Dutchgirls claim first ever FRC Track title

Will Johnson

NEW HAVEN — When it comes down to it, every point matters.

That was the case for Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchgirl track and field team Monday during the annual Four Rivers Conference (FRC) track meet held at New Haven High School.

Trailing Sullivan by six points going into the 3200-meter run, the Dutchgirl sophomore duo of Paige Heckelmann and Alesha Shockley finished first and second in the event putting OHS into the lead going into the varsity girl’s 4x400-meter relay.

“Alesha (Shockley) and Paige (Heckelmann) just came out and killed it in the two-mile when they knew we needed the points,” Dutchgirl senior Joy Stewart said. “I did my best to finish ahead of as many runners as I could.”

Owensville held on to win their first FRC team title in program history in spite of a sixth-place time of 4:39.87 from the Dutchgirl foursome of Erin Wehmeyer, Zoie Bertagnolli, Sophia Ashner and Heckelmann.

“It was crazy, all of the girls were pretty excited about it,” Dutchgirl senior Erin Wehmeyer said.

Wehmeyer wasn’t the only senior able to celebrate OHS’ first FRC track title.

Zoie Bertagnolli, Joy Stewart and Alli Dintelman rounded out the senior quartet competing in their final FRC meet.

“I couldn’t believe that (us winning a conference title) had never happened before,” Stewart said. “We’ve worked really hard all season and I’m so happy to see it all pay off.”

Along with Heckelmann’s win in the two-mile run, the varsity Dutchgirls got conference titles from Ashner in the mile (5:47.54), Bailey Rasmussen in the discus (115-10) and the Dutchgirl 4x800-meter relay team of Kendra Hults, Ashner, Heckelmann and Shockley in a winning time of 10:16.36.

For Ashner, Monday was the first time running three races after overcoming an early-season injury.

“I was really excited crossing the finish line first in the mile,” Ashner said. “I don’t think I could’ve done it without Alesha (Shockley) in the race pushing me.”

Ashner added to her FRC haul Monday with a second-place time of 2:38.57 in the 800-meter run. Hults just missed All-FRC honors with a fourth-place time of 2:42.23.

Freshman Katie Candrl continued her season success earning All-FRC accolades in three events.

Making the finals of the 100-meter hurdles, Candrl took second in 16.62 before breaking the 50-second plateau in the 300-meter hurdles posting a third-place time of 49.37.

“My dad (coach Candrl) told me to just go out and get it,” Katie Candrl said. “I ran as hard as I could and pushed through the race.”

She would also sprint her way to All-FRC honors with a third-place time of 13.44 in the 100-meter dash.

Adding to her second-place finish in the two-mile, Shockley placed third in the mile in 5:52.98.

Even with the limited number of All-FRC Dutchgirls, a number of OHS athletes posted top-eight finishes adding valuable points to their team total at the end of the day.

Rasmussen added an eighth-place throw of 33-05 in the shot put picking up one point.

“Bailey was able to dial things back in by getting first place in the discus,” OHS head coach Matt Candrl said. “We picked up points that made a big difference in the meet.” 

Fellow Dutchgirl thrower Mackenzie Rademacher battled through her events earning five points.

Mack’s best showing came in the shot put with a fifth-place throw of 33-10.50. In the discus, Rademacher needed a throw of 92-11 in her third attempt of the prelims to avoid missing out on the finals.

“I was feeling nervous on my third attempt after fouling my first two,” Rademacher said. “I’m fortunate to have marked on my third attempt to place eighth.”

Posting top-six marks in two of her three jumping events, Alli Dintelman cleared 4-08 placing fifth in the high jump while posting a sixth-place distance of 15-00.50 in the long jump.

“It was the best feeling (winning conference),” Dintelman said. “This team has been the best. We’re so tight this year.”

Competing along with Dintelman in the high jump, freshman Kate Angell cleared 4-06 to place eighth and earn a valuable point.

“Coming into the varsity girl’s javelin outside of the top eight, junior Veronica Courtouise looked to help her team score points.

Posting a nearly five-foot personal record (PR), Courtouise posted a seventh-place mark of 82-00 good for two team points.

“She had a five-foot improvement scoring two points for us,” Candrl said.

Candrl vaulted her way to additional points clearing 8-0 taking fifth in the pole vault.

Returning to her middle school roots, Hults tied for seventh in the event clearing 7-0.

For Owensville in the sprint relays, both the 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter teams combined for a total of five points.

In the 4x100m, the Dutchgirl foursome of Hayley Bogle, Mackenzie Armstrong, Paige Tayloe and Isabelle Bruckerhoff posted a sixth-place time of 55.12.

With three-fourths of the 4x100m also competing in the 4x200m race, the team of Bruckerhoff, Tayloe, Wehmeyer and Bogle took seventh in 1:57.16.

“When they announced the team scores, I was standing by the tent,” Tayloe said. “When we heard we won, a lot of us almost were in tears because we worked so hard for it (the conference title).