CARMI – The dynasty lives.

For the seventh year in a row the Chester girls won the Black Diamond Conference track championship. Chester cruised to an easy win over second place Johnston City 155-108. Christopher was third at 107.

But, it wasn’t as easy as it might seem.

The Chester 400-meter relay team was disqualified. And, pole vaulter Abby Myers failed to clear the bar. The Yellow Jackets figured to place high in both events.

“We had a few little upsets at the beginning of the meet with the pole vault and the 400 meter relay, but the team came together and gutted it out,” said coach Jennifer Stumpe. “I got a little nervous. That was 20 points right off the bat.”

But, Chester got a strong performance from Morgan Atchison who won both hurdle events. She established a new Black Diamond record in the 100 hurdles at 15:31. And, she nipped Christopher’s Maddie Gossett in the 300 lows.

“Morgan broke the conference record,” Stumpe said. “We had some freshmen today that stepped up and got all-conference, especially Destiny (Williams) in the 800. For the weather, I thought we performed well, and we’re looking forward to sectionals.”

She also gave props to sisters Maddie and Katie Hoffman. Maddie Hoffman picked up points in the shot put and discus while Katie Hoffman scored in the long and high jumps.

The real race in this meet was for second place where Johnston City nipped Christopher by a point.

“It was a great day for us, 5-7 first places,” said coach Dan Mings. “The rest of our girls, they picked it up where they were supposed to pick it up. We had a good meet. It was something we were working on a long time to be competitive, so it’s nice to actually be that way.”

Alora Mouyard won three events, the pole vault, 100 and 200 meters for the Indians.

“She hasn’t pole vaulted in over a year,” Mings said. “I talked her into it the other day and she wins the pole vault. She won the 100 and 200. She ran the 300s for the first time ever three days ago at Carterville and she ran a 51.0. She ran another 51.0 today. She’s a special kind of athlete. I think she’s played close to 400 varsity contests in her four years at the high school. She’s pretty special.”

The Indians also got two firsts from Lauren Friess in the triple and the long jumps.

Carmi’s Payton Dixon, a freshman, picked up wins in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

The meet was run in cold, rainy conditions. The rain came down in sheets during the 1,600 meters.

“It was cold and nasty, I can barely feel my fingertips,” Stumpe said. “The girls running in it, they have to spend a little extra time warming up. They were mentally prepared.”

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Sports editor

Les Winkeler is sports editor and outdoors writer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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