CHESTERTON | There’s no doubt Lake Central relishes winning. Just ask coach Ron Fredrick about the numbers.
“We’ve won 50 straight dual meets dating back to April 24, 2007, when we lost to Valpo 68-64,” he said. "At the beginning of the season I tell the girls that Lake Central is the best girls track and field team in the region and this is what’s expected of you.”
Enough said as Lake Central captured its seventh straight Duneland Athletic Conference meet title Tuesday, easily outdistancing Merrillville 128.5-87.
“There were some doubters going into this season after losing some girls who are Division I athletes,” Fredrick said. “But we always return people who are willing to work hard.”
On the way to winning another title, L.C. won four events, including the first event of the meet, the 3,200-meter relay (9:45.26). Portage led 15 of the 16 laps before Megan Zajac passed two girls to set the tone for the meet.
“I’m really proud of our team and happy for us,” Zajac said. “(Winning the DAC) is something we try to keep and we use it as motivation.”
In addition to winning on the track, Fredrick likes the way his team acts when it’s not competing. Take the 400 relay team, for example. They were originally given seventh place, which earns a couple points. But one of the girls dropped the baton, and when an official approached the four girls after the meet, they were honest.
“In the end, character counts and they showed character admitting they didn’t finish the race,” Fredrick said.
Speaking of character, Elena Lancioni, who always tries to congratulate every runner who finishes behind her in a track or cross country race, won two more events in the DAC meet – extending her streak to six straight. She pulled away in the 1,600, missing the meet record by seven seconds, and winning the 3,200 run, missing the meet record by four seconds. In the 3,200, Valparaiso’s Allison Mundell hung with Lancioni most of the race.
“I heard someone behind me close, but you can’t worry about that,” Lancioni said. “If you have a good kick and believe in yourself and hit your times, then you should be fine.”
In addition to continuing her individual streak, Lancioni’s team had its best finish in the DAC meet in a long time, placing third (84).
“We usually finish second-to-last in this meet, so third is huge,” LaPorte coach Any Doty said. “We’re coming together as a team. What the girls have done is pretty awesome.”
Crown Point’s Kristen LaCosse won two events – 300 hurdles and the long jump – and finished second in the 100 hurdles. Merrillville earned two first-place efforts with A’Leah Scott winning the high jump and Jordan Stanley taking first in shot put.
Portage’s Paige Pizer (800) and Ashley Sosbe (discus) each won events, while Michigan City’s Jasmine McLemore won the 400.