Area runners prepare for state titles

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

Harlem and Hononegah fought for supremacy during much of the girls’ track season. And while they did well at the IHSA 3A sectional at Hononegah, they were not the only NIC-10 schools that will be sending people downstate.

Boylan placed three people in the state tournament, while sophomore sensation Sierra Woods of Auburn continued her success on the fast track.

Woods qualified for two events at the state meet, which will be May 20-22 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. She qualified in the 100-meter with a time of 12.45 seconds and in the 200 at 25.97.

Harlem is also sending two runners to EIU in multiple events. Senior Jenna Combs looks to add an outdoor championship to her résumé following a great run during the indoor season, qualifying with the fourth-best time in the 100 high hurdles (14.93) and the third-best time in the 300 low hurdles (45.37).

Sophomore Leah Raferty of Harlem also qualified for two events, the 1,600 and the 3,200. Sophomore Autumn Miller also qualified in the shot put for Harlem, while senior Heather Behling will represent the Huskies in the discus throw.

For Boylan, it was a very successful meet that saw three Titans qualify to go downstate. Junior Mary Katherine Kladar in the high jump at 5 feet, 3 inches, senior Erin Didier in the shot put at 36 feet, 8 inches, and senior Naomi Patrnchak in the triple jump at 35 feet, 4 inches.

Meanwhile, Hononegah also will send plenty of representatives downstate. While seniors Kelsey Laska (800 meters) and Ana Armitage (200 meters) both qualified individually, the relay events where the Indians found their best success.

As they have much of the season, the Indians ran well in the relays and qualified in the 4×100 relay at 49.63 and also in the 4×200 relay at 1:44.72. That also helped the Indians finish fourth overall in the team standings.

Cary Grove won the team sectional championship with 97 points. Harlem finished second with 84.

Belvidere North is also sending representatives downstate in class 2A. North finished off a very successful season with five different individuals qualifying in seven different events.

Junior Cetrena Simmons continued her strong season, qualifying in three events. She will compete in the high jump, the triple jump and the 400-meter dash downstate.

Fellow juinor Baily Murphy qualified in two events as well, the pole vault and the 300 low hurdles. She will be joined by North sophomore Ashley Graff in the pole vault. Junior Kristen Levi will round out the North runners in the 3,200.

Belvidere sophomore Annie Hodges also qualified in the triple jump. Meanwhile, freshman Logan Tillmon of East qualified in the 100 high hurdles.

From the May 19-25, 2010 issue

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