After finishing second in the girls 4x800 meter relay in last year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic, Mandeville High School knew it needed to come back with a special effort to make the jump up to first place.
With three members of the team coming back for their senior years, the Skippers improved their time by nearly three seconds on the way to winning the 4x800 at Tad Gormley Stadium on Friday.
“This was our last time running that race together, so we really wanted to go out with a bang,” Mandeville senior Olivia Murphy said. “It’s all kind of coming together for us in our senior year, so getting a win here was really big for us.”
The Skippers’ finishing time of 9 minutes, 26.88 seconds (9:26.88) was the third-best time ever posted at the Sugar Bowl Classic, falling just short of the Hoover (Alabama) time of 9:25.68 that beat Mandeville last year.
“We didn’t think we would run that well, so we were really happy with the result,” Murphy said. “We all tried our hardest and it worked out in our favor. It feels really good to win it our last time at this event.”
One day before she attempts to defend her javelin title at the Sugar Bowl Classic, St. Scholastica senior Samantha Zelden displayed another part of her arsenal by winning the discus event Friday.
Zelden, who fell just short of the breaking the Sugar Bowl record for javelin last year, took first place in the discus with a throw of 111 feet and five inches (111-5).
McGill-Toolen of Mobile, Alabama’s Margaret Ollinger has been setting records in the pole vault at nearly every meet she’s participated in so far this year, and that didn’t change Friday.
Ollinger, a Vanderbilt signee, set a Sugar Bowl record with a vault of 13-1 and beat the rest of the field by more than two feet. The senior jumped 13-7 in a meet two weeks ago — the highest in the nation so far this year — and attempted to best that with a 13-8 Friday, but fell just short.
Baker senior Marquise Cobbs came away with the win in the triple jump at 37-1 1/2 Mount Carmel senior Brooke Petkovich, who finished in ninth place last year, took third place at 36-1.
Zachary sophomore Frankie Griffin took first place in the high jump with a jump of 5-2. John Ehret senior Ebony Hills finished second.
After five events, McGill-Toolen sits atop the team rankings with 28 points. St Paul’s Episcopal os second with 21, while Mandeville (17) is third.