Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Manchester sophomore Anna Markham (L) takes the baton from freshman teammate Ainsley West during the 4 x 800 relay.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Manchester sophomore Anna Markham (L) takes the baton from freshman teammate Ainsley West during the 4 x 800 relay.
SOUTH WHITLEY – Improvement for meets later in the season was a general mantra among coaches at a Three Rivers conference meet Tuesday.

Manchester’s girls and Whitko’s boys won at Whitko, with Northfield finishing third and Lakeland Christian Academy, a non-conference invitee, finishing fourth.

For the Lady Squires, who remain undefeated this season, Gabby Brewer won the long jump and high jump, while Cambri Cashdollar won the 800 and 1,600 runs. Other Manchester girls winners were Sarah Pegg, discus; Katie Parker, 100 hurdles; Olivia Auler, 100; and Kallie Kerr, 400. Manchester’s girls also won all three relay races on their way to 122 points to Whitko’s 55. Northfield had 31 and LCA?16 points.

Senior Isaiah Davis won twice for the Manchester boys, taking the long and high jumps. Ethan Davis won the 1,600, Tyler Andritsch the 400 and the Squires won the 4x800 relay.

Manchester coach Julie Cassel said that while the team is fairly young, the boys and girls teams are learning to compete at a higher level.

“We had a kid finish fifth in his race, and I told him, ‘With that time last year you would have finished second,’” Cassel said. “We’re getting used to the competition, and the kids are starting to see how hard work will pay off.

“Isaiah’s a great kid who is always helping others, and is a great teammate. He set a school record in the high jump. Gabby Brewer cleared 5 feet in the high jump, and Cambri’s doing a great job. We’re getting to the place we want to go.”

Whitko’s Isaiah Pierce had a pair of wins, in the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, and was second in the long jump. Other winners for the Wildcat boys were R.J. Patrick in the pole vault, Matt Farner in the shot put, Cameron Sapp in the discus, Sean Blaine in the 100, William Rickerd in the 800 and Zack Freel in the 200. The Wildcats also won the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

The Wildcat boys compiled 112 points to Manchester’s 77.5, Northfield’s 38 and LCA’s 16.5.

For the Lady Wildcats, winners were Carissa Beck in the shot and Melania Fugate in the 200.

“I like how we’re progressing toward the most important meets of the year,” Whitko boys coach Ron Cherry said. “I told the kids tonight before they left that two weeks from (Tuesday) is our conference meet, and in the time between then and now we need to make sure we keep that in our minds and make those meets our focus moving forward."

For LCA’s girls team, Carlie Wise was second in the 100 and third in the 300 hurdles, while Liza Schmitt was third in the 100 hurdles. For the Cougar boys, Kohei Nagasaki was second in the 3,200, Garrett McKeever third in the 1,600 and Matt Helton third in the 400.

“We’re improving nicely as we work toward sectionals. Liza Schmitt is working hard on the hurdles, changing her technique from a four-step approach to a three-step,” LCA?head coach Larry Dubose said.

“Matthew Helton is getting his time down, and Kohei Nagasaki, an exchange student, is running the 3,200 well, and they’re doing a great job of pushing each other.

“We’re seeing the kind of progress we want to see leading up to the sectionals in a few weeks.”

Next up for Whitko is a home meet with TRC opponent Wabash and Lakeland Christian once again on Friday. Manchester will host the Wabash County meet on April 30.