Metzger hangs tough
MISHAWAKA -- Say this for Callie Metzger. The New Prairie senior leaves everything she’s got on the track.
So there she was, leading the 800-meter run from the start during Tuesday’s Northern Indiana Conference girls track finals at Mishawaka.
“My objective was to go out as fast as I could for the first 400. I had an adrenaline rush,” said Metzger, who pulled a tight pack through the first 600 meters, battling anyone who came up to challenge her.
By the final 200, lactic acid started to set in, and first one opponent, then another, slipped past, using their greater leg speed.
But they didn’t get by easily, and by the finish line, the Cougars middle-distance ace was still in fourth place, clocking a season-best 2 minutes, 28.03 seconds.
Penn’s Julie Smith won in 2:24.35.
“I’m ready for the sectional,” said Metzger, who hopes to break her personal-best 2:25 during the state tournament series. “From here, the only thing to do is get that time to keep going down.”
Fourth-place seemed to be the order of the day for New Prairie athletes, who – as a team -- ended up eighth in the 13-team conference meet.
In addition to Metzger, Brianna Hooton was fourth in the 200 finals for New Prairie, clocking 27.95. Pole vaulter Hannah Chlebowski finished fourth by clearing 9 feet.
Mishawaka – which is leaving the NIC in another year, headed for the Northern Lakes Conference – scored 161 points to claim its first league title since 2012. The Cavemen bolted to a fast start, winning four of the first five running events, and then fought off a furious Penn rally at the end.
The defending champion Kingsmen slipped to second with 139 1/2.
New Prairie scored 26 1/2.
Gemma Dillion finished sixth in the high jump as did Skylar Denton in the discus for the Cougars.