Thornton’s Caston hurdles to pair of winsLincoln-Way East's Aaliyah Brown wins the 200 Saturday afternoon during the Thornton Invitational. | Michael R. Schmidt~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 30, 2011 5:48PM
Where others see hurdles as an obstacle, LaDonna Caston sees opportunity.
Caston, a junior at Thornton, breezed to victory in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles in Saturday’s Carol Urich Invitational on her home track in Harvey.
She covered the 100 in 14.09 wind-aided seconds, and the 300 in 46.65 seconds, which is her personal best and second in the area this year. Only Providence’s Mandy Coglianese (45.80) has been faster, but Caston wants to blow that time away.
“I want to hit a 44 flat,” Caston said, who had her left thigh wrapped. “I’ve been hurt for about four weeks, and have been running off and on. It was not as smooth as I thought it would be. But the 14.09 was a PR for me.”
And a victory over runner-up Destini Artis of Hillcrest by 1.1 seconds. Caston beat Lyons’ Simone Bunsen to the finish line by 2.6 seconds in the 300.
Caston’s twin victories helped the Wildcats to third place, behind winner Lyons, which scored 154 points, and runner-up Hillcrest, with 85 points two points ahead of the hosts. Lincoln-Way East (82) was fourth. It was the final big meet before conference competition begins on Thursday.
While some teams juggled their lineup one more time in search of the right combination for conference, there was at least one constant. Aaliyah Brown of Lincoln-Way East raced to victory in the 100 and 200, winning the shorter final in a wind-aided 11.51 seconds and capturing the 200 final in 24.82 seconds. She came back from that about 20 minutes later with a fast anchor leg for the Griffins’ winning 1,600-meter relay team.
“It was the first time I did both the 100 and 200 individually, and they’re pretty good marks, especially with the wind and cold,” Brown said. “Today, I know it’s hand times, but I ran 23.91 in my (200) prelim.”
Hillcrest was powered by Brittany Letts, who won the 800 (2:24.10), placed fourth in the 200, and led the Hawks to third in the 1,600-meter relay. Teammate Mercedes Young helped by winning the long jump (17 feet, 1½ inches) and taking second in the 400 behind Lyons Township’s Julie Dambra.
Thornton’s Jazjuan Wallace-Sipp won the discus with a throw of 131 feet, 10 inches (Katrina Hollins made it a 1-2 sweep for the Wildcats), and took second in the shot put behind the winning heave of Thornwood’s Ebony Stallworth (37-3). Thornridge’s Tracee Wise won the triple jump (36-10), while Lincoln-Way East won the 400-meter relay (49.80).