Senior Anna Sloan and her Trinity High School girls track and field teammates enjoyed their greatest season ever in 2014. So far this season, the Blazers are doing even better.
Sloan is the program’s only all-stater with two top-nine finishes in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and has verbally committed to Texas Tech.
After last week’s non-scored meet with Oak Park and River Forest, Sloan, juniors Sierra Brown and Kenzie Hunt and seniors Tatiana Nieves and Alexis Gray continue rewriting the school records.
“A lot of the girls are getting used to tougher competition and are getting confidence knowing they can compete against the bigger schools,” Trinity coach Renee Koziol said. “Overall, this has been one of the best years. I pray that they all stay healthy the next five weeks (to compete at state May 22-23).”
At the 2014 Class 2A state meet, Sloan was third in the 100 (school-record 12.20 fully automatic time) and fourth in the 200 (25.00) after a school-record 24.87 in prelims and placed behind two seniors in both races. Sloan was eighth for both finals in 2013 (12.32 and 25.74).
On March 21, Sloan was named the fastest girl at the indoor Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Championships, where she swept the 60 (7.73) and 200 (25.52), breaking her 2014 meet record by .30.
This season, Sloan’s only individual defeat has been by .06 in the 60 with her second-place 7.70 at the 2A Illinois Top Times Championships in Bloomington. Sloan won the 200 (25.11) by .08.
“She doesn’t know any other word but fast,” Koziol said. “This has been just a phenomenal year for her. I couldn’t ask for it to be any other way for her senior year. She has just an extremely strong work ethic and trains outside what she does in practice.”
With Sloan’s state finishes, the Blazers tied for 18th in 2A (13 points), 25 points from a top-three trophy finish.
Sloan might not compete alone in this year’s state finals. In the 2014 state prelims, Nieves was 18th in the 400 (school-record 1:00.11), Brown was 20th in triple jump (32 feet-8 1/4 inches), and the 400 relay with Hunt, Brown and Sloan was 22nd (51.59).
Brown was introduced to triple jump outdoors last season. Another state event could be the 100 high hurdles, running her fastest time Tuesday (16.04 FAT converted).
On April 1, Brown unleashed a school-record 36-4 triple jump and has been in the 35s two other meets.
“Experience and confidence (are helping her),” Koziol said. “She said, ‘I want to challenge myself.’ Now she goes off the 32-foot board, not 28. She’s got this inner motivation to really push herself. She’s very coachable.”
Last Tuesday against OPRF, the returning 400 relay trio broke their school record from state, running 49.74 FAT converted with Gray, a team newcomer as a senior.
The same four could add a state berth in the 800 relay. They ran a third-place 1:48.52 at the indoor GCAC Meet and sixth-place 1:49.79 – both faster than the 1:51.3 outdoor school record.
“Handoffs are going to be the key for us not to just qualify for state but to make it to finals and be very competitive,” Koziol said.
Junior Emily Doyle is in her first full track season after playing soccer the past two years. Doyle was second in the 3,200 at indoor GCAC (12:14.78) and 12th at Top Times (personal-best 12:00.76). She has state experience in 2A cross country individually in 2012 and with the team qualifier in 2013. Last fall, the Blazers advanced to the 3A Marist Sectional with Doyle their top finisher (63rd).
The Blazers capped off last week with a strong third-place showing at the Leyden meet. Sloan won the 100 (11.76), Doyle took first in the 3,200 (12:23.3) and Brown earned top honors in the triple jump (34-10). The 400 relay team also finished first for Trinity, which finished with 90 points in the team standings.