FORTVILLE — Understandably so, Mt. Vernon senior speedster Alexa Christenson is not in prime form approximately one week into the outdoor track and field season. And that’s the scary part — she will get faster.
Peaking at an opportune time, Christenson claimed multiple county and conference titles last season as a junior and came through again in the clutch at the Pendleton Heights Sectional. She won both the 100- (13.24) and 200-meter (27.47) dashes to advance to regional action for the second-straight year.
On Friday at home against Marion, in the girls’ first outdoor meet, Christenson topped her sectional time in the 100-meter dash from last season, finishing in 13.19 seconds to take first. In the 200-meter dash, although showing signs of fatigue, Christenson finished in first again in 28.74 seconds.
“I was kind of worried, because (Christenson) didn’t play volleyball,” Marauders head girls’ track coach Tim Leonard said. “She did some summer stuff. Maybe that helped make her legs more fresh.
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“When she can get out here (outside) and get against some competition, she unleashes the beast.”
That effort helped Mt. Vernon earn a 99-32 win over the Giants to move to 1-0 this season.
In the 100-meter dash, the senior got a real push from two teammates. Alexis Franklin and Kiara Gibson, both juniors, were right on Christenson’s heels and finished in second (13.41) and third (13.45). Franklin was also second in the 200-meter dash.
Christenson, who ran a personal-best 12.87 in the 100-meter dash last season, also anchored the 400-meter relay, blowing past her Marion opponent in the final straightaway to earn another blue ribbon.
Freshman Rilee Hartman and Kaylen Stewart each won events in their first outdoor meets of their careers for the Marauders. Hartman took first in both individual distance events. She finished the 1,600-meter run in 6:16.57 and the 3,200-meter run in 13:39.97.
Stewart won the high jump with a leap of 4-2.
“They did well, I was really impressed with the whole team,” Leonard said. “We have some good freshman.”
The girls also took first in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter relays Friday. All official results were not available by press time.
Mt. Vernon junior Damari Gatewood won the long jump competition for the second meet in a row, leaping 19-6 in cold conditions. He took second in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles to help the Marauders ease past the visiting Giants, 97-35.
Mt. Vernon (1-1) senior Nathan Casler won the high jump with a leap of 5-7. The athletic, versatile veteran also won the 400-meter dash in 55 seconds flat.
Sophomore sprinter Jailin Porter won the 200-meter dash after taking second in the 100-meter dash behind senior teammate Donovan Bigelow.
Junior cross country runner Drew Bluethmann looked strong in the 1,600-meter run for Mt. Vernon, as well, winning in a time of 4:50.48. His distance buddy, junior Alex Carver, held off a charging Marion runner to earn a blue ribbon in the 800-meter dash.
Bluethmann earned another win in the 3,200-meter run in 10:32.02, while junior Conner Nelson won the shot put throw (42-8). Senior Blake Miller won the pole vault (10-0).
Mt. Vernon’s boys also won the 400- and 1,600-meter relays against the Giants.
“Having two meets in three days is hard to turn around,” boys head coach Bruce Kendall said. “I thought our kids competed well, and we have to get in this kind of weather (cold and rainy). If we get this weather in a big meet, than they have seen it.”
The Marauders will compete again Tuesday at home against Hoosier Heritage Conference foe Yorktown at 5:30 p.m.
Girls Team Scores
Mt. Vernon 99, Marion 32
4×800 relay: Mt. Vernon, 10:57.50
110 hurdles: Marion, 18.57
100 meter: Christenson (MV) 13.19
1,600 meter: Hartman (MV) 6:16.57
4×100 relay: Mt. Vernon, 53.27
3,200 meter: Hartman (MV) 13:39.97
Long jump: Marion, 14-3
High jump: Stewart (MV) 4-2
Discus: Chambers (MV) 93-11
300 hurdles: Hoeppner (MV) 58.19
800 meter: Schleter (MV) 2:44.60
200 meter: Christenson (MV) 28.74
Pole vault: Yeadon (MV) 6-6
400 meter: Marion, 1:05.62
Shot put: Marion, 29-11
4×400 relay: Mt. Vernon, 3:36.7
Boys Team Scores
Mt. Vernon 97, Marion 35
4×800 relay: Marion, 9:00.83
110 hurdles: Marion, 17.13
100 meter: Bigelow (MV) 11.47
1,600 meter: Bluethmann (MV) 4:50.48
4×100 relay: Mt. Vernon, 46.10
3,200 meter: Bluethmann (MV) 10:32.02
Long jump: Gatewood (MV) 19-6
High jump: Casler (MV) 5-7
Discus: Marion, 125-9
300 hurdles: Marion, 43.21
800 meter: Carver (MV) 2:09.15
200 meter: Porter (MV) 23.53
Pole vault: Miller (MV) 10-0
400 meter: Casler (MV) 55.00
Shot put: Nelson (MV) 32-8
4×400 relay: Mt. Vernon, 4:38.20