HIGHLAND | No one from Highland's girls track team has ever experienced the feeling of winning the Highland Invitational.
Not even coach Ellie Belli, who has had the reins of the Trojans for eight years.
The Trojans held off some tough competition, compiling 137.5 points to run away with first place and as second-place Griffith finished with 98 points.
"I was a little bit nervous, but my coach made me feel great about it," said sophomore Amber Przyborski, who won all four of her events (800-meter run, 1,600, 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay). "We knew we were going to have some tough competition, especially from Griffith. It's a big meet, and sometimes you feel pressure. You don't know if it's going to be a good day or a bad day, but you just run it out."
Przyborski hit a new personal record in the 1,600 run, finishing in 5 minutes, 48.41 seconds, which was 10 seconds faster than her previous best.
"I was expecting a lot of her this season," Belli said. "A lot of our returning runners graduated or moved out of the district. Amber was really one of our only superstars returning. She was running OK so far this season, but tonight was definitely her breakthrough night."
On the boys side, Andrean narrowly held off the competition to amass 103 points. E.C. Central finished second with 99 points while Highland placed third with 95 points.
Senior Chris Stazinski won the 400 dash (52.24) and was part of the winning 1,600 relay (3:28.82) and 3,200 relay (8:04.06, a meet record).
"It feels great because usually a couple of us run these meets out of our events," he said. "This was one of the meets where we actually got to see how it would look in the postseason. It turned out pretty well. We've got some younger kids who showed up today."
E.C. Central's Jacques Hall paced the Cardinals with wins in the 100 dash (10.84), 200 dash (22.15) and ran the anchor leg of the 400 relay 43.34.
Hall felt pretty confident he would run well in his sprint events, and is still unbeaten in the 100.
"My running has been kind of off, so the weather really helped me," he said.