The Northrop girls track and field team won its 10th straight Sectional championship at North Side on Tuesday, but it was a little too close for comfort.
After nine events, the Bruins trailed eventual runners-up Carroll by five, but pulled through in the closing events to win 140.5-132.5 over the Chargers.
"(When the scores were announced after nine events), I really couldn't hear the score, but I knew we were in second and I knew it was close," Northrop coach Terry Milton said. "That's when it got the attention of the girls. It was at the 800 (meters), then we started to calculate points. We had two in the 200, but we knew they'd come back in the (3,200) but we still had the shot put going on so it was just back and forth.
"I knew at that point, it was going to be back and forth, back and forth and it would come down to the 1,600 relay. ... (Jo'Deci Irby) and Dylan (Kirkwood) were on the 400 relay for the first time all year. It paid dividends because we ended up winning it but toward the end (of the meet), they were gassed. They're so competitive and they have so much Bruin pride that they were not going to be denied. We came up short on the 1,600 relay but finished ahead of Carroll."
Northrop got wins from Aniya Harvey in the 100 (12.62), Irby in the 400 (58.41), Kirkwood in the 100 hurdles (15.45) and 300 hurdles (46.99), the 400 relay (48.90).
Alicia Tiney-Williams and Markalah Barnes went 1-2 in the discus (130-1 and 126-2) and shot put (46-3.5 and 39-5) with Tiney-Williams' shot put result breaking the sectional record set by Donna Gill of Snider in 1988. The previous record was 43-5.
"I threw it and it was like, 'Oh, it feels good,' and then it was like, 'hmm, that might be a little bit farther (than my previous throws),'" she said of her record-setting throw, "and he said 46 and was really happy. It's always good to win a sectional championship.
"Me and (Barnes) battled in the discus ring today. At first, she threw a 126 and I was throwing like 117 so I needed to step up a little bit. I get into finals and throw a 130, I was OK with that."
The Chargers were boosted by 1-2 performances from Meagan Hathaway and Abby Green in the 1,600 (5:10.35 and 5:10.47) and the 3,200 (11:02.86 and 11:03.36) and by Micah Long and Brooke Schlotter in the high jump (4-10 and 4-8).
"It's that time of year. You have to expect that," Milton said. "The girls step up all over. It's competitive and as tough as it was today, it's going to be even tougher next week."
Concordia's Abby Brennan won the 800 in 2:20.52 while the Cadets won the 1,600 relay (4:03.77).
Bishop Dwenger won the 3,200 relay in 9:44.85.
Churubusco's Maggie Burita won pole vault, clearing 10 feet and South Side's Alexis Grider won long jump (16-11.5).
The regional is scheduled for Tuesday at Indiana Wesleyan.
NEW HAVEN SECTIONAL: Homestead won the team title 176-115 over Huntington North. The Spartans got wins from Haley Swing in the 400 (59.99), Julia Dvorak in the 800 (2:16.75), the 1,600 relay (4:02.88), Kara Gealy in the long jump (17-1.75) and Brittnee James won the shot put (37-0.75).
ROCHESTER SECTIONAL: Whitko freshman Breanna Keirn finished third in the 100 (13.76) and in the 200 (28.40) and sophomore Cariss Beck threw 34-1 in the shot put to finish third as both individual qualify for next week's Kokomo regional.