Finke leads Wildcats at home meet

Theo Tate

Montgomery County senior Renee Finke competes in the triple jump of the Montgomery County Invitational on April 19. She placed first in that event with a 33-10.25. She also won the high jump and 100-meter hurdles and helped the 1,600-meter relay team get a victory. THEO TATE PHOTO

As the Montgomery County track season approaches the midway point, Renee Finke already has high hopes for her 1,600-meter relay team.

“I think we could manage to make it to state,” the MCHS senior said. “I’m really excited for that.”

Finke helped the 4x400 team pick up its sixth win of the season at the Montgomery County Invitational on April 19. The squad of Finke, sophomores Lyric Ford and Carson Flake and senior Anna Shaw finished with a time of 4:26.45, beating Centralia by eight seconds.

MCHS was trailing Centralia in the relay until Finke put her team ahead in the second leg. Shaw and Flake ran the final two legs.

“I’m good at maintaining and building speed,” Finke said. “I usually don’t slow down, so as soon as I get (the baton), I try to take off. I try to build speed constantly. It hurts my lungs so bad when I’m done. But it is so worth it. I try to put everything I have that’s left in my body on that lap. I expect the last two girls to do just the same and they do.”

The relay win helped Finke turn in a perfect performance at the Montgomery County meet, winning all four of her events. She also placed first in the high jump, 100-meter hurdles and triple jump.

But Finke wasn’t satisfied.

“I was not 100 percent happy with myself on how I did because I know I can be better and do better,” said Finke, who now has 27 first-place finishes after eight meets this season. “I didn’t see it in everything that I did, which was frustrating.”

MCHS coach Stephanie Finke said her daughter wanted to bounce back from a second-place finish in the triple jump at the Owensville Relays on April 16.

“There’s no talking to her when she loses,” Stephanie said. “That’s all right. I like that motivation. I can say the same with that 4x400 group. They’re never satisfied. They were like, ‘I didn’t run good. I should have ran better.’ But even with the conditions of getting cold and the head wind they had to go into, they’re never satisfied with how they are. Maybe if they stand on top of the podium at state, they’ll be satisfied, but I doubt it.”

Renee Finke finished with a 5-7.25 in the high jump, breaking her own school record of 5-7 she set at the Montgomery County Early Invite on March 23. She finished with a 33-10.25 in the triple jump and ran 16.16 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles.

Besides the Montgomery County Invitational, the MCHS 4x400 also placed first at the Montgomery County Early Invite, Cuba Relays and the Bowling Green, St. Dominic and North Callaway meets. The team’s best time was a 4:21.39 in its third-place finish at the Holt Invitational.

“I’m grateful for the 4x400 team that we have,” Finke said. “This is one of the best 4x400 teams I think we had in a few years.”

The MCHS girls finished second in the team standings with 125 points. The boys team placed fourth with 78.

Centralia swept both boys and girls team titles. The Panthers scored 215 points in the girls division and 180.5 in the boys meet.

The MCHS girls also got a win from Olivia Shaw in the 100. In the boys meet, the Wildcats got victories from Jacer Brower (400), Dawson McCown (1,600) and the 4x400 team of Brower, Connor Galarza, Alec Johnson and Aidan Hall.

Stephanie Finke was pleased with the effort from Brower, who is a freshman.

“Jacer has been fun to watch,” the coach said. “He’s still figuring things out. He’s got a long way to go. He hasn’t quite figured out how to run per se because he tries to go out slow and then catches people. He goes all out and uses what he has left. So he’s starting to figure the races out.”



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