ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph Ogden sectional was the last chance of the season for the Fisher Bunnies girls track team to compete and set personal records.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Miller did just that by finishing first in her heat of the 400-meter run with a PR time of 1:09.15. Miller was six seconds away from advancing to state.

Miller said she will work harder to improve to make it to state next season.

“Being that my first 400 this season was 1:18 and I was able to come down about 10 seconds really means a lot to me,” Miller said. “I’m really glad I can get there. If I can just get a little bit closer then hopefully next year I will make it to state.”

Both Ashley Smith and Alicia Dowda made PRs in the shot put. Smith finished with a throw of 31 feet, 8.5 inches and Dowda with 21 feet, 7 inches. 

This was the last meet for Dowda because she is a senior. Dowda started competing in track since she was in sixth grade, but this was her first year doing the shot put.

“Throughout high school, I’ve enjoyed doing track and field a lot,” Dowda said. “It’s just been a relief through school. I’m upset that I couldn’t have done as good as I wanted to. I’m glad I did it, and I hope I can do it or participate in some way in college as well.”

Dowda said because the team is small it has been supportive, which helps members’ performances.

“As our girls track team gets smaller and smaller, we get closer and closer,” Dowda said, “hich brings more people, in a way, but also helps get us PR and get farther in our goals. Hopefully, that helps us get closer to going to state at some point in time.”

Kaitlyn Miller, Isabella Hallden, Jaedyn Fitzgerald and Taylor Holman finished the 4x100 meters at 55.65 seconds, which placed them eighth (out of 13). 

Hallden said the team has improved since the beginning of the season.

“I am proud of how we have done so far,” Hallden said. “Hopefully next year we can come back and be better. I definitely have grown closer with the people on the team. It’s been fun to just go out there and represent Fisher.”

Hallden finished with a PR in the long jump with a result of 15 feet, 2.50 inches. She became the first female to try pole vaulting for the Fisher program, leaping 7 feet for both a PR and a fourth-place finish.

“We received the support of our school district and the administration’s support for adding pole vaulting in for this year,” Fisher coach Michael Hallden said. “Having a pole vaulter finish fourth in the sectional is a great accomplishment for the first season.”

Both Miller and Fitzgerald ran in the 400 meters. Fitzgerald finished in sixth with a time of 1:04.44, and Miller finished 11th with 1:09.15 to give her a PR.

Fitzgerald raced in the 100 meter finishing with 14.48 seconds to place her in 14th place.

Fitzgerald, a freshman, said being on the track team has been a good way to train and set goals for herself.

“I think for me personally that this is the sport I am able to test myself the most in,” Fitzgerald said. “It does require a lot of discipline. It’s been an amazing experience, and I’m glad I got to share it with my team.”

Holman also finished the 200 meters at 14th place with a PR time of 30.32 seconds.

Hallden said considering how young the team was, which had only one senior and one junior, he was pleased with the way they competed this season and is looking forward to the team both improving in the future as well as adding more members.

“Just about everybody earned a personal record at the final meet of the season,” Hallden said. “I’m very proud of all of them, and I’m looking forward to next year as we continue to grow with numbers in our program. Last year, we had I believe about two to three athletes to a team, and now we are up to about nine. We are working towards the right direction there.”

 Contact Ben Theobald at btheobald@rantoulpress.com