Downers South's Franklin stretches for 400 titleRhena Rhone of Young (left) and Tori Franklin of Downers South lunge forward to achieve victory in the 400-meter dash.
Updated: April 25, 2011 6:28AM
That little lunge Tori Franklin did at the end of the 400-meter dash
Saturday might have looked like an impromptu reaction, but it wasn't.
In fact, it's something the Downers Grove South senior works on regularly.
Good thing, too, because it was enough to enable her to beat defending state
champ Raena Rhone of Young in one of the marquee races of the Sue Pariseau
Invitational at Glenbard West.
"We were really close. I just wanted it, so I leaned. I don't usually fall,"
said Franklin, who tumbled after crossing the finish line. "But we do
Franklin finished in 57.89 seconds. That was four-hundredths of a second
ahead of Rhone, who later was scratched from the 200 final as a
precautionary move, according to Young coach Bob Geiger.
"I've been looking forward to this meet," said Franklin, who also won the
triple jump with a leap of 39 feet, 2 1/4 inches and led off the Mustangs'
winning 1,600 relay team. "This is probably one of the most important, not
Another showdown came in the 1,600, where Hinsdale Central sophomore Jill
Hardies held off Oswego East junior Ariel Michalek. Hardies, who finished
second to Michalek in the Class 3A cross-country state final last fall, won
in 5:01.09, a personal best and the fastest time in the state this spring.
Not bad, especially considering Hardies was making her outdoor debut after
being bothered by left foot and shin problems.
"I've been taking it pretty easy," Hardies said. "I'm just happy to get back
Michalek, who ran a season-best 5:03.61 in the 1,600, was attempting to
sweep the distance double after winning the 3,200 in a season-best 10:58.80.
She knows there's a higher level of expectations thanks to her cross-country
state title and is OK with that.
"It was motivation to go faster and push myself to run better," Michalek
Glenbard West won its own invite for what coach Kelly Hass believes was the
first time, scoring 120 points to 70 for defending 3A state champ Hinsdale
Central and Downers South.
The Hilltoppers were led by Kathryn Pickett, who won the 100 hurdles in a
season-best 15.12 and the long jump at 18-1 1/2, which is tied for the best
in the state this spring. She also anchored Glenbard West's first-place 400
"Kathryn Pickett is a stud, what more can you say?" Hass said. "I've been
waiting for her to get 18 feet in the long jump and she did it twice today.
She did great in the 100 hurdles. [Runner-up] Paris Bates [of Oak Park-River
Forest] has legs twice the size of Kathryn's. [It was] just sheer will to
get it done."
Willowbrook's Cherise Porter also was a double winner in individual events,
taking the 100 (12.12) and 200 (24.53).