BLOOMINGTON | It took only a quick glance at the results of Friday's 39th annual girls state track meet to see it was a down year for region athletes.
Top nine finishers in each event medaled. That was the good news.
The bad news: Northwest Indiana was shut out in 100-meter dash, 200, pole vault, shot put, 400, 1,600, 800, 3,200 and the 1,600 relay.
REGION 'TEAM' DROUGHT LINGERS: The last girls team to win state from the region was Rhonda Brady's Lew Wallace Hornets, who claimed three consecutive titles from 1992 to 1994.
A BLISS-FUL ENDING: Portage thrower Tori Bliss graduated in 2011 and what a going away party she had – winning state titles in the discus (2010) and shot put (2009, 2010, 2011). Her shot mark of 50 feet, 9 inches last season was a state record. Bliss also took home the Mental Attitude Award in 2011.
SIXTH SENSE: Chesterton's young 3,200 relay of freshman Kassidy Scott, senior Tori Schroeder, junior Rosie Biehl and sophomore Kristen Homme won Heat 1, the slower flight, in 9:25.24 Friday but had to settle for sixth-place overall.
SERVING NOTICE: Though they didn't score in the 100-meter dash, Kankakee Valley sophomore Leanna Malloy (12.56), Lew Wallace junior Arielle Borders (12.61) and Merrillville junior Airrica Harper (12.62) finished 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively, and were already looking forward to next season.
In the 200, Harper had the 12th best time overall (25.86), Borders the 14th (26.14) and Malloy the 16th (26.23).
NOT A TOTAL LOSS: Joining Chesterton in earning team medals were the 400 relays of Merrillville (4th, 48.54) and Lake Central (7th, 48.87).