The Ottumwa Courier


April 29, 2014

Pekin girls win Van Buren Invitational

KEOSAUQUA — It was a record night at the Van Buren Invitational for Davis County’s Kate Birchmier and an overall dominant night as a team for the Pekin girls track and field squad.

The Panthers picked up wins in eight different events on Monday, bringing home the team title with 155 points. Iowa City Regina finished second as a team with 128 points, narrowly edging out the Mustangs who took third with 127 highlighted by another big night in the field for one of the top shot put and discus throwers in the entire state.

Coming off a pair of top-five finishes at the Drake Relays, Birchmier began her run toward a potential state title on Monday by setting a new school record in the discus with a throw of 140 feet, 10 inches. The toss not only set a new program standard, but also beat out the next best throw in the Van Buren Invite field by almost 23 feet.

Birchmier wasn’t done, stepping up to throw the shot put for the first time since finishing third in the event on Friday at Drake. Birchmier beat out fellow Drake qualifier Shelbie Williams of Pekin for the win on Monday with a toss of 41-3.5, 61 inches further then Williams.

Birchmier led a sweep of the field events for Davis County. Lauren Lynch beat out teammate Jaylynn Sharp for the high jump title by an inch with a jump of 5-1 to Sharp’s 5-0 jump.

“This was the best performance that this duo has had all season,” Davis County head coach Josh Husted said. “They are peaking at the right time and are two of the most consistent jumpers in the state of Iowa right now.”

Hayleigh Sharp also picked up a win in the long jump for the Mustangs with a leap of 15-6. On the track, Davis County got a pair of relay wins from the 4x200 (1:58.21) and the 4x400 (4:25.19).

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