It may have been cold and overcast, but the athletes at the 20th Annual Chesterton Relays were not deterred. They were motivated and had their eyes on new personal best records. The relay events, hosted by Chesterton High School, were just the place for the track & field athletes to accomplish just that.
As Grace Pace of the Sandpiper Show Choir opened the events by singing the national anthem, the energy and excitement in the crowd rose to a new level.
One particularly excited runner was Camryn Dunn of Chesterton. She was competing in the girls 400-meter relay, 200-meter relay, and sprint-medley relay.
“I love that it is a unique combination of people coming to this meet that you don’t get to see until the deeper postseason meets,” said Dunn. “It is a fun event with all sorts of unique relays that you don’t get to run any other time of the year.”
Dunn was hoping to obtain her personal record in the 200-meter relay. The junior, who started running as a freshman, would go on to take home the award for Most Valuable Player for the girls relay.
Pole Vaulter Chloe Deterling won the girls’ pole vault event with a jump of 8’6”. While her personal record is a foot higher, Deterling was happy with a win. Like Dunn, she was enjoying the Chesterton event.
“I think this is a great opportunity. Everyone is showing out today and this is a great opportunity to do that,” said Deterling.
Cold days like this call for extra motivation. Dunn finds her motivation from those around her.
“The team motivates me. Everyone does their best and it motivates me to do my best,” said Dunn. “We worked hard for this and I want to work hard too.”
Tyra Wheaton has been throwing shot put since the sixth grade. The Munster competitor broke her personal record throwing an impressive 33’4”. She trains by throwing every day and lifting weights in the gym. When she is not working out, Wheaton watches training videos, emphasizing her unique motivation.
“I want to go to the Olympics,” said Wheaton. “I watch videos of Olympic throwers and want to go as far as they do. I push myself and I have people who help and push me.”
Patrick McLaughlin has been running for six years. His motivation comes from closer to home.
“My parents are my motivation,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin usually competes in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter races. The senior would go on to take home wins along with the award for Most Valuable Player in the boys relay.
Additional MVP winners were Karina James of Lowell for girls track, JT Downey of West Lafayette and Brian Farmer of Lowell for boys track, McKayla Henry of Crown Point for girls field events, Christian Rios of Highland for boys field events, Haley Mandsfield of West Lafayette for girls running, and Josh Dennington of Chesterton for boys running.