Girls Track: Plainfield North’s Cessily Jones ready for the spotlight5/20/11 Charleston,IL
Plainfield North's Cessily Jones runs in the Class 3A 200-Meter Dash at the 2011 IHSA Girls Track and Field State Finals held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston on May 20, 2011. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
GIRLS STATE TRACK AND FIELD
Site: Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
Schedule: Thursday, 1A preliminaries. Friday, 2A & 3A preliminaries. Saturday, finals.
Long jump: Gabriele Razma, Mount Assisi; Cortney Helms, Seneca.
Pole vault: Alyssa Applebee, Seneca; Morgan Zacharias, Reed-Custer; Kacy Murphy, Dwight co-op; Madisen Warning, Seneca; Emily Christian, Reed-Custer.
High jump: Emily Christian, Reed-Custer; Rylee Anderson, Seneca.
Triple jump: Lexi Wilkinson, Seneca; Tori Zlomie, Wilmington.
Discus: Rebecca Henry, Seneca.
3,200-meter relay: Seneca.
400-meter relay: Dwight co-op.
3,200-meter run: Savannah Baldauf, Seneca.
100-meter hurdles: Alyssa Applebee, Seneca; Kacy Murphy, Dwight co-op.
800-meter run: Stacie Hall, Reed-Custer; Rylee Anderson, Seneca.
400-meter dash: Morgan Zacharias, Reed-Custer.
300-meter hurdles: Alyssa Applebee, Seneca; Chelsea Schultz, Dwight co-op.
1,600-meter relay: Reed-Custer.
Pole vault: Kaitlyn Neiheisel, Lincoln-Way West; Lindsay Smoljan, Providence.
High jump: Kaitlyn Neiheisel, Lincoln-Way West; Haleigh Knapp, Morris; Abby Hedlin, Lincoln-Way West.
Discus: Kayce Nagel, Peotone.
3,200-meter relay: Joliet Catholic; Providence.
3,200-meter run: Natalie Waters, Lincoln-Way West.
100-meter dash: Kait Eisenberg, Providence.
800-meter run: Courtney Cleveland, Providence.
1,600-meter run: Natalie Waters, Lincoln-Way West.
200-meter dash: Kait Eisenberg, Providence.
1,600-meter relay: Providence.
Long jump: Kayla Bell, Bolingbrook; Bri Langys, Plainfield South.
Pole vault: Julia Junkroski, Lincoln-Way East; Carolyn Sulzen, Bolingbrook; Krista Nauseda, Lockport.
High jump: Jaclyn Aremka, Plainfield North; Elissa Bitterman, Lemont; Jhonae Staggers, Bolingbrook; Julia Junkroski, Lincoln-Way East; Bri Tomnitz, Lincoln-Way Central.
Shot put: Cabriana Capers, Bolingbrook; Shannon Hensley, Romeoville.
Triple jump: Kayla Bell, Bolingbrook; Janile Rogers, Minooka; Kate Reposh, Lockport
Discus: Shannon Hensley, Romeoville.
3,200-meter relay: Plainfield Central; Minooka.
400-meter relay: Lincoln-Way East; Bolingbrook; Romeoville; Plainfield North; Plainfield South.
3,200-meter run: Megan O’Brien, Lockport; Mallory Johnson, Lincoln-Way Central.
100-meter dash: Aaliyah Brown, Lincoln-Way East; Cessily Jones, Plainfield North; Kim Azie, Bolingbrook; Jenna Moody, Plainfield Central; Kym Taylor, Bolingbrook.
800-meter run: Nicole Nepote, Lincoln-Way East.
800-meter relay: Romeoville; Minooka; Plainfield North; Bolingbrook; Plainfield South.
400-meter dash: Jenna Moody, Plainfield Central; Dana O’Grady, Lincoln-Way East.
1,600-meter run: Megan O’Brien, Lockport; Stef Sanders, Lockport; J.J. Robinson, Lincoln-Way Central; Kaley McLawhorn, Lincoln-Way East.
200-meter dash: Cessily Jones, Plainfield North; Aaliyah Brown, Lincoln-Way East; Kim Azie, Bolingbrook; Rosemary Onyeguble, Bolingbrook.
1,600-meter relay: Minooka; Lincoln-Way East.
You might imagine Plainfield North’s Cessily Jones is weary of life in Aaliyah Brown’s shadow.
After all, while the Lincoln-Way East junior has dominated the sprints at the girls state track meet since her freshman year — taking the 100- and 200-meter titles last year and the 100 in 2010, when she false-started out of the 200 — Jones has been a very close observer.
A senior, Jones will be trying to notch her fourth straight Class 3A finals appearance in both the 100 and 200. She was third in last year’s 200; fourth in the 100 in 2011, both sprints in 2010 and the 200 in 2009; and seventh in the 100 as a freshman.
“Well, yeah, but if (Brown) wins, she rightfully gets the story,” Jones said.
Besides, Jones has to like her chances entering the Girls State Track and Field Meet, Thursday through Saturday in Charleston.
She enters as the No. 2 qualifier in both sprints, her 11.75-second sectional time in the 100 behind only Brown’s 11.72 and her 24.49 in the 200 shaded by the 24.46 of Waubonsie Valley’s Morolake Akinosun.
“I think anybody who makes it to state is a great runner,” Jones said. “I’m thinking I want to (set a personal record). If my P.R. gets first, so be it. But if I P.R., I can’t complain.”
Brown may be fighting an uphill battle. She ran a limited schedule this season, nagged by hamstring issues. Jones, meanwhile, is in great shape.
“I’m healthy,” she said. “I haven’t had any aches and pains, thank God.”
While the potential Brown/Jones showdown is the marquee match-up for many track fans, several Joliet-area athletes have a shot at rising to the top of the podium.
Seneca senior Alyssa Applebee is the defending 1A pole vault champ and, along with Reed-Custer freshman Moran Zacharias, the top qualifier with a height of 11 feet, 3 inches. Applebee also posted the second-fastest 1A sectional tie in the 100 hurdles.
In 2011, Applebee set a Class 1A pole vault record of 12-9, a height good enough to win all three classes and a main reason why the versatile athlete will attend Missouri on a track scholarship.
“My main focus is pole vault, of course, and then the 100 hurdles,” said Applebee, fifth in the 100 hurdles last year. “The rest is just bonus.”
Applebee also qualified in the 300 hurdles, but her time (49.53) would have to improve dramatically to score. The top sectional time was 45.44.
In 2A, Lincoln-Way West’s Kaitlyn Neiheisel had the second-best sectional height in the high jump at 5-5; and Peotone’s Kayce Nagel ranked third with a discus throw of 126-10.
In 3A, Lincoln-Way East should be a factor in the team race again. With Brown winning two sprints and anchoring the winning 400 and third-place 1,600 relays, the Griffins totaled 37 points in 2011, good for second behind East St. Louis’ 46.
Lincoln-Way East posted the second-best sectional time (47.28) in the 400 relay, behind Homewood-Flossmoor (47.14), and has again qualified in the 1,600 relay.
Bolingbrook (47.64) also rates a chance in the 400 relay.
Besides Jones, Plainfield North also has Jaclyn Aremka. Aremka was runner-up in the high jump last year (5-6) and takes the second-best sectional height (5-5) into this year’s meet.
Contributing: Tim Tierney