Baker junior high girls running record fast

The old adage, “records are made to be broken,” is very true when talking about the Baker Jr. High 8th grade girls’ track team.


By Angel Wyrwas

The old adage, “records are made to be broken,” is very true when talking about the Baker Jr. High 8th grade girls’ track team. Even though snow and a late spring postponed the start of their season, new records have been broken for the school, and these girls have run away with a winning season.

“We don’t just have one or two great members on the team,” said Jr. High Track Coach Deryk Van Zee. “Those girls really love track. They were breaking records as 7th graders and they’ve just kept pushing themselves more competitively this year.” Coach Van Zee is talking about six girls: Emilia Cuppy, Madison Durden, Peyton Janeway, Ashlyn Lutts, Anika Ploeger and Emily Shumaker. In only four meets the team was able to attend this season, this group of girls broke four records.

The team traveled to Colstrip April 25 for their first meet.  Ashlyn, Peyton, Emilia and Madison made up the 400 M Relay team that finished with a time of 56.05 to break a record that had stood untouched since 1984.    

Four days later the team competed in Miles City. There, Ashlyn, Anika, Peyton and Emilia set a new school record for the 800 M Medley Relay with 2:08.20. “An interesting thing about these girls,” said Coach Van Zee, “is that they all work so well together and are all passionate about running. It’s great because it allows any one of them to swap into any particular relay team and the dynamics and energy will still be the same.”

They really do seem to anchor each other as spectators watch them pass the baton confidently to the next runner. This time it was in their hometown of Baker. April 30 was a miserably cold and windy day but that didn’t stop these girls from breaking yet another record. Peyton, Emily, Emilia and Ashlyn ran the 1600 M Relay in 4:49.40 beating the 1987 record by 7.7 seconds.

Three weeks and three meets in a row they managed to set new records as a team and beat individual personal bests along the way. The team’s season came to a close the first Saturday of May in Glendive. Ashlyn ran the 800 Meter Dash in 2:34.77. Not only did this qualify as a personal best but she also set a new school record. That race meant Ashlyn finished two years of 800 M runs undefeated.

Will any of these young ladies become the next Shalane Flanagan or Jackie Joyner-Kersee? Who knows, but for now we can look forward to watching their enthusiasm as they run around the track on their way to breaking a few high school records next spring!