Riley Ammenhauser once again became the star of the show in the jumps
CHICAGO IL- Gately Indoor Track & Field Center has turned out to be an amazing place to congregate and watch a track meet. The latest edition hosted by Chicagoland United Performance Group (CYUP) did not disappoint. There were numerous national and state marks set ahead of personal satisfaction.
Riley Ammenhauser, the nation's top returning combined jumper from Neuqua Valley, seemed like she was born ready to turn out the party in the long and triple jump competitions before closing out the indoor season.
The first event of the day was the long jump and she re-established herself as someone to watch in her "secondary" event, skying 19'4.25" which was good for #12 in the country. Ammenhauser has insisted the long jump was a "good warm-up for the triple jump." She may want to reconsider those sentiments.
In her premier event, Ammenhauser did not waste any time once the competition began, she connected on her first attempt- a BOMB 41'0.25" and the US#1 mark in hand, and the pressure was deleted. Content with her improved technique, Ammenhauser connected on a 40'9" effort which would have given her the top two performances in the country. Ammenhauser passed on her final attempt, content and ready to see what the outdoor season will bring.
Jetta Mays has covered quite some distance during the indoor season. The standout from Wisconsin has competed at Gately previously and most recently came off of a performance at the AAU Nationals. Mays was not particularly proud of the efforts in Virginia despite earning a personal best in the 60m. The one her family calls the "biscuit" indicated that winning a title of any sort would make things complete. Well, in the 60m, Mays ran a 7.70 PB in the prelims. She followed it up with an easy winner in 7.71. The smiles abound for Mays who later held off her twin sister Maia Mays for another all-time personal best performance in the 200m, clocking 24.78.
Aly Negovetich of Grant HS was one of the prized pre-high school distance proteges that many distance experts talked about. She has kept up her end of the bargain entering her third year of high school. After producing another successful cross country, Negovetich embarked on the momentum through an abbreviated indoor campaign. As a favorite this time in the mile, the time was perfect to capitalize on the opportunity.
Former Palatine and Northwestern University star Kelly O'Brien (4:47 miler as a prep) leading the early pacing duties bolded well. Mary Grace Hegberg of Arlington Heights St. Viator tucked in behind O'Brien for the first two circuits before Negovetich joined her. At 800m, it was 2:25 and 2:26 for Hegberg and Negovetich. O'Brien would step off the track a short time later leaving the girls to fend for themselves.
Sensing a chink in Hegberg's armor just after the 1k mark, Negovetich seized the moment and pulled in front for good. Negovetich streamed home for the win in a personal best 4:59.28.
Earlier, it was 8th grader Holly Johnson of Downers Grove who continued her hold on to the national middle-school best, running another personal best and tight tilt Chicago's Sofia Arcuri 5:16.12-5:16.73.
Sandwiched between Megan Becker's (Bloomington Central Catholic) 58.78 PB win in the 400m, was the two-mile. Cross Country standout Anna Perry of Eureka made her third appearance at Gately the best one. After trailing earlier behind Leane Willemse who lead the pacesetter, Perry took over the second half of the race to win in a personal best 11:02.24 (10:58.63). Perry indicated afterwards that she has been content with her progress throughout the indoor season and is ready for outdoor.