Girls Track: St Charles North edges way to Upstate Eight River title
Updated: May 3, 2012 11:00PM
When a lightning warning interrupted the proceedings at Thursday’s Upstate Eight River girls track meet, competitors sought safety in the school and an impromptu dance party broke out.
St. Charles East’s Kelsey Gentry and Jordan Shead danced up a storm during the storm warning, then when they returned to the track they danced around the 200 meters to a 1-2 finish for 18 points that clinched the conference title for the Saints over Batavia 152 points to 142.
“Coming after the rain delay, the dance party in the gym and I fully admit Kelso and Jordan were in the dance part, but they ran a really great race,” St. Charles East coach Denise Hefferin said. “We haven’t won (conference) in three years. It’s exciting to win again even though it’s a division title.”
The Saints piled up points in the sprints, also getting a 1-2 finish in the 400, a first in the 100, and a victory in the 400 relay.
Gentry, a junior, defended her conference title in the 100 in 13.12 over St. Charles North’s Kara Smith (13.4) and won the 200 (27.19) over Shead (27.43), a sophomore who won the 400 (57.67) over sophomore teammate Britney Williams (58.30).
Shead, whose 400 time was a personal record, enjoys the sprints with Williams and Gentry as competition.
“I love it,” Shead said. “We just cheer each other on and run our own races. We pushed each other so hard and make each other better every day.”
Shead ran with Heather Mende and Elizabeth and Allison Chmelik in the winning 4 by 100 relay (50.38).
The Saints didn’t get shut out in the longer events as Mallory Abel won the 1,600 (5:16.6), the 3,200 team of Torree Scull, Sam Perez, Kristin Sheehan, and Krista Fitzmaurice (9:51.54) knocked almost 8 1/2 seconds off their seeding time in winning, and Annie Martines repeated as River Division champ in the 300 hurdles in 46.01.
“We had some surprising performances too,” Hefferin said. “Amanda Passaglia (4th seed) had a PR by over 10 feet (103-2) to get second, and that was awesome to get those points. And Sarah Hill was determined and mvoed up a place for points and the end of the 1,600 for third.”
Martines and Batavia’s Hailey Clabough continued their hurdle rivalry. Martines finished second to Clabough (15.74-15.81) in the high hurdles before Martines returned the favor in the lows.
“I love the 300 lows because I was a cross country runner in the fall and that was all about building up stamina and strength for a race like this,” Martines said. “Today and training this week wasn’t so much about getting a lower time as it was building strength. Next week I’ll taper off and I think I’ll have a big adjustment in my time.”
Batavia came away with seven first-place finishes, and the most dramatic might have been the 1,600 relay team. The Bulldogs couldn’t be certain they were out of it at that point since point totals hadn’t been tabulated. Tamar Norville, Hailey Plata, Jenny Muehlbauer, and Alicia Grant ran in 4:07.51, knocking almost three seconds off their previous best.
Grant also won the 800 in 2:20.77, knocking 3.23 seconds off her previous best.
“I feel a lot better now about myself,” she said. “Coming off indoors I still felt a little like I was not in a zone, but in the past couple of weeks I’ve felt a lot better, stronger.”
Besides Clabough’s first in the high hurdles, the Bulldogs had four firsts in the field events. Skylar Schoen won the pole vault at 10-6, six inches better than her seed. Haleigh Theuerkauf repeated as shot (38-11 1/2) and discus (119-0) champion, and Paulina Szakiel won the high jump (4-10).
Geneva placed fourth with 112 and St. Charles North third with 126. Streamwood took fifth with 12 and Elgin sixth with 11. Larkin did not score.
Geneva had firsts from its 800 relay team of Hannah Davison, Mady Temple, Ashley Puff and Megan Weinstein in 1:48.92, almost two seconds better than their previous best.
The Vikings’ individual firsts came from Kailie Briza in the long jump at 16-5, three inches better than her seed distance, and from freshman Hannah Davison in the triple jump (35-6).
St. Charles North’s only first came from Sydney Stuenkel (11:59.06) in the 3,200 meters.