STERLING – Some things never change.
For Bureau Valley junior Lindsey Hoffert, leaving the high jump for more than 2 years didn’t change her form ... or her natural talent for it.
At the last minute, she decided to jump Wednesday evening at the Rosenberry Classic, and ended up winning the event with a leap of 5 feet, 1 inch. The unsuspecting victory was 2 inches better than runner-up Courtney Kruthoff of Erie-Prophetstown.
“We actually just threw me into high jump to try and get a couple points, and I ended up winning it overall,” Hoffert said. “I haven’t practiced it at all since freshman year.
“We’re not going to do this every meet, but if I continue to keep getting better, then we’ll keep doing it to see what happens.”
In her more familiar event, Hoffert easily won the long jump. Her 16-9 was nearly 2 full feet better than runner-up Lauren Claus of Riverdale (14-10).
“I’m hoping to hit 17 feet,” Hoffert said. “I haven’t yet, but it’s just form and my steps getting intact, so I just have to work on that.”
Hoffert nearly won a third event, but her time of 28.73 seconds in the 200-meter dash was bested by Amboy’s Erika Zimmerlein’s 27.75
Hoffert’s efforts helped lead the Storm to second place behind Erie-Prophetstown in the meet featuring a field of eight Three Rivers teams.
BV scored 95 points, well behind winner Erie-Prophets-town; the Panthers finished with 152 points and won six of the 15 events.
Amboy placed third with 67 points, Morrison was fourth with 44, Fulton took sixth with 27, and Newman was eighth with seven.
Just like last year when they placed second at the Class 1A state meet, strong relays were key for the Panthers. They won two of the three relays, and took second in the 1,600 relay to the Storm.
Junior Corrie Reiley was a key performer for EP, running in the 3,200 and 1,60 relays, as well as winning the 800 and taking third in the 1,600.
“Our relays are really strong,” Reiley said. “We try to build up some good runners and put them into different spots. Our 4x8 didn’t have to run as hard tonight, and our coach saved us for other events. Some of our basketball girls are just getting back from our 2-week late start. Our times are all right there, and my time is actually better then what was last year at this time.”
Courtney Cobert also won multiple events for the Panthers, taking the 60-meter dash and running in the victorious 800 relay. But she twisted her ankle trying to avoid going outside her lane as she finished her 800 relay leg, and was forced to sit out of the 1,600 relay.
Her sister, Rachel, anchored the 800 relay, and also took home the triple jump crown, leaping 33-6. She also grabbed second in the 400, barely getting beaten out by Princeton’s Zoe Mead (59.59) by .64 seconds.
Morrison freshman Kassidee Church easily took home a first place ribbon in the 60 high hurdles, edging out teammate Hannah Blacklock by nearly a second. Blacklock had a much closer finish with Maddie Fringer from Erie-Prophetstown, as Fringer was .03 seconds behind Blacklock in third.
“It’s awesome,” Church said. “I’m only a freshman, and used blocks for the first time today. I just need to work on getting my trail leg through better, and that should help me cut time and hopefully make state.”
Fulton’s highlight came in the 1,600, where sophomores Averi Leitzen (5:40.8) and Jordan Price (5:43.9) finished 1-2.
Girls track & field
Top 4 teams
1. Erie-Prophetstown 152; 2. Bureau Valley 95; 3. Amboy 67; 4. Morrison 44