Girls Track: Waubonsie Valley’s Morolake Akinosun ties all-class record in the 100Margaret Bamgbose of Evanston has no problem winning the 3A 300-meter low hurdles. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 19, 2012 8:53PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Morolake Akinosun is heading to the University of Illinois and was the state’s most dominant sprinter indoors the past two years.
But injuries have plagued the Waubonsie Valley senior much of the past two outdoor seasons. Her final chance to leave a mark at the IHSA Class 3A state meet came Saturday afternoon at O’Brien Stadium, and Akinosun made the most of it.
She won the 100 meters in 11.41 seconds, tying the all-class IHSA record set by Morgan Park’s Alexandria Anderson in 2004. To do that, Akinosun had to hold off Lincoln-Way East junior Aaliyah Brown, who was the two-time defending Class 3A champ and who owns the nation’s second-fastest time in the event this spring.
“I didn’t get happy [immediately] because I didn’t know if it was a wind-legal time or not,” said Akinosun, who twice bettered the national indoor best in the 55 this year. “When I saw it was wind-legal, that did it for me.”
The record and the title were that much sweeter both for the adversity Akinosun has dealt with this spring and the rivals she had to outrace on Saturday.
“I wish that I had been injury-free the whole season,” she said. “Unfortunately, track and field has been like that. I’m really glad that despite my [hamstring] injury, despite not competing the majority of the outdoor season, that I could come out and do this today.”
Brown came back to win her second consecutive 200 title in 24.18 and also anchored Lincoln-Way East’s runner-up 400 and 1,600 relay teams.
“It was just technique [issues] that kind of put me in the place I was in [in the 100],” Brown said. “But I give it to Morolake. I don’t make any excuses for myself. We saw each other in the 200-meter dash; that was a good race as you can see. And we’ll see each other in summer track. It’s all fun in the competitive game of track and field.”
Also getting an all-class record as well as a title was Wheaton Warrenville South’s 3,200 relay team of Amy Yong, Erin Herrmann, Hope Schmelzle and McKenna Kiple, who ran 8:59.03. Runner-up Glenbard West (9:00.72) also beat the old record of 9:04.14 set by Barrington in 2008.
“I honestly cannot believe how well it came together,” Kiple said. “[With] 200 left to go, I could feel it in my legs. ... When it came to the [final] 100, it was, ‘Here’s my favorite part of the race. Let’s finish.’ ’’
Edwardsville beat rival Belleville West 51-48.5 for the Class 3A team title and Evanston (47) took third, winning its 17th trophy in 26 seasons. The Wildkits were paced by Margaret Bamgbose, who won the 300 hurdles (41.11), was runner-up in the 200 (24.32), took fourth in the 100 hurdles (14.34) and ran on the seventh-place 400 relay team.
Oswego East’s Ariel Michalek added a third distance state title to her collection, taking the 1,600 in a personal-best 4:53.37 after finishing runner-up to Lake Park’s Kaylee Flanagan (10:30.47) in the 3,200.