Girls Track: St Charles East captures Bartlett Sectional titleRachel Hearn, of St. Charles East, attempts a jump at the pole vault at the Bartlett Class 3A Girls Track Sectional, held at Streamwood High School on Friday, May 11, 2012.
| Michele du Vair~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 11, 2012 11:41PM
Sectional track is all about qualifying for state and not team trophies, but St. Charles East’s girls Friday night at Millennium Field made it about both.
The four-point difference between the Saints winning the final event, the 1,600-meter relay in a school record 3:57.61, and Metea Valley finishing third instead of second gave St. Charles East the Class 3A Bartlett Sectional team crown with 104 points to the Mustangs’ 102.12
“It’s amazing,” St. Charles East sprinter Jordan Shead said. “It’s what we really wanted. I think we really are a team-based group and we came in thinking we should get sectionals. We really wanted it.”
The Saints came away with eight individual state berths and a couple of relays to pile up the points.
“Looking at seed times, we knew we’d be in the hunt but you can never really predict off of that how you’re going to do,” Saints coach Denise Hefferin said. “A lot of girls outperformed their seed times.
“Metea Valley has a lot more in field events than we do. We only scored in the high jump, but our big moment came when we were double scoring in the 800 and double scoring in the 400, going 1-3, then scoring in the mile and winning the 4 by 400.”
The Saints’ only field event points came from Laney Deckrow, who won the high jump at 5-1.
The first-third finishes were by freshman Torree Scull in the 800 (2:16.59) and teammate Kristin Sheehan (2:19.31), and in the 400 by Shead in a personal record of 56.77 and Britney Williams in 57.50.
They Saints won the 400 relay (48.85) over Metea Valley for a big two-point swing. Individually, Annie Martines won the 300 hurdles in a personal best of 45.21 seconds, Mallory Abel bested the qualifying standard with a third-place finish in the 3,200 (11:04.65), and Kelsey Gentry qualified in second in the 100 (12.92).
Abel’s finish in third to make it was an emotional one because she had gotten sick and failed to make it out of sectional last year.
“I was sick and refused to believe it then,” she said. “I gained a minute on my 3,200 time. This, though, it’s such a relief right now.
“It’s like after last year I’ve had that worry in my head of ‘Uh oh, what if it happens again and I don’t make it?’”
The 1,600 team’s proficiency made it look easy in the relay. When Willams got the baton, she already had a 7-meter lead and padded it.
“By the time I got the stick, they had done so much work it was like I was just bringing it home,” Williams said. “They’re so good they make my job easy”
St. Charles North earned three qualifying spots, and Bartlett two, while South Elgin’s 800-meter runner Jordan Tuin made it to state for the second straight year.
Tuin finished second to Scull in a personal record and school record 2:18.76. Now she’s thinking ahead to state at Charleston next weekend.
“I think I peaked at sectionals last year,” she said. “So hopefully I can just keep my training up and peak at state this year.”
Bartlett shot putter Katherine Lauesen made it to state for the second straight year at 38 feet in third place behind Hoffman Estates winner Banke Oginni (44-6) and Metea Valley runnerup Jasmine Davis (39-7).
“My form was def off,” Lauesen said. “It’s something I’ll need to work on this week to prepare, but I felt I gave everything I had.
“I feel a lot more comfortable this year with my spin than last year so I’m looking forward to doing better down there. I sort of peaked last year at sectional.”
Junior Megan Seidl placed fourth in the 400 meters in 57.69 and bested qualifying.
“I had a stress fracture in my foot last year and couldn’t run, and had been really close my freshman year so I probably would have had a chance to make state last year,” Seidl said. “Things fell apart for me last year at the end but this feels really good.”
St. Charles North’s 4 3,200 relay team (9:26.06) had its school’s only first-place finish to advance, while Kaylee Raucci placed second and advanced in the triple jump (35-8 1/2). The other Stars qualifier was Sydney Stuenkel in the 1,600 with a third-place showing (5:11.24).