Girls Track: Danielle DeVito casts designs on medal at StateGlenview, 03/15/12
New Trier's Jessica Ackerman leads Maine South's Emily Leonard and Glenbrook South's Danielle Devito in the 3200 meter run during the CSL Indoor Conference Invitational at Glenbrook South March 15. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 20, 2012 8:45PM
Glenbrook South distance runner Danielle DeVito is looking to strike it big in 2012.
Last spring DeVito took 13th in the 3,200-meter run (11:14.98) at the IHSA Class 3A girls track state meet, falling just short of all-state honors awarded to the top nine finishers. In the fall, the senior placed 27th at the Class 3A cross country state meet, with all-state honors given to the top 25 runners.
It looks like it could be that breakthrough season for DeVito. She already bested her state-meet time by running 11:14.1 at the CSL South indoor meet on March 15 and is well ahead of where she was in the spring of 2011.
“I’m definitely ahead of where I want to be right now,” DeVito said. “My cross country training helped and it carried over into track season.
“I’m trying to make it in the 10s this year and we’ll see how it goes. Staying healthy and getting good practice in, it should be easy to get there.”
Titans head coach Fred Kocian likes what he’s seen from DeVito so far. She finished just 7.7 seconds behind New Trier’s Jessica Ackerman last week, taking third place. Ackerman was second at state last year in the 3,200.
“The (indoor) school record before this year was 11:53 and she’s run an 11:14, so she dropped 40 seconds,” Kocian said. “She knows the pace, she knows how to control it. She ran with two all-state runners and never let them get away from her until the last couple laps. She has closed the gap on those people.”
Glenbrook South has one other athlete returning who also made it to state last year. Sophomore sprinter Danielle Yapor won the 400 at sectionals with a time of 1:00.1. She took sixth in her heat at state in 1:00.87 and didn’t advance to the finals.
“She’s been sick on and off during the indoor season, so it’s been hard to gauge her,” Kocian said. “She’s running heavy-legged right now.”
Yapor could be moving to the 800 this season and will also jump for Glenbrook South. She took second in the long jump (16-feet-4) at the conference indoor meet.
Anastasia Athas will be another Titan to watch for this season. She placed second in the triple jump (34-3) and third in long jump (16-1.5) at the CSL South meet.
“She jumped even better than she did last year at outdoor, so that was a very good job on that,” Kocian said. “She really put in the work in the offseason. She’s doing everything she can.”
Glenbrook South featured a couple of promising shot putters who did well in the conference meet. Tina Brkovic took second with a toss of 29-10 1/2, while Jessica Galemore was fourth at 29-6 1/2.