The fact that the Dalton State women's track team only consists of seven distance runners did not stop them from making a solid showing at the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship Meet in Mobile, Alabama. They were able to score 99 points and finish fourth.
Leading the way was senior Nayeli Jacobo
who finished with three medals around her neck including two trips to the top of the podium when she won the both 1500-meter run and the 800-meter run in the span of an hour and half.
In addition, she was part of the 4X800 meter relay team that broke the school record by a whopping 29 seconds on their way to a third-place finish. Joining Jacobo on the relay were freshmen Noor Sabeeh
, Sarah Sullivan
, and Hayley Hight
Just after the 4X800 on Friday
, freshmen Kay Vradenbugh and Morgan King
joined sophomore Ana Karen Padilla
in the grueling 10,000-meter run. "AK" Padilla was the defending champion in the event, but Vradenburgh proved too tough for her and the rest of field as she won the event pulling away over the second half of the race. Padilla and King finished third and fourth respectively to earn 21 points total in the event.
began with the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Sabeeh and Sullivan were ranked one-two going into the final race of the year and they didn't disappoint. Sabeeh finished only four seconds off the conference championship record to take first place. Sullivan ran a time that would have won last year's final by 22 seconds, but this year she had to settle for second place.
Vradenburgh and King, both tired from the 10,000 meters the day prior, toed the line in the 1500 meters with Jacobo. Vradenburgh ran a smart race and finished on the podium with a third-place finish and personal best time. King managed to finish 11th
Vradenburgh and King also joined Jacobo in the 800 meters. Vradenburgh was able to score a point for the Roadrunners when she finished 8th
overall. King was 12th
. The race turned out to be a tactical race that saw much slower-than-normal finishing times.
Departing from distance events, Sullivan took on the 400-meter hurdles and ran very well. Breaking her own school record by five seconds, the distance runner managed a sixth-place finish overall in the typically all-sprinter event.
Another big scoring opportunity came in the 5,000 meters where the Roadrunners entered the third, fourth and fifth fastest times in the field. They placed two more on the podium when Sabeeh finished in second place and Hight finished third. Padilla finished just off the podium in fourth place. That was good enough to score another 19 points in the second longest event of the meet.
No track meet is complete until the 4X400 meters is run. The team of King, Sullivan, Sabeeh, and Jacobo broke the school record by 13 seconds and finished fourth in an event designed for sprinters.
"I could not be prouder of this group of young ladies," said DS Coach Dean Thompson
"To be able to score 99 points with only seven distance runners is phenomenal. But these runners are not ordinary. They understand how to compete hard and get the most out of themselves when that gun goes off." He added, "I was especially happy for our senior, Nayeli, who was able to finish her career with a special day. We will miss her leadership and her grit and determination. She's a special athlete."
The Lady Roadrunners are done for this season, but they will be back in the fall to compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference in Cross Country.