Girls Track: Minooka off to fast start — and then someMinooka's Lauren Jonen ran the 4th leg of the 4X400 Meter Relay event 11 heat 2 and her team came in 1st place at the Plainfield North's girls relay track meet held at North on Saturday, April 07, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 11, 2012 9:32PM
The first week of April was a record-setter for the Minooka girls track team.
First, the 800-meter relay foursome of Chrissy Allen, Angelica Estrada, Lauren Jonen and Janile Rogers set a school record of 1 minute, 46.99 seconds in an April 2 Southwest Prairie Conference victory over Plainfield South and Oswego East.
“We were seeing it in the future, but we didn’t know it was going to come that soon,” Jonen said. “I’m really proud of the team. We’re really, really focused on handoffs this year because that kind of seemed to be our downfall last year. We picked that up.”
“That was a great way to start the outdoor season,” coach Kevin Gummerson said of scoring 124 points to 44 for Oswego East and 18 for Plainfield South. “We need to keep working and making progress each time we step on the track.”
Minooka then capitalized on its depth Saturday to set meet records in the long jump relay and junior varsity 800 relay while winning the 16-team Plainfield North Tiger Relays. Minooka won nine of the 17 events and had four second-place finishes.
Jonen and Rogers were on four first-place teams while Mariah Divis was on three winning relays. Allen, Kayla Yates, Bethany Bachmann, Marah Kasuba, Taylor Prieboy and Meredith Vesper all were on two winning relays.
“We’re looking to build off this and keep getting better each meet,” Gummerson said. “They’re running with a ton of confidence right now. They’re confident and they’re excited about the sport, so good things are going to happen when you get that combination.”
On the calendar
Plainfield South and Minooka, the area’s top boys teams in last year’s state meet, will match their strengths Friday at the Minooka Invitational.
Minooka started the track events at last year’s state finals with a comeback victory in the 3,200-meter relay and Plainfield South finished the day with a come-from-behind effort to win the 1,600-meter relay. The teams tied for ninth place at the state meet with 24 points each.
It will be a busy couple of days coming up for Plainfield South. After the Minooka meet Friday night, the Cougars will compete Saturday in the John Bell Invitational at West Aurora. The field also includes Joliet West, led by standout sprinter Calvin Edwards.
Plainfield North and its fleet 400-meter relay will run Saturday at the Metea Valley Invitational. Marquis Flowers, Caleb Ivey, Quest Young and Jayden Gerber clocked a 42.81 to win the event Saturday at the Champaign Centennial Invitational.
Flowers and Young were first and second, respectively, in the 200 meters, while the order was reversed in the 400 meters in Champaign.
North Central College junior Josh Winder, a Plainfield Central graduate, took second Saturday in the pole vault (16 feet, 4 inches) to help North Central win the 18-team Chicagoland Outdoor Championships at the University of Chicago.
Freshmen Juliano Lodi and Richard Ruske, former Plainfield South teammates, ran on the third-place 3,200 relay (8:01.39) for North Central, the two-time defending NCAA Division III champion.
On the women’s team, freshman Mandy Coglianese (Providence) won the 400 hurdles (1:04.01) to help the Cardinals top the nine-team field at the Washington University Select Meet. It was the third-best 400 hurdle time in North Central history.