HIGHLAND | There were no excuses Tuesday. No complaining about freezing rain, ice pellets or wind chill.
The Highland girls track sectional was held in beach-like weather, the kind that region athletes dream of during the season but seldom get.
Munster and West Side turned up the heat even more by staging a tight battle dominated by the depth of each squad before the defending champion Mustangs pulled away late to win 182-122.
Munster went 1-2 in the pole vault, discus, 1,600 run, shot put, 800 and 3,200. It added a first in the 3,200 relay and seconds in 300 hurdles and 1,600 relay.
“Every meet Munster's been running has been in bad weather,” said freshman Emily Johnson after winning the 1,600 and taking second in the 800. “It was really hot today at the beginning and then everybody cooled down. There was no wind, which was perfect.
“We strive to be a 1-2 team every meet and if not, we've got to be a 3-4.”
Top four individuals and relays advance to next Tuesday's Chesterton Regional.
“I love the bonding on our team,” Johnson said. “What really touches me is having all your teammates on the sidelines, cheering for you. Nobody wants to let each other down.
“You see girls cry because everyone cares.”
West Side freshman Tyeisha Hunter hardly had a moment to catch her breath with a first in the 100-meter dash (12.61), anchoring the victorious 400 relay and taking second in the long jump.
The 200 was a near photo finish as Bishop Noll winner Shanna Cooper (26.62) edged teammate Asya Hobbs (26.65) and West Side's Kayla Brister (26.72).
Bowman Academy's Keyera Lige also turned in an impressive performance, claiming the 100-meter hurdles (15.84) and the 300 (45.67).