Girls Track: Hinsdale Central hobbled by injuries to two key runners
Updated: April 3, 2012 6:42PM
No matter what happens this season, Jill Hardies doesn’t want to see a repeat of how the track season ended last year.
For the Hinsdale Central junior, that meant staying home in Hinsdale from the Class 3A state meet in Charleston.
Hardies won the Bolingbrook Sectional title last year, but an injury to her left foot prevented her from making the trip to the state meet. Her teammate, Becca Marcotte, who was third at the sectional, went on to finish 18th in the 3200-meter run.
Hardies, who placed third in 2010 when the Red Devils won the state team title, was considered one of the favorites to win the 3200 in 2011.
But during the indoor season, Hardies’ familiar ailment returned — tendintis in her left foot. She was unable to compete in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division indoor meet March 16 and she also missed any opportunity to compete in the Prep Top Times meet, the unofficial indoor state meet, March 24 in Bloomington.
She re-injured the foot just three days before the conference indoor meet at Proviso West.
“I don’t know how long it will take to come back,” Hardies said. “Whenever I’m ready. I do not want to rush back too soon.”
Mark McCabe, Hardies’ girls cross country coach and an assistant coach on the track team, believes Hardies will make a return in the next few weeks. She missed the season-opening triangular at Hinsdale Central Tuesday and will not compete at the Downers Grove South Invitational Saturday.
The Red Devils’ next two meets after this week are a triangular with Hinsdale South at Downers North April 11 and Hinsdale Central’s Devilette Invitational April 14.
“We’re easing her back in to her workouts,” McCabe said. “We’re conservative. She’s done her rehab and it has been effective. She’s back, but not at full strength.”
Hardies said she’s still running, but is spending time in the pool and on an elliptical as well.
The news is not as optimistic for Marcotte, who was 87th in the state cross country meet November in Peoria. She has not fully recovered from a hamstring injury during cross country and McCabe has decided to focus on her return for this fall instead of the track season. Marcotte has been unable to compete in any indoor meet this season.
“We do not know for sure [about her return],” McCabe said. “We’re not focused on outdoor. We’re focused on the summer and cross country season.”
Marcotte’s absence and Hardies’ injury concerns are big blows to Hinsdale Central, which won the state title as recently as 2010. The Red Devils, surprisingly, finished seventh in the conference indoor meet March 16.
Without Hardies, York’s Emma Fisher won the conference indoor meet while Hinsdale Central’s top runner was Beccy Ventura, who placed sixth in the 3200.
The offseason started out well for Hardies. She set a York Fieldhouse record Feb. 18 in the York Invitational. Her 5:06.2 time in the 1600 bettered York’s Michelle Frigo (5:12.4).
The Red Devils were fourth out of six teams at York and placed seventh in the indoor conference meet.
Hinsdale Central’s top individuals in the conference meet were Laura Culler (third place in the 55 dash) and Lauren Paul (third in the 200).