Sarah McCabe is trying diligently to keep her excitement to a minimum, being just eight weeks from giving birth to her second child, but the head coach of the OPRF girls' track and field team has every reason to celebrate.
Coming off the program's first West Suburban (Silver) Conference title in seven years, the Huskies took first place at the Downers Grove North Sectional on Friday and qualified for State in 10 of the 19 events.
Kathryn Gevitz led the charge by sweeping the jumping events. Gevitz took first in the long jump (18-.25), the high jump (5-2), and the triple jump (38-4).
Johanne Verpil and Liz Wilkie rounded out the field events for OPRF. Verpil took first in the discus throw (118-5) and second in the shot put (37-6.25). Wilkie vaulted to first place with a leap of 5-2.
The Huskies qualified their relay teams in all but one event. Chalawrence Dillard, Sophia Elie, Danica Melton and Nikeva Stapleton finished first in the 4 x 200 relay with a time of 1:44.1. The 800-medley relay team of Sierra Kidd, Stacie Taylor, Elie, and Deann Green placed second in 1:51.7.
Taylor suffered a strained hamstring in the 4 x 100 relay, but still managed to salvage a near perfect handoff to Stapleton for the final leg of the race. Taylor, Stapleton, Elie and Melton ended up finishing second in 49.6 seconds.
The 4 x 400 relay team of freshman Shannon Egan, Marianne Kirk, Edirin Davis and Green ran its best time all season at the sectional, finishing fourth with a time of 4:07.2.
McCabe said she's confident her team can improve on last year's 16th place finish at State.
"Finishing in the top 15 sounds pretty good," she said.
The State Meet will be held at Eastern Illinois University and begins on Friday with the finals on Saturday.