The local boys and girls track and field scene heated up over the weekend as teams tuned up at sectional and conference meets for the upcoming state finals.
The Fenwick girls take the first leg of our recap as champions of the Class 2A Glenbard South Sectional. The Friars scored 153 points in Glen Ellyn, advancing two relays and six individuals to the IHSA state finals, hosted by Eastern Illinois University in Charleston (May 17-18).
"Winning sectionals was an indescribable experience," senior Colleen Grogan said. "Our team worked extremely hard this year so receiving that [sectional] title made all the hard work worth it. This season has been one of my favorites because the team has really connected which is essential even for a seemingly more individual sport like track. The girls on this team are so determined and everyone contributed to the sectional title in their own way."
Sophomore jumper Delaney Seligmann notched wins in both the high jump (4-11) and the triple jump (34-7), plus a runner-up finish in the long jump (16-10.5).
Grogan advanced downstate for the fourth consecutive year, winning the 300 hurdles in a time of 50.10.
"Qualifying for four years in a row has been a dream come true," Grogan said. "Running downstate is an unforgettable experience and I'm so honored to have been able to do it four times.
"I definitely could not have done it without my coach, Coach Heidloff," she added. "He has been so supportive throughout the last four years and has never once doubted me. I attribute my success to my amazing team. They inspire me to continue to work hard and to have fun along the way."
Sophomore Maria Quinn (800 meters/2:25.27), sophomore Katie Cahill (3,200/12:02.40) and senior Claire Gatermann (pole vault/10 feet) won individual events as well for Fenwick. Freshman Amanda Behrend also qualified for the state finals, taking second in the high jump with a measurement of 4-9.
The Friars earned victories in two relays with top times in the 1,600 (Maggie Van Ermen, Quinn, Seligmann, and Natalia Kuchinic; 4:19.96) and the 3,200 (Marie O'Brien, Van Ermen, Laura Durkin, and Quinn; 10:02.38).
The Huskies won their third straight outdoor conference championship meet with a score of 155 points at York on Friday, May 10.
Senior JT Lowder led the champs by sweeping the hurdles events with top times of 14.35 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and 38.59 in the 300 hurdles. Fellow senior Koren Leonard placed second in the 110 (15.18) and third in the 300 (40.74) for OPRF.
Other individual winners for the Huskies included Amir Blanchard in the 200 (22.17), Tyrone Clarke in the 400 (50.13), Mykolas Saloninas in the shot put (57 feet, 4 1/2 inches) and Kwesi Yeboah in the triple jump (45-1).
OPRF also claimed victories in two relay races.Rapharoah Dallas, Clarke, Blanchard and Lowder teamed up to take the 400 title in a time of 41.96, while Dallas, Nazareth Bryant, Amari Sanders and Blanchard comprised the 800 quartet, which recorded a winning time of 1:30.35.
Additionally, Emmett Perry, Dallas, Bryant and Machi Young placed third in the 1,600 relay at 3:29.96.
The Huskies finished second in the Class 3A Kenwood Sectional with a total of 136 points, five points behind champion Whitney Young.
OPRF advanced one relay and eight individuals to the IHSA state finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston (May 17-18).
Senior Rachel Rowe won two events, notching titles in the long jump (18 feet, 1 1/2 inches) and the triple jump (37-6.5). Junior Yasmin Ruff won the pole vault with a distance of 10-0, finishing just ahead of teammate Danielle Chapman-Rienstra, who also advanced to state by clearing the bar at 9-6.
The 1,600 relay team also won in a time of 9:31.32.
Sectional runners-up/ state qualifiers for OPRF were senior Kshari Pittman (high jump: 2nd place/5-2); sophomore Tiara Ogunsanya (discus: 2nd/94-1); junior Monica Bradford (100 hurdles: 2nd/15:31); senior Hannah Thompson (800: 2nd/2:22.94); and freshman Josephine Welin (1,600: 2nd/5:17.51).
At the Glenbard South Sectional, the Blazers advanced two individuals to the state finals. Sophomore Kate Foley won the 1,600 meters at 5:37.07, while senior Alexis Cohn took second in the 800 at 2:26.19.
"Cohn had a busy meet so we played it conservatively in the 800 and tried to just have her qualify," coach Johann Gonzalez said. "She came back in the 1,600 and had a great race with teammate Kate Foley. There was a strong pack throughout the race especially going into the last lap. With 200 meters to go, Foley made a move, committed to it and finished second overall in a personal-best 5:37."
In the team standings, Trinity placed fifth with 51 points.
"I thought the sectional went extremely well," Gonzalez said. "We competed against a competitive field. I knew all the coaches would have their athletes ready to compete. It was a great season and it was fun to see our team step up in the meet that mattered to most.
"Aside from Alexis and Kate's performances, we had some great results from a couple of athletes," Gonzalez added. "Our 1,600 relay ran a perfect race with a time of 52.78 to finish third. That was our fastest time in the past two seasons with this group. We put together the 1,600 for the first time this season and ran lights out to finish third as well with a time of 4:23. Sophomore Mary Jacobs jumped a 31-6 and ran 52.88 in the 300 hurdles which were both personal bests."
The Friars finished 12th with 15.5 points in the Chicago Catholic League championship meet at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
Fenwick senior Joseph Wermes was the top performer with a third-place showing in the 1,600 at 4:32.93.
Other contributors for the Friars were junior jumper Jared Perry (high jump: 5th/5-8); freshman sprinter Stephen Brown (200: 7th/23.52); and senior sprinter Jared Taylor (200: 8th/23.74).
The 800 relay of Brown, Jordan May, Taylor, and Brandon Wilson came in sixth in a time of 1:37.20.
Answer Book 2019
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