Warsaw's Elizabeth Vander Bie (R) passes the baton off to teammate Wini Barnett en route to winning the 4 x 800 meter relay.
Warsaw's Elizabeth Vander Bie (R) passes the baton off to teammate Wini Barnett en route to winning the 4 x 800 meter relay.
WARSAW – Warsaw continued its traditional dominance in sectional action Tuesday night with its 15th straight (excluding the COVID shutdown) IHSAA girls’ track and field sectional title. Most of the Tiger athletes were in diapers or were starting pre-school the last time the Warsaw girls’ squad did not win a sectional (2006).

Northridge (95 points) followed the Tigers’ 169 team points, with NorthWood (85 points), and Elkhart (66.5 points) landing third and fourth place team finishes. The field of 13 schools also included area schools Wawasee (41 points, seventh place), and Lakeland Christian Academy (1 point).

Northridge and NorthWood were tied at 85 points apiece before the final event, the 1600-meter relay, and the shot-put results were in the books, providing those schools’ fan bases with excitement to the very end of the meet.

Top three finishers in each event, and additional athletes meeting the IHSAA Standard 3 automatic qualifying times, heights, or distances qualified for the Kokomo regional next Tuesday. There were no Standard 3 qualifiers in Tuesday’s sectional, though.

The Tigers captured sectional championships among five individual running events, two relays, and one field event. The Wawasee Warriors had one title in the discus throw (Emma Yoder 124’10.5”).

Wawasee will also send Dylan Konieczny to the Kokomo regional. She was the long jump runner-up (15’10.25”), and third place finisher in the high jump (5’1”).

Warsaw senior Wini Barnett finished the night with three blue ribbons from the 1600- and 3200-meter relays, and the 800-meter run (2:22.44). Rylee Burns earned two blue ribbons from the 400-meter dash (1:01.45) and the 1600-meter relay. Joey Rastrelli convincingly won the 1600- and 3200-meter runs with respective times of 5:03.17, and 11:13.03.

Marin Hart will qualify for regionals in the 100-meter hurdles (first place, 15.41 sec.), 300-meter hurdles (second, 49.06 sec.), and the high jump (second, 5’4”). Josie Niebbia vaulted 10’6” to take the title in the pole vault, and Abby Sanner will throw the shot (second, 37’4.5”) and the discus (second, 115’10”) next Tuesday in Kokomo as well.

Ella Laput, Tatum Bergan, and Elizabeth Vander Bie joined Barnett in the 3200-meter relay first place showing (9:53.03). Barnett and Burns were joined by Sara Kratzsch, and Mikayla Mimnaugh in the night’s final victory, the 1600-meter relay (4:06.74).

Erika Bugg (long jump, third, 15’6.75”), Kiersten Parker (300-meter hurdles, third, 50.21 sec.), Vander Bie (3200-meter run, third, 12:03.25), and Mimnaugh (400-meter dash, third, 1:04.18) rounded out the Tigers’ regional qualifiers.

Warsaw’s Amanda Lusinde (1600-meter run), and Abbi Kohler (discus), the area’s only fourth-place finishers in Tuesday’s sectional, will wait for a phone call as alternates in case any regional qualifiers among next week’s field scratch from either of those events.

Other sectional champions included NorthWood’s Elayna Yoder (100-meter dash, 12.6 sec.), Concord’s 400-meter relay (51.04 sec.), Northridge’s Elainna Papandrea (300-meter hurdles, 48.99 sec.), Elkhart’s Ja’leiiya Williams (200-meter dash, 26.19 sec.), and her teammate and double winner Mady Axsom (high jump, 5’4” – tiebreaker on missed jumps, and long jump, 16’1.5”). Columbia City’s Haley Thompson rounded out the blue-ribbon performances with a 38’6.5” throw in the shot-put.

Sectional action launches at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday May 24 in Kokomo.