By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Just as teams were getting a hold of Salem Academy’s Boys 4×400 relay team, the Lady Crusader 4×400 team are slowly making their move as well to be considered as much as their Guys team.
The team of Hallie Baker, Lauren Kendall, Stacia Panther and Krista Mulkey in some variation, have been slowly improve upon their time as they find that right deadly combination in time for Districts here on May 11.
And, on Saturday, the combination they walked in with had started off slow, but by the time Baker took over on the third leg, their lead started to grow from the first 100 meters of Baker’s leg.
That lead that Baker gained in the first heat of two at the Meet of Champions, Salem Academy never gave up as they won the heat (4:24.76) by 5.05 seconds over Jefferson.
“I think that’s a really strong time we just put up. We just haven’t been able to run as a team very much, so it’s good to all be here today,” said Baker. “It’s really exciting and I know we can pick up more time than that because handoffs aren’t really gelling as much as we like and I think we can get them faster.”
With one last hard week to go of training, capped with the Regis Twilight in Stayton on May 5, they know how much this upcoming week means in terms of continuing this mojo and bridging it into Districts on May 11.
“Definitely put in a lot of work next week, it’s kind of our last week of hard training and then we have a good race at Regis that we’ll be able to run, hopefully get into the fast heat after that time we just got and hopefully keep improving on this,” said Baker.
Speaking of Regis, the Headband Gang of the Crusaders Guys 4×400 team know that Regis will be bringing the heat from their 3:35.59-caliber capabilities; and though they finished second in the race after a John Oliver-isc late rally, Salem Academy also knows they have a lot of work to do to even bridge these next two weeks together before Districts as they heal up in the process.
“Regis, they’re like a friendly rival,” said JT Williamson. “We pushed each other to each other’s limits. Good competitors, great guys to be around. We just got to keep doing what we’re doing into practice, no days off. Making sure we’re not cutting ourselves short We got the potential to do it.”
The lone Meet of Champions winner for the Crusaders came way of Wilson McLean with a 300 meter Hurdle win with a time of 41.35 while Williamson finished sixth in that same race.
Morgan Strunk finsihed fifth in the Shot Put (47-feet-one-inch) and third in the Javelin (176-feet-one-inch), a PR for the senior.
For full results visit: https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=286979#103
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald