By Marty Farmer
Among a plethora of promising, young athletes within the Oak Park and River Forest girls track and field program, none have been brighter this spring than freshman Mary Blankemeier, who turned in a time of 10 minutes, 44.35 seconds to finish fourth in the state finals of the 3,200-meter run, held at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston over the weekend. Glenbard West senior Madeline Perez claimed the title with a time of 10.34.60. In the fall, Blankemeier finished fifth at the cross country state championships at Peoria's Detweiller Park.
In the 200, OPRF sophomore Norma Adbur-Rafia took sixth place in the finals (25.15).
The Huskies, who tied with Downers Grove South for 23rd in the team standings, also scored points with their 400 relay team of junior Komiyah Martin, sophomore Chisomije Nwoko, senior Amari Wilkerson and Abdur-Rafia, which recorded a time of 48.66 to garner a seventh-place showing.
OPRF boys track and field
The Huskies scored 124 points to win the St. Ignatius Sectional of the Class 3A playoffs last week. OPRF qualified three relay teams, the 400, 800 and 1,600, for the state meet this weekend. The 1,600 relay won its event with a time of 3:26.99, while the 800 squad finished second (1.29.86) and the 400 relay took third place (42.64) at the sectional.
In the pole vault, OPRF junior Marcus Shenouda-Coburn cleared 13 feet to earn second. The Huskies swept the high jump with juniors Kenny Brown and Chris Wright Madison, both clearing 5-11 to take the top two spots. In the shot put, Graham Failor went 47-10 for second place. He also threw the discus 136-10 to finish runner-up in the event.
OPRF senior Kahrion Martin, who will compete on the St. John's University track and field team next season, scored 45-0 in the triple jump to finish second at the sectional.
Senior sprinter Jamal Baggett took third (22.02) in the 200 to also qualify for state. Overall, OPRF qualified for the state meet in nine events.