DOLTON | Kankakee Valley girls track coach Lane Lewallen couldn’t hide his disappointment, though he took the high road.
“Our overall performance speaks for itself,” he said after the inaugural Battle of the Border meet at Thornridge High School in Dolton.
You see, the winning team was Rich South, thanks to the format of the meet in which JV and varsity points in each event were combined. The coaches weren’t told until late in the meet after KV had already won eight of the 12 varsity events that had been completed.
The Kougars didn’t bring their JV squad, but would have if they knew the format, according to an assistant coach.
Therefore, winning a team trophy was not in the cards, but finishing superior on the varsity end was the goal. And it was achieved with sophomore Jenna Jungels earning Most Valuable Athlete after winning events and finishing second in another in the Kougars’ second outdoor meet of the season. They competed in the Cabin Fever meet at St. Joseph’s College on Thursday.
“That meet was at night, windy and freezing,” said Jungels, who won the 100-meter hurdles, long jump and was part of the winning 400 relay team. “This was much better weather (sunny and 50 degrees).
“It doesn’t really matter where we place, but how we ran overall.”
Jenna’s older sister, Joli, was also part of the 400 relay and finished third in the high jump and triple jump — an event that’s not run in Indiana.
“We normally do the long jump together,” Jenna said. “Sometimes she does better than me and sometimes I do better.”
Leanna Mulloy also had a good showing for K.V., as part of the 400 relay and winning the 100-meter dash, as well as runner-up finishes in the 1,600 and 800 relays. The latter is another event that isn’t run in the Indiana outdoor season.
“I usually run the 200 (dash) instead, but I wanted to do the 4-by-200 because we don’t get to run it that much,” Mulloy said.
Lewallen didn’t want to put too much on individual runners early in the season.
“You have to balance between overloading them and making it a work day,” he said. Brittany Kent also had a nice day with some hardware.”
Kent was part of the Kougars’ 3,200 and 400 winning relay teams and the runner-up 1,600 relay.
Thornridge coach Tashanna Catron explained that many Illinois meets run the way her first-time event did.
“That’s how the scoring goes a lot of the time with JV and varsity combined,” she said. “I think we did OK (the Falcons finished second overall), but it’s our first outdoor meet and it’s a long season. This lets us know what we truly need to work on as we strive for our goal to make the state finals.”