Friday, May 20, 2011

SPORTS>>6A-Voskamp, Antimo contribute drama of day

Leader sportswriter

Ariel Voskamp and Sabrina Antimo did not have time to step back and appreciate the closest finish in the history of the state Heptathlon.

That’s because the Cabot standouts were locked in a dogfight of their own for a top-five spot along with Blytheville’s Sharmaine Selvy and Hamburg’s Joy McQuay.

Voskamp, a senior and Arkansas signee, finished fourth with 4,637 points despite struggling late in the 800 meters, while Antimo made up ground and overtook McQuay for sixthplace with 4,506 points.

It all added up to a dramatic Heptathlon as Nashville junior Monisa Poole overtook Macey Rodely of Joneboro in the final leg of the 800 meters to win it all.

Rodely went into the final event leading Poole 4,487-4,481 and she took the early lead in the 800. Poole paced herself behind Rodely and pounced as they entered the final 250 meters.

When it was all tabulated, Poole stood as the victor with 5,416 points to Rodely’s 5,407.

“It was very hard,” Poole said. “I knew that if I won I would win this, so I just tried the best I could to get in front of her. Once I did, I just kept going, just pushing it all out since it’s my last event of the year.”

For Voskamp, it was a suitable farewell from Cabot and an improvement of three places from her effort last year. She finished seventh or better in five events, with 14th-place finishes in both running events.

She was second overall in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.44 and third in the shot put with a 31-10.

“I’m pretty happy with how my senior heptathlon went,” Voskamp said. “All in all, I did pretty decent. The discus, I was throwing consistently about 90-plus, and I threw about a 77, so that was probably one of the biggest letdowns.”

As she moves on to college Voskamp can shift her focus to her first love in track and field and her bread-and-butter event, the pole vault. Voskamp won the pole vault in the 7A state meet and the prestigious Meet of Champs, setting a school record 12-10 along the way.

“I’m so excited,” Voskamp said. “I’ve had so much fun in high school doing all the events, you know, being able to do hurdles, running events, just all the events. But I’m very excited just to pole vault at the University of Arkansas.”

Antimo’s scratch in the discus on Day 1 proved costly for the junior sprinter, but her consistency in the other events kept her in the top 10 throughout the competition. She dropped to 14th following the discus, but finished out the first day strong with a second-place 200-meter run with a time of 25.32, bumping her up to seventh.

Antimo also finished second with a 5-0 high jump Thursday.

“I started out, got pretty upset with some of my results,” Antimo said. “But I realized the heptathlon is supposed to be fun. End of the year, we’re all giving it our all.

“All these girls are amazing. We have a really good time together.”

Antimo finished ninth in last year’s heptathlon as a sophomore, giving her back-to-back top-ten finishes in the state’s most grueling athletic competition.

“This summer and all next year, I’m going to try spending a little bit more time focusing on some of my events that I haven’t done so well in,” Antimo said. “Especially on the throws, because I messed up the discus really bad.”

Cabot sophomore Julia Gairhan had 3,292 points and was 20th out of 53 entrants. Her best finish was 13th in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 17.72.

Sophomore McKenzie Spence finished 38th with 2,395 points, including an eighth-place finish in the discus with a 75-foot throw.