PENDLETON — The defeat had the potential to be crippling. Sonya Napariu estimated she hadn’t been beat in the discus three years running, save the state meet.
But that’s exactly what happened to the University of Maryland recruit Thursday night, and her undoing came at the hands of a rival, albeit a friendly one.
Sophomore Jackie Landuyt of Greenfield-Central’s second finals toss went for 130-1. After the distance was measured, Landuyt let out a joyous yell, knowing she had bested Napariu’s fling by a mere two inches.
“Jackie did amazing, give her all the credit. She did awesome,” said Napariu, who finished 21st at last year’s state meet in the discus. “I wasn’t on my ‘A’ game. I can’t wait to throw against her in the future; we’ll continue to build on each other’s success.”
Success has defined the New Palestine girls’ track and field team in recent years, and this season appears to be no exception. The Dragons placed third at both the sectional and regional meets last season, and on Wednesday at Mt. Vernon they will be gunning for their sixth consecutive Hancock County Meet triumph.
On Thursday, coach Dave Hauser’s crew captured its second-straight Pendleton Heights Girls’ Invitational, besting the second-place Arabians and third-place Greenfield-Central.