The Lady Yellow Jackets track and field team managed to open the 2019 outdoor season before rain hit the area. Chester hosted a pair of seven-team meets, on March 21 and March 26.
In both meets combined, the Lady Jackets recorded four first place finishes, six runner-up finishes, nine 3rd place finishes, five fourth place finishes, three fifth place finishes, and seven 6th place finishes.
They produced 114 points for a 3rd place finish in the first meet, and 61 points in the 4th place finish on March 26.
Chester's Josie Kattenbraker won four titles in two days while Peyton Clendenin, Lauren Soellner, Hannah Blechle, the 400-meter relay team, the 800-meter relay team, and Kattenbraker each placed 2nd during the two days of competition.
Coach Jenny Cartwright said that overall the team performed well, also pointing to the first place finishes by Kattenbraker in both hurdle events and high jump.
"We are young," the coach added. The 2019 squad has no seniors and just two juniors; seven sophomores and eight freshmen.
"I will be moving girls around, trying to find the best combinations for the relays.
"I am looking forward to our next meet. Hopefully the weather will stay nice so we can compete."
Unfortunately, Cartwright's hope was unfulfilled as the Friday, March 29 meet at St. Genevieve had to be postponed due to cold and wet conditions.
Kattenbraker leads Jackets in first meet
On March 21 Kattenbraker grabbed wins in the high jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Peyton Clendenin was runner-up in the long jump, Lauren Soellner was runner-up in high jump and Hannah Blechle was runner-up in the pole vault.
The CHS 4 X 200 relay team of Lauren Soellner, Hannah Blechle, Shelby Roth, and Peyton Clendenin placed 2nd with a time of 2:05.9 and the 4 X 100 relay team of Lauren Soellner, Hannah Blechle, Peyton Clendenin and Josie Kattenbraker finished 2nd with a time of 57.6.
Third place finishes included Peyton Clendenin (triple jump), Melody Colonel (pole vault), Avery Runge (800-meter run), Avery Runge (1600-meter run), and the 4 X 400 relay team of Ava Lochhead, Lexus Iverson, Cami Schroeder, and Alex Hennrich.
Fourth placers were Gracey Roth (shot put) and Ava Lochhead (400-meter dash). Shelby Roth was 5th in the 200-meter dash.
Sixth place finishes were Alyssa Seymour (discus), Lauren Soellner (triple jump), Gracey Roth (400-meter dash) and Alex Hennrich (200-meter dash).
Sparta won the meet with 165 points, followed by Christopher (126), Chester (114), New Athens (46), Christ Our Savior Lutheran (5-tie), Gibault (5-tie), and Steeleville (2).
Tough competition; Jackets finish 4th
At the March 26 meet the competition was fiercer. Also a seven-team meet, Chester earned just one 1st place award, one 2nd place award, four 3rd place awards, three 4th place awards, two 5th place awards, and three 6th place awards for a total of 61 points.
Altogether, Chester accumulated 61 points, good enough for 4th place. Nashville won the meet with 211 points, followed by Red Bud (112), Murphysboro (87), Chester (61), New Athens (40), Gibault (13) and Christ Our Savior Lutheran (1).
Kattenbraker was Chester's only event winner, taking the 300-meter hurdles. She then turned around and placed 2nd in the long jump.
The Lady Jackets recorded four 3rd place finishes: Kattenbraker tied for 3rd in the high jump with her teammate Lauren Soellner; Peyton Clendenin in the triple jump; Kattenbraker in the 100-meter hurdles; and the 800-meter relay team.
Three Lady Jackets finished 4th: Peyton Clendenin (long jump); Lauren Soellner (high jump); and the 400-meter relay team.
Lauren Soellner (triple jump) and Alex Hennrich (pole vault) both placed 5th in their respective events.
Sixth place finishers were Madison Kribbs (800-meter run); Alex Hennrich (400-meter dash); and Peyton Clendenin (200-meter dash).