Alex the Great - best single day ever at girls state meet?
Boys warm up in sectionals.
- Girls state was awesome. It was rather warm 85-90 both days, but that did not seem to affect perforamces to much. Here is what went down at one of the most exciting state meets in a long time:
- Alexandria Anderson (Jr., Chicago Morgan Park), or now taking the nickname "Alex the Great," won four individual events, guiding her team to a second place finish. Anderson won the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. In the 100m dash she set a state record in 11.41. In the 200, where she was challenged the most, she ran 24.11. In the 400m dash she easily won in a great time of 53.13, while in the long jump she easily won with a huge jump of 19' 11". Anderson's performance may have been the best single day performance ever at the girls state meet, and while she did some amazing things this year, she still has another year to go.
- Shalina Clarke (So., Evanston Twp.) broke her state record once again in the finals Saturday. She ran a blistering 41.56, which is just off the best time in the nation right now. While Clarke is the best ever 300m hurdler ever to come through this state, she also impressed in the 200m dash. In this race she took a strong third in 24.49, losing only to Anderson and Thornwood senior Briana Lynn. Expect some huge things over the next two years from this sensation.
- Briana Lynn (Sr., Thornwood), who has flown under the radar this year because of all the hype of Morgan Park and Evanston, had an impressive Saturday. Lynn took third in the 100m race in 11.80 behind Anderson and Evanston standout Traciann Henry (Sr.). Lynn also took second in the 200m dash in 24.35, while also running the fastest leg in the 4x200m relay for her squad, which took second, just behind Evanston Twp. Lynn also anchored their 4x100m relay squad to a second place finish.
- Another Thornwood standout performance was from Sequoia McKinney (So., Thornwood). McKinney provided maybe the biggest upset of the day when she took home the 800m crown in 2:12.06, which is one of the fastest times in the country for high schoolers. McKinney ran in the front from the gun and pulled away from Bethany McCoy (Sr., Metamora) in the last 200m to take home the gold. McKinney also ran a dominant leg in the 4x4, coming from far back to nearly snatch the win from East St. Louis High School, who ran a great performance in their own right in the 4x4.
- The 4x800m relay provided some of the most excitement of the meet. Barrington High School won the race in a state record time of 9:13.62, eclipsing the mark held by York High School. Barrington's crew of Natalie Piper, Erin Robertson, Christina Fiduccia and Erin Frommeyer ran a smart race and in the end Frommeyer was able to outlast Lake Forest's Rachel Asher in the final stretch. Lake Forest High School also ran a great time, as the finished well ahead of third place in 9:14.47. Barrington also got another victory from Fiduccia in the 1600. The senior ran a perfect race and was able to finish with a strong kick winning in 5:01.91. Second place was Suzy Turner (Sr., Palatine), who ran a fine race, as she finished in 5:06.34.
- Sarah Landau (Sr., Geneva) provided some big excitement in the pole vault. The senior smashed the old state record and cleared 13' 3" to set a new record that will be hard to break. Landau then went for a national record, as she attempted three tries at 13' 9". She missed all three, but the crowd understood just how great her performance was as she received a huge round of applause when she was finished. If Landau travels to any post-season competitions watch out as that national record may go down.
- Nicole Williams (Jr., Sterling) won the girls high jump for the second year in a row. She cleared 5' 7", beating
Katrina Roper (Sr., Rock Island), who cleared that same height just with more misses. Also, the girls triple jump will be in great shape next year as two outstanding performances were put up by non-seniors in the AA event. Casey Taylor (Jr., Marian) won with a jump of 39' 9.25", while Aleisha Leeper (Fr., Freeport) took second with 39' 2.5".
- Hillary Werth (Jr., Chatham-Glenwood) had a huge day. She won the 100m HH in a wind-aided time of 13.99, but nonetheless was a outstanding performane. Werth also took second in the long jump behind Alex the Great, with a leap of 18' 8.5", while earning another all-state medal in the 300m IH, as she finished a strong third in 43.82.
- While not the fastest even on the track, it may have been one of the most exciting. The girls 3200m race provided an dramatic finish. Caitlin Chrisman (Sr., Carbondale) showed a lot of guts and determination when she took the lead at the half way point and pressed to put a gap on the field. It was apparent though that Amy Laskowske (So., Palatine) was just bidding her time to make a final move. Well with 200m left Laskowske put in a huge kick catching up to Chrisman. Chrisman tried her hardest to hold on to her lead, but Laskowske just had too much as she passed Chrisman in the last 40 meters to win 10:42.50-10:43.37.
- The Class A side of the meet was just as exciting. A lot of exciting performances took place. Here are some of the toppers:
- Two state records went down on the Class A side. First, Ryann Hendricks (Jr., Chicago Christian) lept 38' 3.5" during Friday's perlims to break the state record in the triple jump. Hendricks completed an impressive weekend taking home the long jump title as well, as she lept 18' 7.25". Andrea Norris (Sr., Lisle) was pushed from start to finish by defending champ Alberta Douglas (Jr. Central A&M) in the 100m dash, but in the last 20m Norris took charge and won in 12.14. Norris was the favorite heading into the state meet in this event and obviously did not disappoint, as she broke the state record set back in 1990.
- Katelyn Bastert (Fr., Carthage) provided some highlights as she won both the 3200 and 1600. In the 3200 she took out the race incredibly fast in 70.1 seconds for the first 400. She came through the mile on state record time in 5:06.8, but after that started to slow down due to the heat and running all alone. She finished in a good time of 10:58.98, winning by nearly thirty seconds. In the 1600 Bastert shot out to the lead right from the start and had a sizeable lead after the first 200 meters. She ended up winning with no one pushing her yet again in 5:06.58. In the 3200 Chandel Ray (Sr., Cumberland) was the only girl to even attempt to stay with her, while in the 1600 no one challenged her from the gun.
- Freeburg High School had one great day as they repeated as the Class A team champions. Freeburg beat Carlinville High School 76-49. Freeburg had many fine performances, most notably:
- Allison Alberts (Jr.) won the 800m dash in impressive form in 2:16.23, finishing with a strong kick down the homestretch. Alberts also finished second in the high jump, leaping 5'5". First place was Cassie LaMar (So., Carlinville), who lept the same height just with fewer misses.
- Freeburg also won two relays with outstanding performances. In the 800m Medley Relay Freeburg won in 1:49.74, while they also won the last event of the day, the 4x400m relay, in 3:59.14.
- The bread and butter event of Freeburg's team seems to be the 400m dash. They scored some huge team points in this event. Breanda Whitworth (So.) took charge from the gun in her usual fashion and blazed 57.86 for the win. Katie Weber (Jr.) finished a strong fifth. Combined these two girls brought home fifteen points for their team in just this event.
- Whitworth may have been her teams MVP. Not only did she win the open 400m race, but she also anchored her team's relays leading the 800m medley to first place, the 4x100m relay to fourth place, and the 4x400m relay to first place.
- Freeburg is going to be the team to beat once again next year as they return the majority of their point scorers and have the coaching to improve even more next year.
- Chandra Golden (Jr., Normal U-High) may have been the Class A MVP. She provided some huge wins for her team and basically guided them to their third place trophy finish. Golden won two huge races. First she won the 100m HH in a wind-aided 14.72, and then came back to win the 200m dash in an impressive time of 25.80. Golden also helped her 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay squads to victory. She has a part in 40 of the 46 points Normal U-High's team scored.
- To many the most exciting relay in Class A this year was the girls 4x800m relay. Petersburg-PORTA came in with the top seed and looked like they possibly could dominate the race from start to finish. Well, PORTA did run in first from the gun and had a nice size lead heading into the final leg. Eureka however had a blistering final leg and in the last 100m Eureka passed PORTA's anchor and it looked like Eureka's anchor would bring home the gold. PORTA's anchor had other ideas as she stretched out for the victory. PORTA won in 9:46.66, while Eureka ran 9:46.72. This was one of the closest races of the day.
- While all this great girls track and field action was taking place, on the boys side a lot of impressive marks were being put up around the state at their sectional meets. Here are some of the highlights:
- At Urbana High School distance standout William McCann (Sr., Decatur MacArthur) ran 1:54.8 and 4:19.5, looking good in each race. It will be interesting to see how McCann does at state next weekend since he had few opportunities to really bust out a fast time this spring.
- At Palatine High School on Friday and Saturday a lot went down. Aaron Reed (Sr., Barrington) lit up the jumping pits as he lept 24' 0" in the long jump on Friday night and 47' 4.5" in the triple jump on Saturday. Reed continues to get better every week, which makes next weekend that much more exciting to think about. In the 800m run,
Matt Czarny (Sr., Schaumburg) won a very fast 800 race in 1:53.2, while Peter Garde (Sr., Prospect) ran 1:53.8. In the 4x800m relay seven teams qualified for the state meet. Prospect High School, which already boasted the top time in the state, ran 7:50.2 to win the race. Palatine High School ran great for second finishing in 7:52.6. In the sprints Jamil Walker (Sr., Fremd) and Tyler Rice (Jr., Conant) both had great days. Walker ran 10.4 and 21.2 to win both sprint races, while Rice ran 10.5 and 21.4 to take second in both races.
- At Oswego High School Matt Withrow (Sr., Andrew) turned in a solid distance double. Withrow ran 4:20.0 and 9:17.0 to win both races.
- At the Marion sectional at Marion High School, East St. Louis High School had a wonderful day as they easily won the team crown and got a lot of athletes down state. Three of the best performances were: Stephon Harden (Sr., East St. Louis) lept 47' 3.5" to win the triple jump, while East St. Louis' 4x100m relay won in 41.8 and their 4x400m relay won in 3:18.8. Watch out for this team at state, as they have the potential to take a top three trophy.
- At Glenbrook South High School, Evanston Township High School ran 3:18.3, as they head to the state meet with the number one seed in the state in the 4x400m relay.
- At Freeport High School the throwing events were the highlight of the meet. Pat Whalen (Sr., Jacobs) once again threw over sixty feet in the shot put, as he won rather easily with a toss of 62' 3.5". Whalen also took second in the discus with a throw of 173' 9". The winner of the discus was junior Richard Behling (Harlem), who threw 176' 8.5".
- At the York High School sectional Adam Harris (Jr., Wheaton North) had the best sprint performance of the weekend in the state. Harris won the 100, 200, 110HH, and helped his team with the 4x200m relay. Harris ran 10.6 in the 100m dash, 21.4 in the 200m dash and ran 13.8 to win the 110HH. Harris' relay squad ran 1:27.1, marking them as the favorites come next Saturday. In the distance races Sean McNamara (Jr., York) won both the 3200m and 1600m races. McNamara ran 9:15.2 to take the 3200m win, as his teammate Mark Fruin (Sr., York) took a strong second in 9:16.7. Meanwhile in the 1600, McNamara ran 4:16.3. The distance races at state should be amazing.
- At the Thornridge Sectional Thornwood High School continued their domination of meets. Karlos Kemp (Sr., Thornwood) turned in a great time of 13.8 to win the 110HH and set himself up as a top three favorite next weekend in the event. Keith Hopkins (Sr. Thornwood) lept 6'5" taking second in the high jump, ran 14.1 in the 110's to qualify and ran 38.1 in the 300IH to win the event. In the flat sprints, Jeremy Johnson (Sr., Thornwood) ran 10.3, 21.8 and 48.5 to win all three sprint races.
- At Chatham-Glenwood High School, Alex Douglas (Sr., Quincy) had a fine day in the jumping events. Douglas lept 23' 2.75" to win the long jump and lept 47' 2.25" to win the triple jump.
- The West Aurora sectional was an interesting one. Wheaton Warrenville South High School continued to dominate meets as they beat Glenbard South High School for the team title 100-67. Justin Harrison (Sr., Wheaton Warrenville South) had an impressive weekend as he won the 100m dash in 10.6 and the 400 in 47.3. He also helped guide the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay to victorious times in 41.5 and 3:20.0. Eric MacTaggart (Sr., Glenbard South) was yet another distance double performer as he won the 3200m race in 9:11.4 and the 1600m race in 4:19.8.
- In Class A a lot of great marks were put up, especially in the discus. At Morrison High School Aaron Ruter (Sr., Forreston) threw 179' 6" to easily win the discus. He has the top seed coming into the state meet this next weekend. At Lewistown High School, Matt Wrage (Sr., Delavan) threw 179' 2" to win the discus. This event looks like it could be one of the most exciting ones come state time.
- Also in Class A...At Morrison High School Jose Oquendo (Sr., Rock Falls) had a great quadruple. Oquendo won the 100m dash in 10.5, won the 200m dash in 21.4, won the triple jump in 42' 5" and won the long jump in 22' 8".
- Next weekend at boys state should be interesting. A lot of great races and events could take place. Stay tuned.