MOROCCO | After finishing the third leg of the 1600 relay, Wheeler junior Lindsey Heavner collapsed onto the infield grass, exhausted from her fourth race of the day. But Heavner and her teammates ran away from the field in winning the Greater South Shore Conference meet on Tuesday.
"It's totally worth it," said Heavner, as she tried to catch her breath.
Wheeler amassed 149 points to runner-up River Forest's 116. Defending champ Bishop Noll was third with 100, followed by North Newton (72), Calumet (55) and Lake Station (19).
"We just give 100 percent in everything we do," said Heavner, who was on three winning relay teams and took third in the 300 hurdles. "We're definitely a close team, and we couldn't have done it without everyone who participates."
Wheeler was also still smarting from finishing a close second to Bishop Noll last year.
"Losing last year was motivation to win this year," said Haley Lovinson, who won the 400 and placed second in the 100. "We wanted it. We didn't want to lose by four points. It was hard work all year."
Lovinson was also on the 1600 relay and took fifth in the 200.
"We talked about it all year how we were close (last year), and how we wanted to walk away from this meet with no regrets — don‘t leave anything on the track," said coach Rhonda Anderson, who previously coached at Lew Wallace and Roosevelt. "They stepped up."
It was truly a dominating night for Wheeler, which used its depth and excellence in the distances. Kelly O'Shea won the 800 and 1600, while Liz Mitten was second in the 800 and Christie Hansen second in the 1600. It won all three relays.
"They worked really hard, and I'm so proud of them," Anderson said. "We've been wanting this for awhile, and it finally came together tonight."
Desi Swartz won the pole vault and 300 hurdles to pace River Forest, while Celeste Robles won the 200. Noll's Asya Hobbs won the 100 and high jump, but the night belonged to Wheeler.
"They trained real hard and got it done," Anderson said.