Bloomington North stars sweep Herald-Times female honors
Some of the best in Bloomington North women’s track history were not to be denied this season.
They broke school records, came back from a serious injury, won state medals and state championships as the Cougars tied his program’s best result to date.
So we honor sophomore Nola Somers Glenn and senior Kyla Kante as the Herald-Times Female Track Athletes of the Year and two-time champion Hadley Lucas as the HT Female Field Athlete of the Year.
Somers Glenn finds faith
North head coach Justin Helmer had a chat with his niece on the way home from the Indiana Conference meet, and it turned out to be prophetic.
She had just run a 59.43 in her first open 400m race of the year to win a championship title, then came back with a gap of 58.4 for the 1600m relay. Normally, Somers Glenn was primarily an 800 specialist, both in the open race and for the 3200 relay. But she had shown him the kind of speed that could pay off in a big race.
“I told her with that speed, and what she had the ability to do, I wanted to make her understand that ‘2:12, 2:13 is real for you’.
“When we got to tournament season, she went from 2:20 to 2:18, 2:17, 2:16… she kept cutting her time. And with her PR, it was a great feeling of the having the confidence is starting to grow and I think maybe I can ride that fast. Maybe I can get on the podium. That’s important with running.
Somers Glenn had done the important work she needed to do in the area clocking a career-best 2:16 to recover for the second time in the fast heat.
She finished fourth after the first loop in 1:04.05 and held onto fifth place in a school-best 2:13.97. As expected. She capped the competition with a 58.5 lead for the relay.
“Last year she was just happy to be there and didn’t have a great race,” Helmer said. “This time she had a bit more drive and focus.”
It was a very different approach to the season for Kante, but she still ended up scoring more meet points than any other Cougar and returning to the state finals for the first time since her freshman year.
After a stubborn ankle injury from the North Invitational in early May 2021, Kante saw limited action during the volleyball season and wasn’t sure what she could accomplish in her final year of track.
“The indoor season we’ve been very cautious,” Helmer said. “And at the start of the outdoors too. We didn’t want to add too many events at once. We wanted to focus on running and making sure the ankle was healthy.”
Kante had been a mainstay in four events, both hurdles, long jump and relay. She did a long jump a few times in the middle of the year, but didn’t feel so good afterwards, so that was taken off her slate. The 300 too. She has never raced them this year.
That left only the 100 hurdles and ultimately the 400 and 1,600 stints, which were each declared equally. Pushed hard for the first time this year, Kante cleared the final four hurdles but clinched a spot in the hurdles final by 0.03 with a career-best 14.54.
She would take ninth place (14.57) before heading off to run the hurdles at IUPUI.
“At first she had some ups and downs,” Helmer said. “We always talked and when she felt comfortable, we added the next piece.
“And for her to finish it, run a faster time and almost get the school record, that was a great ending to a really good career.”
Lucas rules the roost
All season, Lucas was the one everyone was chasing.
It was news for the runner-up, who competed last year with a broken finger on her throwing hand and injured just before the state. She was still fifth in the discus and 19th in the shot put.
Healthy and with another offseason working with Wil Fleming and North shooting coach Sara Hamidovic, his numbers were mind-boggling. The first school record to disappear was the shot put with a 49-7. Then fell the disc record in the section with a 163-8.
She was the top seed in every event at the state and handled it like a veteran. She started with three throws over 140 in the discus prelims to secure the victory (by 11 feet) and hit her winning distance of 46-4¼ in the shot put to complete the first round.
No sophomore has ever swept the events. She was also the first Cougar and the first of Wayne Nichols’ students to win a shot put title.
“The improvement showed in his work ethic,” Helmer said. “She got into the weight room. She was stronger. She throws all year round, so she’s constantly working on it.
“The other thing that stands out is just his mindset. His competitiveness. To be undefeated all season and go to No. 1 in the state, it takes mental toughness to stay focused and do what you are capable of doing. Every time she was challenged, she got better.”
2022 HERALD-TIMES ALL-ZONE GIRLS TRACK TEAM
Ashley Abram, Edgewood, So.
At his best in the pole vault when it mattered most, breaking the school record to win a regional title at 9-6 and tying that height in the state. Also a member of the 400 relay which broke the school record twice, lowering it to 50.68 at regional. I got 13.35 out of 100 at the WIC.
Bea Cakmak, North, Sr.
Made a third trip to the state, while posting the second-best career time in 1,600 (5:09.75) to win the regional final. Came back with another solid run at the State Finals, placing 12th in 5:12.08. Third in the CI at the 800 in 2:24.22. Also raced 1,600 stints and 3,200 stints. Third time All-Area.
Emma Edwards, Edgewood, So.
An incredibly versatile athlete for the Mustangs who has been the region’s most consistent high jumper, reaching 5-0 at the WIC Sectional and Regional Championships. Ran legs for the 400 relay (which set the school record at 50.68), 1,600 relay and 3,200 relay in the playoffs. Posted a 1:02.43 at 400.
Ella Francis, North, Sr.
Injury limited her to just one race at the end of the season and she made the most of it, mustering the best back-to-back efforts of her career in the 300 hurdles to win a regional title and then clinch an eighth-place finish in the state with a 45.27 which is North’s all-time top three. Repeat the entire area.
Ella Hayden, Edgewood, Jr.
Multi-event threat to Mustangs. Had season bests of 12.89 in the 100m and 27.37 in the 200m. Member of the 400m relay that broke the school record a second time at regionals with a 50.68. Broke school record in long jump three times, twice in playoffs, going 17-2 at regional.
Kyla Kante, North, Sr.
Came slow but went strong late in the season to win Herald-Times Female Co-Trail Athlete of the Year, taking ninth place in the 100 hurdles after posting a career-best 14, 54 in the preliminaries to qualify for the final by 0.03. CI Champion. Ran a 1:01.45 for third place at CI competition. Also anchored the 400 relay in 20th place in the state in 49.60, the best time of the season, and was on the 1,600 relay which was 13th in the state (4:00.61). Third time All-Area.
Hadley Lucas, North, So.
The Herald-Times Field Athlete of the Year exploded this year to break school records in shot put (49-6) and discus (163-8) and section record in discus before to become the first sophomore to sweep state titles in both. CI champion in both throws while breaking the shooting encounter record. North’s first state champion since Rachel Delaney won the disc in 2008. Repeat all zones.
Lily Myers, South, Sr.
The 3,200m school record holder broke the mark twice in the playoffs, clocking 10:50.30 at the section and then 10:47.37 at the state only to have to settle for 10th place. Had a time of 5:23.36 in the 1600m and 2:22.07 in the 800m. Also ran for the 3,200m relay that made it to the state finals.
Zoe Prather, North, Jr.
The pole vault specialist tied the best in the region 9-6. Hit the mark while earning a Section title and to win the North-South encounter.
Nola Somers Glenn, North, So.
No sophomore crisis for this mid-distance standout, who is the Herald-Times female co-track athlete of the year. Finished fifth in the 800m while breaking the 2013 school record with a time of 2:13.97. Won the CI title in the 400m with a 59.43. Also ran the stage for the 1,600 relay which finished second regional and 13th at state in 4:00.61 and for the 3,200 relay. Repeat the entire area.
Anna Tieman, Eastern Greene, Sr.
Top sprinter and long jumper in the region, posting school records in the 200m (25.85) and long jump (17-3¾) to qualify for state. Had a season best 12.74 in the 100m and also qualified for regional. Ran the stage for 1,600 stints. SWIAC champion in long jump, 200m, 1600m relay, second in 100m.
Trinity Uti, South, P.
Section runner-up in the 400m and had a career best 1:01.62 at regionals, where she took the lead in the 1,600m relay. At the CI Meet, he finished fourth in the CI 200 (27.67) and also ran stages for the 400 and 1,600 relays.
Rachel Allison, North, Jr. (relay 3,200, 3,200); Maya Anderson-Corns, South, Sr. (shot put); Kate Barada, South, So. (relay 3200, 3200); Emma Bitner, Edgewood, Sr. (800, 1,600 stint, 3,200 stint); Lilyanna Blais, Eastern Greene, p. (1600); Emma Callahan, South, Jr. (relays 1,600, 3,200); Kiera Feagans, North, So. (relay 400, 1600); FromDe Eberle, North, So. (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump); Annie Galindo, North, Sr. (shot put, discus); Addison Georges, Edgewood, So. (300 hurdles, high jump, 400 relays); Trista Helms, Edgewood, Sr. (shot put, discus); Chloe Hendrix-Petry, North, So. (relay 100, 200, 400); Claire Lutz, South, So. (Pole vault); Avery Njau, North, Sr. (relay 200, 400); Shayli Walker, Edgewood, So. (shot put, discus.
Contact Jim Gordillo at [email protected] and follow @JimGordillo on Twitter.