Wester breaks record at West Burlington
WEST BURLINGTON — It was no joke when Mt. Pleasant Activities Director Scot Lamm called the girls’ track coach, Dave Hutchcroft, to tell him that Iowa City West had cancelled their Tuesday afternoon meet.
“I’m looking outside and it is 46 degrees, the sun is shining, and the wind is dying down,” Hutchcroft said. “I am pretty sure this is an April Fool’s joke. But it wasn’t.”
So he got on the phone with the activities director at West Burlington and got the Panthers a last-minute entry into the Falcon Relays. They couldn’t win medals or a team title, but they could get official results.
“We just wanted to compete somewhere,” Hutchcroft said. “It was definitely worth the effort to go to this meet.”
The effort paid off for thrower Mary Wester, who broke a school record and set two personal records — a gift to herself on her 17th birthday.
She threw the shot put 41-0 to break Mt. Pleasant’s 26-year old record. The old mark was 39-3, set by Tracy Dunn in 1988. Wester also finished with a mark of 118-8 for a new personal record in discus. Both throws are among the top in the state.
The shuttle hurdle also had a good day, lowering its season-best time to 1:06.6.
“It is early in the season, but this is the best time posted in the state so far,” Hutchcroft said.
Hannah Becker had a top performance in the 400-meter hurdles as well, finishing in 69.77 seconds. She is one of just two girls in the state who have a time under 70 seconds.
The Panthers had a number of other impressive performances, including six events that would earned gold medals had the team been able to place.
Becker finished 4-10 in the high jump, and Leslie Taylor had a mark of 16-10 3/4 in the long jump. Kelsi Phipps crossed the finish line of the 100-meter hurdles in 15.9 seconds, and Chloe Haffarnan had a time of 2:27.66 in the 800. Laura Hult recorded a 400-meter time of 65.7 seconds, and the 4x800-meter relay team of Ellie Conrad, Natalie Ita, Hattie Liechty and Haffarnan finished in 10:42.
The Panthers compete at home tomorrow in the Mt. Pleasant co-ed.