Competition? What competition?
The third-ranked Northrop girl's track squad didn't need any at Tuesday's Northrop Track and Field Sectional, and neither did Concordia Lutheran hurdler Symone Black.
Both the Bruins and Black won in dominating fashion and will advance to Tuesday's Northrop Regional championships.
Northrop won the team title with 132 points (ahead of Carroll and Snider with 105) and Black set two meet records.
“I know there is great competition here,” said Black of the sectional. “But I think about my timing and I have to get after it, move forward. I can't go backwards.”
Black was speaking not of winning or breaking records, but of competing against herself and the stopwatch.
Black's goals for the meet were two personal bests, and she accomplished only one: a 14.36 in the 100 hurdles. That mark broke the sectional record of 14.53 set last year by Northrop's Demetra Taylor.
Her winning time of 43.08 in the 300 hurdles broke the 1991 record by Terri Wanamaker of 43.90, but it failed to top a personal best of 42.6.
“My goal was two (personal bests) and to win,” Black said. “I wanted to get after it and be faster than the last meet.”
Black's coach is former Wayne hurdling standout Kenneth Cammack (Class of 1976). He said Black's advantage, despite her diminutive size, is her strength.
“She is deceptively strong,” Cammack said.. “She's always had great lower-body strength, but this year we concentrated on her upper-body. She has doubled her strength in her upper-body and it shows.”
Cammack was the 1976 IHSAA state champion in the low hurdles, and said Black's other advantage is her mental strength.
“She is very goal-oriented,” Cammack said. “She is training to be the best. Not in the area, but in the tri-state area. When I give her a goal, she goes after it, she doesn't back down.”
While Black said the competition of the Northrop hurdlers were important, it wasn't the end-all.
“My goals are to beat myself and my personal bests,” Black said. “Each time I cross the finish line, I need to be better (than the last).”
The same can be said for the Northrop team. Heavily favored entering the meet, the Bruins only had to hold on to the baton, do what was expected and not false-start.
“We don't think about it,” said Northrop sprinter Dejah Arnold about the competition. “It's more about me and my training and my timing. I know there are other fast (girls) in the meet, but I can't think about them.”
Arnold won every time she stepped on the track Tuesday, as she claimed titles in the 100 and 400-meter dashes and the 1,600-meter relay.
“I think I did okay,” Arnold said, but she was quickly interrupted.
“She's awesome,” interjected fellow Northrop sprinter Amber McGee.
“I think I was doing what I was supposed to do for the team," Arnold said. "We needed to get our points to advance.”
McGee was awesome as well, winning the 200-meter dash and running on the victorious 400 relay and 1,600 relays.
Carroll, as expected, was strong in the distance events, winning the 3,200 relay, going first and third in the 800-meter race and finishing first and second in the 3,200-meter race. The Chargers also took second and third in the 1,600-meter run.
Carroll's Sara McKeeman won the pole vault.
Leo's Keanna Gary won both the shot put and discus, while Snider's Karrina Smith won the long jump and South Side's Destiny Davis won the high jump.