Summer Rempe who split 2:09.9 on the anchor for the Millers. Bloomington South finished just a half-step behind Carmel but the Panthers graduated their best runner, though they do have a good foundation of younger athletes to restock the relay. North Central was tenth with three of four back and should easily field a competitive squad, and Valparaiso has all four back from a ninth-place team and could add in a star freshman that finished fifth at the state cross country meet.

Two Fort Wayne schools vied for the state title this fall and could contend here. Concordia seems the less likely of the two, though the Cadets may decide to go all in here after narrowly missing a state championship in cross country. Weller and senior Lexi Panning are returning medalists who are clearly improving, but they are very unlikely to contend in their individual events. Homestead is more likely to go for it, and the Spartans have three back from last year with Knoblauch’s 2:10.5 the second fastest of any split in the race behind Rempe.

The highest potential here projects from Hamilton Southeastern. The Royals have three back from a seventh-place relay, and junior Ciara Kepner anchored in 2:15.2 before finishing ninth in the open 800. Junior Elizabeth Butler and senior Maggie Powers ran their individual events fresh last year, but each could conceivably give 2:15 carries based on previous 1600 times. Freshman Anissa Lammie, who ran under 56 seconds in the open 400 in junior high and raced competitively in cross country, could solidify the Royals as the team to beat.

 

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