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  • Val T.

Pioneer uses outdoor wins over Carroll to prepare for indoor state

Toloza wins 100, 200, long jump; Montgomery, R. Harding win 2 events each in girls meet


Sports Editor, RTC

ROYAL CENTER — The Pioneer track team operated in a bizarro world Tuesday.

They used an outdoor meet in chilly conditions at The Pit to help them prepare for an indoor meet.

Pioneer wound up beating Carroll (Flora) 82-50 in the girls meet and 81-50 in the boys meet as they now head back indoors for the Hoosier State Relays at the Gladstein Fieldhouse in Bloomington at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Pioneer girls athletes who earned spots at that meet include Violet Montgomery in the 3,200, Rachel Harding in the high jump and distance medley relay team of Montgomery, Paula Collado Fernandez, Makenna Strycker and Blair Grigsby.

Pioneer boys athletes who qualified for Bloomington include Carson Meyer in the 3,200 and the distance medley relay consisting of Jackson Baker, Carson Meyer, Leighton Dodt and Cayden Hill.

The indoor meets in March typically are used to prepare athletes for the outdoor meets in April and May, but with Pioneer having a home outdoor meet in March, it’s actually the outdoor meet that’s helping athletes get ready for the biggest indoor meet of the year.

“They’re all running at the Hoosier State Relays on Saturday, so this was a you-need-to-work-hard-tonight and put in a hard run to get better for Saturday,” Pioneer coach Teresa Montgomery explained. “So they were all pacing. We encouraged the boys to stay as a pack in that mile, and it works good because everybody PRs (sets personal records). … I think having a hard race midweek – sometimes we think it’s in our way – but it’s actually not because it prepares them mentally. Sometimes, you’ve got to rip off that Band Aid and realize that you can do that.”

In the girls meet, individual event winners included Montgomery in the 1,600 and the 3,200 meters; Rachel Harding in the 100 meters and the long jump; Michelle Harding in the 200; Collado Fernandez in the 800, who used a late burst of speed to beat teammate Montgomery; and Grigsby, who won the long jump with a leap of 15-11.

Grigsby also finished second in both hurdles races.

“Blair is a very versatile athlete,” coach Montgomery said. “She will do and succeed everywhere we put her. So the last couple years, we’ve tried her in a variety of places, and she’s settled on hurdles. She’s working really hard at the hurdles, and I think she’s going to have stellar PRs from this point forward.”

The Lady Panthers also swept all three relays. Michelle Harding, Kiersten Nies, Aspen Moolenaar and Rachel Harding teamed up to win the 4 x 100 relay. Grigsby, Nies, Chloe Chan and Collado Fernandez collaborated to win the 4 x 400 relay. The 4 x 800 relay consisted of Montgomery, Chan, Strycker and Collado Fernandez.

The only athlete in either meet to win three individual events was Pioneer’s Rylahn Toloza, who won the 100 (11.47 seconds), 200 (25.12 seconds) and long jump (20-1), all in personal record performances, in the boys meet.

Pioneer also won 35 out of a possible 36 points in the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Hill won the 400, Baker won the 800, Meyer won the 1,600, and Dodt won the 3,200.

“We’re still working on where to get everybody placed properly,” coach Montgomery said. “A lot of them are brand new to the team. Rylahn, he was hurt last year, so we didn’t really get to use him very much or see him to his potential. He’s been here all along, but we haven't been able to use him. So I expect to get a lot more out of those boys.”

Austin Brooke added a win in 19.19 seconds, a personal best, in the 110 hurdles.

Pioneer also took the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relays. Brooke teamed with Ian Kitchell, Kevin Gluth and Baker in the 4 x 400 relay, and Jack Cooper combined with Meyer, Dodt and Baker in the 4 x 800 relay. Now the challenge will be for the athletes who are not going to the Hoosier State Relays to stay in shape. Pioneer’s spring break is March 27-31, and the next outdoor meet is a three-way meet at Twin Lakes on April 4 that will also include Kankakee Valley.

“I’m very concerned about that,” coach Montgomery said. “I haven’t heard of very many people that aren’t going to Florida. … It’s OK. We may have to start over on some things, but it’s a good season, and they’re having a good time. And having fun goes a long way to building morale and making them do better. They’ll be ready to work for us.”

A distance medley relay is an event that consists of a 1,200-meter leg, a 400-meter leg, an 800-meter leg and a 1,600-meter leg. It is unique to indoor meets.

Girls track results: Pioneer 82, Carroll (Flora) 50

Scoring on 5-3-1 basis for individual events and 5-0 basis for relays

Winners plus all Pioneer scorers

100 m

1. Rachel Harding (PIO) – 13.22 seconds, 3. Michelle Harding (PIO) – 14.00

200 m

1. Michelle Harding (PIO) – 28.97 seconds, 2. Aspen Moolenaar (PIO) – 29.78

400 m

1. Allbaugh (CARR) – 1:11, 2. Chloe Chan (PIO) – 1:12.57

800 m

1. Paula Collado Fernandez (PIO) – 2:48.46, 2. Violet Montgomery (PIO) – 2:51.53

1,600 m

1. Violet Montgomery (PIO) – 5:58, 2. Paula Collado Fernandez (PIO) – 6:11

3,200 m

1. Violet Montgomery (PIO) – 12:49.47

100 m hurdles

1. Wagner (CARR) – 17.07 seconds, 2. Blair Grigsby (PIO) – 18.56, 3. Aspen Moolenaar (PIO) – 19.22

300 m hurdles

1. Wagner (CARR) – 55.03 seconds, 2. Blair Grigsby (PIO) – 56.03

4 x 100 m relay

1. Pioneer – 53.41 seconds

4 x 400 m relay

1. Pioneer

4 x 800 m relay

1. Pioneer (Violet Montgomery, Chloe Chan, Makenna Strycker, Paula Collado Fernandez) – 11:37.47

Long jump

1. Blair Grigsby (PIO) – 15-11, 2. Michelle Harding (PIO) – 15-0

High jump

1. Rachel Harding (PIO) – 5-1, 2. Kiersten Nies (PIO) – 4-10


1. Coveris (CARR) – 68-0

Shot put

1. Coveris (CARR) – 30-4

Pole vault

t-1. Moolenaar (PIO) – 6-6, t-1. Ayres (CARR) – 6-6, t-1. Hayley Malchow (PIO) – 6-6

Boys track results: Pioneer 81, Carroll (Flora) 50

Scoring on 5-3-1 basis for individual events and 5-0 basis for relays

Winners plus all Pioneer scorers

100 m

1. Rylahn Toloza (PIO) – 11.47 seconds

200 m

1. Rylahn Toloza (PIO) – 25.12, 2. Jadon Jones (PIO) – 25.50

400 m

1. Cayden Hill (PIO) – 57.72, 2. Ian Kitchell (PIO) – 57.84, 3. Kevin Gluth (PIO) – 1:00.91

800 m

1. Jackson Baker (PIO) – 2:17.56, 2. Jack Cooper (PIO) – 2:35.03, 3. Elliott Cooper (PIO) – 2:37.85

1,600 m

1. Carson Meyer (PIO) – 4:47.87, 2. Leighton Dodt (PIO) – 4:47.94, 3. Jackson Baker (PIO) – 4:59

3,200 m

1. Leighton Dodt (PIO) – 10:31.5, 2. Carson Meyer (PIO) – 10:43.35

110 m hurdles

1. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 19.19 seconds

300 m hurdles

1. Hollinger (CARR) – 46.09 seconds, 2. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 49.91

4 x 100 m relay

1. Carroll (Flora) – 47.56 seconds

4 x 400 m relay

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