Conditions were ideal and school records fell by the wayside Friday as Northville and Novi boys and girls team competed in the Golden Triangle Invitational track and field meet hosted by Saline.

More than 60 schools from across the state competed in the meet.

"We have been going down to the Golden Triangle for the past few years," Northville girls coach Tim Dalton said. "It is a really solid meet with a great track atmosphere and solid competition. The kids love it."

Northville junior sprinter Chloe Abbott especially loves the Golden Triangle as she re-broke her own school records in the 200- and 400-meter dashes with times of 25.17 and 56.88, respectively.

Abbott also anchored the Mustangs' to a victory in the 1,600 relay (3:56.83) along with Yasmine Affes, Gracie Goble and Lindsay Walters.

"Chloe continues to show why she is one of the best sprinters in the state," Dalton said. "The night ended with one of the more exciting races of the year. We were in second place by a considerable amount going into the anchor leg, but Chloe is Chloe. She closed the gap down the final straight away and was able to take over first place as she crossed the finish line. Chloe is the definition of a competitor. I ask my team to simply compete. Chloe clearly understands that."

Northville's 3,200 relay team of Lexa Barrott, Emma Smith, Emma Herrmann and Cayla Eckenroth was also runner-up in 9:35.44, while the distance medley team of Rachel Zimmer, Paige Zimmer, Taylor Gattoni and Smith took third in 13:24.22.

Senior Lauren Rodriguez also placed first in the 100 hurdles (14.95) and added a seventh in the 300 hurdles (47.08).

Other top eight finishers included: Goble, sixth, 200 (26.3); eighth, long jump (15 feet, 8 inches); Walters, sixth, 400 (59.35); and Lexa Barrott, sixth, elite mile (5:10.57).

Novi senior Hannah Lonergan set a school record with a runner-up finish in the elite mile (5:07.42), which is a 5:05.60 adjusted time for the 1,600. She broke the record of 5:08.0 held since 1988 by Tammy Onofrey.

"She went through that first lap at 74 (seconds)," Novi coach Marsha Reid said. "You could just see she completely was controlled and within herself. The competition in the elite mile was awesome because the times ranged from 4:57 to 5:12. It came down to the last 300 meters and everything was packed up, and she just gave a great, great kick. You knew going in that she had that record."

Lonergan, who also took a sixth in the 800 (2:20.03), will have at least four more meets to lower her new standard.

"Best reaction was standing by the finish line," Reid said of the elite mile. "It's a pretty proud moment when you have a kid break the school record that's been there for the past 26 years. Everybody on our team just pretty much knew that school record and she just smashed it. And she looked like she had a ton left in her. She was tired afterwards, but you can tell she has so much more in the tank. I'm looking forward to what she can do the rest of the season."

Also earning eight-places for the Wildcats included Karenna Roest in the 300 hurdles (47.32) and Marissa Dunn in the discus (105-10).

Boys records fall

Northville's 4 x 400 relay team of Adam Ghabra, Sean Flanagan, Jason Ferrante and Jacob Kamm established a new school record with a third-place time of 3:24.60.

Junior Conor Naughton also put his name on the Mustang record board in the 3,200 with an eighth-place clocking of 9:23.87.

"It was amazing to see our kids rise to the occasion around them and lay down some of their personal and season bests," Northville boys coach Brandon Langston said. "That speaks not only to their level of training, but to their competitive instincts."

The foursome of Kenny Goolsby, Alec Pryzbocki, Jeff Baxter and Thomas Smither contributed a fourth in the distance medley (11:16.24).

Among the individual top eight finishers included Ghabra, fourth, 200 (22.58); Andrew Hopkins, sixth, high jump (6-0); John Hamilton, seventh, high jump (5-8).

Novi junior Joost Plaetinck, a junior, placed fourth in the 3,200 (9:18.82).

"The Golden Triangle meet really marks the beginning of what we call our championship season," Langston said. "There are almost 60 teams that compete there, so it's some of the best competition in the state. The following week we have conferences (Friday at Livonia Churchill), then regional, and finish with 'states,' so this is the time our kids are starting to hit their peak and rise to the occasion."


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