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Arthur Track Invite (04/05/19)

Arcola's Jordan Melton reacts after crossing the finish line first during his heat of the 4x2 relay on Friday at Arthur High School.

ARTHUR — In the 49th annual Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Boys Invite and 28th Annual Girls Invite, Kenli Nettles of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, who set three meet records and the Arcola boys relay teams, were among the highlights in the meet.

Nettles, a junior, shattered a record that was set in 2003 in the 100-meter high hurdles by running them in 14.80 seconds, which was .91 faster than the record. Nettles also shattered her own record in the 300 hurdles by 2.07 seconds with a time of 46 seconds. She hit the trifecta with a meet record in the 200 in a time of 26.09 seconds.

The Arcola 4x100, 4x200 and 4x800 relay teams all won in the boys.

Tuscola led 80-75 over Arcola prior to the 4x400. Tuscola was third and Arcola second, while Casey won the 4x400, giving Tuscola the title for the second straight year finishing with 86 compared to the Purple Riders 83. Casey's relay team consisted of Colin Branson, Luke Anderson, Cort Ross and Blake Currey, which ran a time of 3:41.31.

The top two teams earned a trophy in the meet which consisted of 15 boys and 15 girls teams.

Tuscola won the girls meet with 98 points, beating A-L-A-H with 79 points. Okaw Valley was fourth with 63.3, while Casey-Westfield/Martinsville was six with 48 points. Neoga was 10th with 11.3 points and Arcola 12th with eight points.

Girls

Nettles started in the grass, but her first step was on the asphalt in the high jump.

"I got my steps fixed over the summer and after that, I started in the grass and then I do my little skip on to the surface," said Nettles. "You could tell the grass was a little wet because after the first few jumps the place where I put my feet started to dip in and so you just smooth it out."

Nettles cleared 5-4 on her third attempt, going out on 5-6.

"I got my hips up a little more and arched a little bit harder and kicked a little faster," said Nettles. "My attempts at 5-6 were not terrible, but I have not had much practice this year since it has been kind of cold outside and I don't want to pull a muscle or anything like that."'

In the 100 hurdles, Nettles led from start to finish.

"My blocks have improved just from working on them in the summer," said Nettles. "My start was great and my form was great on the first hurdle, and I just picked up my speed in between and finished the race a lot faster than I had hoped for. I am glad because it is a new PR."

Nettles is running the 200 for the first time this season.

"I ran it on Tuesday and that was the first time running it," said Nettles. "I am doing the heptathlon during the summer so I am incorporating the 800, long jump and 200 into what I am doing, and it is going to be fun for sure."

Nettles 200 time broke Sullivan-Okaw Valley's Amanda McClain of 26.21 set in 2014.

The Knights 4x100 won with a time of 54.35 seconds.

Casey-Westfield's Faith Frye won the long jump at 16-10.75.

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"It was pretty good weather," said Frye. "There was just a little bit of a mist."

Frye, who was also in the 100, 200 and 4x400, scratched on her first attempt by five inches and she scratched her final jump by a half an inch.

"I feel good about my jump," said Frye. "It wasn't a very good jump, but it was farther than I thought it would be considering I didn't get good height."

Frye also won the 100 in 13.05 seconds.

Boys

Arcola's 4100 team won with a time of 45.35, while the 4x200 won with a time of 1:36.51 and the 4x800 in 9;04.06.

Jordan Melton, who ran the anchor in the 4x100 said, "It felt exhilarating. I knew we had the lead and so I was giving it everything I had to get a nice time. It was a nice PR for us and that makes me happy."

Jorge Macias, Jacob Butler and Diego Perez were the other three runners in the 4x100. The 4x800 consisted of Ivan Franco, Ben Crane, Beau Edwards, and Kareem Trejo. The 4x200 was Macias, Franco, Perez and Melton.

A-L-A-H's Austin Romine won the 800 with a time of 2:05.58.

"I felt pretty good on the first lap," said Romine. "The 400 has been a big thing. We have been trying to work on making sure my start is nice. Coach Eaton (Derik) and I have been working on that pretty hard just focusing on the first 400. I wanted to go through the first 200 in 28 seconds and the second in 30 seconds. I was a second off with a 59. I just tried to gut it out the final 400 and see if I could hold on to the lead.

"I am happy with my time as I think it is two seconds faster than it was at this point last year. Obviously, I want to make the state meet this year. I think the qualifying time is 2:01. I am not quite there yet, but I am just waiting for the right time to peak in the season. It is really special to win this. I just came out here with the mindset that it is early in the season and you have a long way to go and jot just start climbing the mountain."

Tri-County's Ramsey Hunt won the long jump, but it took until his final attempt to do it. He went 19-0 in his first attempt and 18-4 1/2 in his second jump before unleashing a 21-1 1/2 jump.

"I guess I just focused on my steps more than anything," said Hunt. "On the second jump, I ended up on the wrong foot. On the last one I just got it in the right gear I guess and took off. I knew it was going to be better than the others, but I didn't know it was going to be a 21-foot jump."

Last year in the meet he went 22-0.

"Hopefully under better conditions with less wind later on the season I should be able to beat that," said Hunt, who also won the triple jump at 43-0.

In the 300 hurdles, Casey's Branson won with a time of 43.72 seconds, while Ross won the 1,600 with a time of 4:38.61.

Layton Hall of A-L-A-H won the 3,200 with a time of 10:02.44.

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Contact Mike Monahan at (217) 238-6854.

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Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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