Greencastle head coach Garry Anderson has had to deal with some health related issues throughout this season and on Tuesday he sang the praises of a squad who battled on even when their leader wasn't able to be physically beside them
"I can't complain," Anderson said with a smile. "These gals -- I'm so proud of the girls because I've been gone for four weeks and I was communicating via email to all the coaches, assistant coaches and the girls.
"Boy, oh boy, I couldn't ask for better," he continued. "They just came back like troopers. We got a performance tonight -- we had some girls step up. Weatherford, four wins -- that's good. Emily Crawley has ran some great races, Kara Birt in the 100 and 200, that was quite outstanding -- and also in the 4x100 relay."
Greencastle won the opening event of the night and set an aggressive tone early. Sophomore Colleen Weatherford won two individual events and was part of two winning relays for GHS. Kara Birt also won two individual wins and was part of the winning 400-meter relay team.
Weatherford won the 400-meter dash in 1:00.55 and the 800-meter run in 2:26.89. Birt was victorious in the 100-meter dash in 13:48 and the 200-meter dash in 27.73. Teammate Emily Crawley ran away with the 300-meter title with a time of 49.98, while Cheyenne Fauvergue won the Tiger Cubs' only field event, winning the pole vault with height of 7-feet even.
The 3,200-meter relay team of Gill, Weatherford, Sarah Beams and Alex Stoffregen won in a time of 10:30.03, while the team of Birt, Emily Crawley, Olivia Humphries and Paige Pickens won the 400-meter relay in a time of 52.37. Gill, Crawley, Weatherford and Erika Davies teamed up to win the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 4:21.76.
In the 800-meter run, South Putnam freshman Mallory Glaze went out front early and led a few laps, before Greencastle's Emily Gill and Kayla Cash passed her and began duking it out for the top spot. The race was neck and neck, but down the stretch Cash gained just enough distance to earn the win with a time of 5:51.15 to Gill's 5:51.82.
Anderson recognized the drive his team displayed Tuesday, but knows that they'll need to bring it again as the conference and sectional meets loom on the horizon.
"I think our girls, overall, came tonight to run and compete and for that I couldn't ask for any more. We'll see what happens Friday night. It will be more competition and then Tuesday at sectional. But we're taking it one step at a time," Anderson said.
While they finished third overall, the North Putnam squad captured the second most wins on the night. Katie Douglas captured the Cougars' only running win of the night in the 3,200-meter run. As the runners settled in, Greencastle's Megan Hayes set the pace for the majority of the race, but in the latter laps, Hayes and Douglas battled for first place. When the bell chimed indicated the final lap, Douglas went out front and didn't look back. She won the event with a time of 13:10.56.
Aubrey Healey won the long jump with a jump of 14-2, while Katie Welch won the discus with a toss of 97-9.5 and Sam Lucas won the shot put with a distance of 35-8.
The Clovers finished second behind wins by sophomore Paige Gruener won the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.90 and Mariah Oetken took the top spot, edging out teammate Paige Sinks in the high jump with a height of 5-feet even.
For South Putnam, Sarah Cheatham had two third place performances for the Eagles. She was third in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 18.85 and the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 56.36.
All four Putnam County teams will be back in action Friday at South Putnam when they compete in the West Central Conference meet at 5 p.m.
Full results will be printed in Thursday's edition of the Banner Graphic.