Top Girls’ Headlines: 2023 Arkansas HS Indoor State Meet

The University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center proudly claims itself as the fastest track in the world. Judging by this weekend's results, that's tough to argue with.

Thousands of fans, family members, spectators, and officials flocked to the 2023 Arkansas High School Indoor State Championship on Saturday, February 18th, to watch over 1,500 high school athletes from around the state compete in their final - and for many, their only - indoor meet of the season. Boys and girls from a mix of all Arkansas classifications competed against one another in fourteen track and field events. Only a few medaled, but personal bests came aplenty.


With the meet now fully in the books, let's peek back at a handful of bright moments from the day in the girls' events.

Relay Queens

The indoor relays often reveal which team possesses the best overall sprinting talent. On Saturday, the Bentonville Lady Tigers made a strong case for that honor, winning both races. The team of Ember Charlton, Madison Galindo, Macey Hurley, and Haley Loewe kicked off the running events with a gold in the 4x800m relay (9:58.66), and the day concluded with a victory by runners Breanne Anderson, Sidney Esterer, Allison Fernstrom, and Paisley Hight in the 4x400m relay (4:03.80).

Estes Shines

Fayetteville senior Hannah Estes delivered, as expected, with a convincing victory in the pole vault. Her clearance of 12-6 fell two inches shy of her overall PR of 12-8, but it landed her in a tie for #37 in the nation this indoor season. Among her other events, she also claimed the 6A and overall title in the 60m hurdles with a PR of 9.02.

Seven 7s

A total of seven women crossed the 60m dash finish line in under eight seconds: Searcy's Tamara Hogan (7.99, #2 in 5A), Farmington's Cailey Ramaker (7.97, #2 in 4A), Rogers' Morgan Maier (7.96, tied-#2 in 6A), Bentonville's Morgan Langley (7.96, tied-#2 in 6A), Sheridan's Skylar Sterritt (7.84, #1 in 5A), Ozark's Anna Woolsey (7.78, #1 in 4A), and Conway's Raghan Allen (7.76, #1 in 6A). Among their other events, Sterritt, Woolsey, and Allen each also claimed the 200m crown in their divisions.

Pielemeier Puts on a Show

Olivia Pielemeier's only real competition on Saturday was herself. The senior from 5A Lake Hamilton captured overall victories in both the 800m run (2:17.27) and the 1600m run (5:00.16). That 1600 time currently ranks as the #41 time in the nation among high school girls this indoor season. She will now undoubtedly aim to overtake her outdoor PR of 4:54.77.

Mansfield Teammates Go 1-2 in Shot Put

Seniors Seven Sanderson and Skylynn Harris of Mansfield High School put a distance of several feet between themselves and the field in the women's 1A/2A shot put. Sanderson's hoist of 32-9 narrowly edged her teammate Harris' 32-7, but each of them landed 4+ feet further than third place (28-7). Bentonville's Olivia Nickson had the best 6A and overall throw of 38-11.

A Gauntlet of Golds

Mount Ida's Peyton Macejewski found herself in rare air on Saturday, being one of the only athletes (and perhaps the only athlete) to boast victories in three running events. The junior claimed 1A/2A titles in the 400m dash (1:04.69), 800m run (2:29.41), and 1600m run (5:46.22). She nearly earned a fourth in the 3200m run, but after a long day and four taxing events, she was outlasted by Magazine sophomore Elizabeth Merritt (13:06.98).

Honoring Harold Valentine

The meet concluded with both team awards and the inaugural Harold Valentine Outstanding Award. This special award, which honors one male and one female athlete who achieve excellence in the meet, was created in honor of Harold Valentine, a beloved and longtime member the Arkansas track and field community who passed away in October 2022. The award was given to Lake Hamilton's Olivia Pielemeier for her performances in the 800m and 1600m.