Evanston girls track coach Fenton Gunter wasn’t happy with the way his runners competed last week. So the veteran mentor took a drastic step this week — he took away their uniforms.
Competing just in their own T-shirts and shorts Saturday, the Wildkits scored a second place team finish behind the host team at the John Eakle Invitational at Danville and got back into the good graces of the coaching staff.
Rest assured the Kits will be back in their full uniforms for Thursday’s Central Suburban League South division meet at New Trier.
“The only other time I’ve ever done that was back in 1994 for a meet at Waukegan,” Gunter recalled. “We hadn’t practiced worth a nickel that week and I really got their attention when I did that.
“We didn’t compete last week, and that’s the one thing we ask of all of them when they put on that uniform. So they had to earn them back. There was nothing psychological about it. They just have to understand that you have to do your best at all times, and today we competed well.”
ETHS senior Remy Amarteifio won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.93 seconds, Genora Garcia ruled the shot put with a best toss of 37 feet, 8 inches, and Gabrielle Watson contributed an individual win in the high jump when she cleared 5 feet.
Evanston also won a pair of head-to-head relay showdowns with Danville. In the 400, the team of Amarteifio, Alexia Harvey, Summer Mitchell and Tauja Foreman posted a winning time of 49.46 to Danville’s 49.51. And in the 3200 relay, the unit of Crea Taylor, Enyaeva Michelin, Aisa Lasey and Kristin Tangvik hit the tape first in 10:14.63.
Danville did force the Kits to settle for 2nd place in the other two relays. The team of Foreman, Harvey, Amarteifio and Mitchell was clocked in 1:45.31 in the 800 and Lasey, Harvey, Amarteifio and Noni Shelton earned runnerup honors in 4:02.87 in the 1600, just 2-10ths of a second behind the Vikings.
“Now I think we’ve got 5 girls we can inter-change on that mile relay, and that’s the first time we’ve put together a good 4 x 200 without Aisa on it, too,” Gunter pointed out. “All of the young girls ran really well and the timing (on the relays) is getting a little bit better. We should’ve been quicker on the 4 x 100 but we did have a couple of bad exchanges there. We expect to run faster Thursday in all of those relays.”
Also scoring top individual finishes at Danville were Michelin, 2nd in the 800 in 2:31.48; Foreman, 2nd in the 100 in 13.15; Harvey, 2nd in the 100 hurdles in 15.54; Garcia, 2nd in the discus throw at 94-9; Watson, 2nd in the triple jump at 30-10.5; Crea Taylor, 3rd in the 400 in 1:02.23; Hannah Hayat, 3rd in the 800 in 2:33.03; Shelton, 3rd in the long jump at 14-7; Takina Taylor, 2nd in the high jump at 4-8 and 4th in the 400 in 1:07.73; and Mitchell, 4th in the 200 in 27.52.