STERLING — With the indoor track and field season winding down and the outdoor campaign just around the corner, the Ottawa Pirates took time for some tune-ups approaching next weekend's 2018 Top Times Indoor Championships that will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University's Shirk Center in Bloomington.
Those tune ups for several of the OHS boys and girls individual competitors came during Saturday's Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Invitational Meet here at the Westwood Athletic Complex in Sterling.
While the Pirates didn't bring a full roster to compete in regards to both the boys and the girls squads, OHS did manage to secure two championship medals and a pair of second place hardware all within the field events.
The Lady Pirates captured three of those medallions finishing in sixth place with 26 points as part of the 10-team field, but well in back of meet champion DeKalb which racked up 104 tallies.
On the boys side, Ottawa claimed one championship medal good enough for 10 overall team points on the day and a ninth-place finish behind Kaneland, which won the boys side of the meet posting 89 markers.
"We came here today and wanted to get a little more experience for a couple of guys and we're just trying to get ready for the outdoor season," said OHS boys coach Trent Swords. "It was a nice day today for us with some personal bests and even a championship. Overall, I was happy with things considering we didn't bring a full squad here to compete."
That championship came from Pirate senior pole vaulter Ethan Harsted who captured the title with a vault of 13 feet, 6 inches despite a pulled muscle in his torso. Harsted has hopes of making it to the Top Times meet next weekend.
"I really didn't plan on jumping today because of my injury, but I decided to suck it up and it worked out," Harsted said. "I know for indoor state the top 12 vaults qualify to compete and I'm right there. We'll see by Monday. Hopefully I can make it in my senior year."
It will be a waiting game as well for the three OHS girls medallists that were headlined by sophomore shot put champion Samantha Satterfield who threw a meet best 37-10 which was a winner by a foot and a half.
"I don't think she was pleased with her throws today," said Ottawa girls coach Jessica Kuhn of Satterfield. "But to win in this conference as a sophomore is quite a feat and we are so proud of her."
Also recording a momentous day was Lady Pirate junior Maddy Smith, who finished second in the pole vault with a mark of 9-6 behind Kaneland senior Cierra Kuipers vault of 10-7.
In the process however, Smith established a new OHS school record in the event bettering that of Maddy Mach who previously owned the milestone of 9-0 set in 2012.
"We had a feeling she would break the record this year but never imagined it would be this early in the season," Kuhn remarked. "She has gotten tremendously stronger and I have no doubt she is going to keep raising the bar."
Senior Grace Reinhardt also enjoyed a fine performance after she finished second in the high jump with a leap of 5-2, just a few inches in back of freshman meet champion Macie Gebhardt (5-5) of Sterling.
"Grace looked amazing today in the high jump," Kuhn said. "She looked comfortable like she did last year at the end of the season. We have a few things to work on, but we now know where to start."