Spartans edge Storm in class 1A girl’s cut | Sports
ST. JOSEPH – Salt Fork Girls’ Athletics has experience of using a limited number to get big results.
The Storm won the 2016 Class 1A State Championship with only three athletes scoring points in Charleston.
This year’s squad is only nine men strong.
Nine very strong, it turns out.
Coach Steve Trompter’s team were on the verge of winning a Class 1A section championship on Wednesday when hosts St. Joseph-Ogden took advantage of a win in the 1,600 meter relay – the last event of the meeting – to make their way into the final Team ranking with 139: 134 to enforce.
“All of our girls really showed up (Wednesday) and did their part,” said Gracie Jessup, Salt Fork senior. “If we had a few more girls, we would definitely have it.”
Numerous Salt Fork participants – including Jessup – impressed and qualified for the 1A state meeting next Thursday at the O’Brien Stadium at Eastern Illinois University.
The most interesting case is that of Junior Brynlee Keeran.
It is not uncommon for athletes to operate in four section events. It is far less common for these four events to all take place in the field.
Keeran did just that.
And she qualified for the state in all of them, winning the pole vault (11 feet) and the triple jump (34 feet, 3/4 inch) while she took second in the high jump (5-0) and third in the long jump (16th) Place occupied -51/4).
“It means a lot to me,” said Keeran, who was promoted to the triple jump field of the 1A state in 2019 as a newcomer. “I was nervous about two things in particular: my long and my high. But I managed to do PR in the high jump. “
Keeran spent nearly two hours running back and forth between dueling events. The long and triple jumps were done behind one end zone at Dick Duval Field, while the high jump and pole vault took place behind the other.
“They told me to go, but then people said, ‘You have to hurry up and come here,'” Keeran said. “I’ve been told by so many people that this is not possible because I run back and forth. But it was so much fun and kept me busy. That helps my mental attitude. “
Jessup joins Keeran in the four state qualifying club.
She won the long jump 17-41 / 4, becoming the rare individual to defeat SJ-O Senior and two-time 1A State Champion Atleigh Hamilton in the event. Jessup also finished first in the 100m hurdles (12.97 seconds) and 300 hurdles (47.68) before finishing second in the 200 (26.67) behind Hamilton.
“I just feel so good about it because I only did (state) in two in my sophomore year,” said Jessup. Those events were the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, with Jessup taking third place on the 100 hurdles in 2019.
“When I go from two to four, it just shows all the work I’ve put into it,” added Jessup.
The twist on Jessup and Hamilton’s rivalry is that they’ll be college roommates at Illinois State later this year.
“She’s so good and definitely drives me,” said Jessup. “It’s always fun to play against them.”
Salt Fork Junior Olivia Birge added a double win in the throws, leading the shot put field with 36-63 / 4 and the audience with 124-6. Birge took ninth place in the discus in 2019 as a newcomer.
“I always had problems with the shot put, and whenever COVID occurred, I took the weight room seriously and I can definitely see the results now,” said Birge. “Winning both events is just hard work that finally pays off.”
The Meet-Champion Spartans were led by Hamilton’s efforts to call a sweep of the four seasons. Hamilton finished second in the long jump (17-23 / 4) and won the 100 (12.97), 200 (26.50) and 400 (58.83).
This last time, Hamilton hugged SJ-O trainer Kelly Steffen.
“The school record was 59.2, and when I walked by and saw the watch, I thought, ‘Oh, I have to have it,'” said Hamilton. “I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done.”
The Spartans were still four points behind the storm in the 1,600 season, though Hamilton SJ-O helped the 400 season (52.13), the 800 season (1: 51.47) and the 3,200 season (10: 27.70) to win.
The quartet of Junior Ashlyn Lannert, Junior Kailyn Ingram, newcomer Helene Jones and Junior Hope Rajlich let SJ-O celebrate with a 4: 15.17, which only just survived university high.
Steffen said the timing was 4 seconds faster than the best time SJ-O recorded at the event when Hamilton was involved.
“Coming to the last race alone and lurking the team standings out there is a great motivating factor,” said Steffen. “And I think they have more in the tank.”
Other tournament winners were Storm newcomer Macie Russell in the 800 (2: 30.16), Uni High student Kate Ahmari in the two 1,600 (5: 25.92) and 3,200 (11: 36.59) and SJ-O Junior Abby Behrens in the high jump (5-0; won tiebreak on jumps).
A historic note on that day was Champaign Academy’s junior Shayla Brown qualification for the state of 800, finishing second in 2: 31.63.
Brown not only ousted Samantha Hartke in the second year of the Iroquois West by a hundredth of a second for the final automatic promotion spot, but also became the first state participant in the Owls. The school started its program this season in an IHSA capacity.
“Of course it’s nice to be the first on such a new program,” said Brown. “It feels good. It was a fun race.”
Local state qualifiers from this section
100 lines – Atleigh Hamilton, St. Joseph-Ogden; Bre Crose, Hoopeston area.
200 lines – Atleigh Hamilton, St. Joseph-Ogden; Gracie Jessup, salt fork.
400 lines – Atleigh Hamilton, St. Joseph-Ogden; Zoey Müller-Hinnant, Uni High.
800 run – Macie Russell, Salzgabel; Shayla Brown, Champagne Academy.
1,600 run – Kate Ahmari, Uni High; Ava Knap, St. Joseph-Ogden.
3,200 runs – Kate Ahmari, Uni High; Aleigha Garrison, Judah Christian.
100 hurdles – Gracie Jessup, salt fork; Jaitlyn White, Westville; Shelby McGee, Salt Fork.
300 hurdles – Gracie Jessup, salt fork; Cadi Hu, Uni-High.
400 relays – St. Joseph-Ogden (Payton Carter, Raegan Crippen, Grace Schmitz, Hope Rajlich); Uni High (Ella Greer, Zoey Muller-Hinnant, Caylee Losch, Vivia Nguyen).
800 relays – St. Joseph-Ogden (Payton Carter, Raegan Crippen, Grace Schmitz, Hope Rajlich); Bismarck-Henning / Rossville-Alvin (Aubrey Peters, Gabby Moreman, Vivi Ruffo, Amber-Christine Reed).
1,600 relays – St. Joseph-Ogden (Ashlyn Lannert, Kailyn Ingram, Helene Jones, Hope Rajlich); Uni High (Ella Greer, Zoey Muller-Hinnant, Kate Ahmari, Cadi Hu).
3,200 relays – St. Joseph-Ogden (Kailyn Ingram, Helene Jones, Malorie Sarnecki, Ashlyn Lannert); Uni High (Erin Smith, Madeleine Keenan, Danbi Choi, Stefania Dschaman).
Pole vault – Brynlee Keeran, salt fork; Grace Schmitz, St. Joseph-Ogden; Payton Carter, St. Joseph-Ogden; Haley Carlton, Georgetown-Ridge Farm / Chrisman.
High jump – Abby Behrens, St. Joseph-Ogden; Brynlee Keeran, salt fork.
Long jump – Gracie Jessup, salt fork; Atleigh Hamilton, St. Joseph-Ogden; Brynlee Keeran, salt fork.
Triple jump – Brynlee Keeran, salt fork; Shelby McGee, Salt Fork.
Shot put – Olivia Birge, Salzgabel; Kinzie Parsons, Watseka.
Discus – Olivia Birge, Salzgabel; Kinzie Parsons, Watseka.