WASHINGTON TWP. | With conference tournaments and postseason track and field meets on the horizon, sometimes it's nice to let loose and have a little fun.
That was the case on Saturday afternoon at the Washington Township Relays, where six schools from the area competed in a low-pressure environment that didn't count in any standings, but still inspired some spirited races.
On the boys side, River Forest came away with first place, beating the Senators with 96 points to the host's 72. Morgan Township finished third (57), followed by Hebron (48), Kouts (43) and Bowman Academy (33).
"I'm really happy with the way we did," River Forest boys coach Brian Wesley said. "A lot of guys set (personal records) and I think we're progressing well ... I think it was a good confidence booster for the guys."
Washington Township boys coach Teri Barkas said the relays offered a chance to compete against teams that normally don't see each other during the season.
"We don't compete with (River Forest) in the regular season, so we didn't know what to expect," she said. "I'm really proud of the boys. We only had 14 (compete) today."
Hebron took the girls trophy with a score of 104. The Hawks edged Morgan Township (96) and Wasington Twp., which finished third (54).
Hebron assistant coach Lydia Clark led the team at the relays in place of coach Rhonda Walker, who was attending her son's college graduation.
Clark said her squad stressed the element of fun, and had athletes participate in events they normally would not. As an example of this, the Hawks' sprint medley team consisted of a thrower, a distance runner, a hurdler and a pole vaulter.
"That shows the talent level that we have," Clark said. "And the girls had fun. It's good to go into (the Porter County Conference Championship) relaxed."