LAKE STATION | After 12 of 16 events at Tuesday night’s Greater South Shore girls track meet, Wheeler trailed North Newton by 22 points and Bishop Noll by 19.
The Bearcats dug deep and finished with a flourish to repeat as conference champs.
Sparked by a 1-2 finish in the 800 meters by Kelly O’Shea and Rachel Metzger for 18 points, Wheeler amassed 116 points to top runner-up Bishop Noll’s 106, while North Newton finished third with 100.
“We had some things happen that were unfortunate, but these ladies fought back like champions,” Wheeler coach Rhonda Anderson said.
Shea won the 1,600 and was also part of Wheeler’s winning 3,200 and 1,600 relays.
“We were down by a lot,” she said. “We knew what we had to do our best and place really well.”
Shea set a personal best in the 1,600 in 5 minutes, 40 seconds.
In the next to last race, Wheeler’s Erin Goodwin took third and picked up six precious points to give Wheeler an eight-point lead over Noll with the 1,600 relay left.
Shana Cooper won the 100 and 200 and was part of the 400 relay to pace Noll.
“I’m proud of my team no matter what we came in,” she said. “We all worked hard, and that’s all we could do.”
North Newton cleaned up in the field events as Sarah Levy won the discus with a school-record toss of 127 feet, 10 inches, and Bethany West took first in the long jump and both hurdles. Erika Smart won the shot put, and Gabby Jackson captured the pole vault.
“All in all it was a good effort by our athletes,” North Newton assistant coach Karen Madrigal. “We have a lot of good kids who are not afraid to work hard.”
River Forest was fourth, followed by Calumet and Lake Station.