Girls Track: Lisa Gordon heats up for Lyons Township
Updated: April 30, 2012 7:02PM
With only a few weeks remaining in her career, Lyons Township senior Lisa Gordon is going all out.
Gordon already has a pair of races in the 1600-meter and 3200 ranked in the top five among the season’s best performances in the state, according to dyestat.com.
It’s an unexpected development for the girls track veteran, who missed the Class 3A state cross country meet Nov. 5, but finished 46th in 2010. Gordon was 12th in the state track meet’s 3200 in 2011 and was fifth in 2010.
Gordon, a Western Springs resident, attributes her success this spring to the addition of new girls cross country coach Stetson Steele. Steele is helping coach the distance runners during the track season.
“Our training for cross country was different this year,” Gordon said. “Coach has switched our philosophy. (Our former) coach had us go on longer runs and for longer tempos.”
Gordon and her other senior teammates will compete in their final West Suburban Conference Silver Division meet at 4:30 p.m. Friday at York.
One of the biggest decisions Gordon has to face this week is whether to run in the 1600 or 3200 on Friday. She has not run in both events at any meet this season and will likely add a second event as a member of LT’s 3200 relay with Kate Heinz, Amy Bazzoni and a rotating group of runners filling the fourth spot in the relay.
Gordon was supposed to run both the 1600 and 3200 at Downers Grove North’s Ritter Invitational April 13, but an illness at school that day changed those plans. Gordon ran the 3200 that night and finished third (10:46.90) in perhaps the state’s best regular season distance race of the season. The top four finishers at Ritter ranked among the seven fastest times in the state for 3200. The finishers, in order, ranked second (Amanda Fox, Naperville Central, 10:40.70), third (Madeline Perez, Glenbard West, 10:46.30), fifth (Gordon, 10:46.90) and seventh (Lisa Luczak, Glenbard West, 10:48.40) in the state.
The state’s top time in the 3200 belongs to Lake Park’s Kaylee Flanagan (10:31.70) from the Rock Island ABC Invitational April 14.
If Gordon runs the 3200 Friday, she will likely see Perez, who won the 3200 at the Wheaton Warrenville South Invitational Friday in 11:05.80.
In the 1600, Gordon could face Hinsdale Central’s Jill Hardies, who won at Wheaton South in 5:04.42. Glenbard West’s Maddie Nagle and Luczak finished sixth and ninth at Wheaton South’s 1600 on a frigid night for running.
Gordon, Perez and Hardies rank 5-6-7 in the state’s 1600 with Gordon running a 5:00.33 at the Downers South Relays April 7 and Hardies winning Glenbard West’s Pariseau Invitational April 21 in 5:01.69.
“It’s my last conference meet and I’ve become so close to the girls on the team all four years,” Gordon said. “I’m racing against girls I have known the past four years.”
One of the other bright spots for LT this season has been the emergence of freshman Emma Taugen, who won the Argo Invitational April 14 by going 5 feet, 6 inches in the high jump. Her mark is tied for fourth in the state in a top 10 that includes eight juniors and seniors and one sophomore, Belleville West’s Kelsey Shannon (5-8), who ranks second in the state.
One competitor to keep an eye on at the conference meet is senior Julia Dambra, who placed fourth in the state in last year’s 400. She also qualified for state last season in the long jump, but has been plagued by injuries this season.
“Conference is already Friday. That’s crazy,” Gordon said. “I can’t believe how fast it has gone by.”
LT hosts its own sectional May 10 featuring Morton, Proviso West and Oak Park-River Forest from the West Suburban Conference and several Chicago Public Schools.