KOUTS | Prior to the Porter County Conference girls track meet, South Central coach Rachel Werner saw her team do something they never had before.
The Satellites huddled up in the infield, pumping each other up. The camaraderie – and months of hard work – paid off, as South Central score 169 points to repeat as meet champs.
“They got into this huddle before the meet – I wasn’t included, which was fine – and they were talking to each other and encouraging each other. It was a really cool thing to see,” Werner said. “These kids come from all sorts of different social areas, but when they come together they melt together. It’s a really awesome thing to watch; they’re like a little family and it’s really special.”
South Central won eight events en route to the championship. The Satellites also won their third straight PCC round-robin title.
“They’ve been working hard all season,” Werner said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. I explained to the girls how important it is to score both of our girls; even if it’s eighth place, it’s a point. The girls worked really hard, they never gave up and all the hard work’s paying off. I’m really proud of them.”
Morgan Township (137) finished second at the conference meet with three event wins. Hebron (116) finished third, while host Kouts (72) and Boone Grove (59) rounded out the top five.
Though Werner, like all coaches, kept a running tally throughout the meet, she did not tell her team they had won the title. The Satellites found out they were victorious as the final totals were read off over the loudspeaker.
“I like the surprise,” she said. “It’s more fun that way for them.”
South Central senior Taylor Johnson won both the 100-meter hurdles (16.53) and 300 hurdles (48.87). She also teamed with Sydney Payne, Riley Popplewell and Rylee Nunemaker to take the 400 relay (52.87).
Johnson shared the PCC Mental Attitude Award with Washington Township's Elizabeth Masson.
“I’ve known Taylor since she was 5 or 6 years old; she’s a great kid,” Werner said. “She’s one of those kids that always has a smile on her face, would do anything you asked her to do.
"She’s a four-sport letter winner throughout high school. You couldn’t ask for a better kid. She’s the kind of kid you want to put on the photo machine and copy her.”