Girls track and field: 14 local athletes heading to state meet, including 11 in field events

Defending medalists Joscelyn Dieckman, Sydney Myles, Reagan Gibson looking to repeat

Sycamore’s Kaitlyn Lisafeld clears the bar in the pole vault Wednesday, May 8, 2024, during the girls track Class 2A sectional at Rochelle High School.

It’ll be, literally, a high-flying good time in Charleston for Daily Chronicle-area athletes who qualified for the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet, which begins Thursday.

Eleven of the 14 qualifiers are in a jump of some kind, while the other three are in the 800 meters across the three classes.

Indian Creek’s Reagan Gibson is the top seed in the Class 1A pole vault, having cleared 3.73 meters.

“I think it’s just consistency,” Gibson said. “Consistency creates good form. If you’re consistent at a meet, you’re able to clear bars better.”

Gibson is qualifying for the fourth time, having taken fourth last year with a vault of 3.66 meters, one of four people to clear that height but losing on the tiebreaker.

Gibson said she started the pole vault in sixth grade and started doing it year-round two years later. She had an uncle, Kenneth Harding, win a Class AA title in 1975, and that was an inspiration for her to get flying in the sport.

“My uncle won state when he was in high school,” said Gibson, who will be joined in Charleston by teammate Isabella Turner in the triple jump. “He showed me a picture when I was in sixth grade, and I was like, ‘Oh, I want to do that.’ ”

Gibson is one of five area pole vaulters to make it, including DeKalb’s Joscelyn Dieckman. Last year, Dieckman was second, clearing 3.78 meters. She’s seeded second this year at 3.73 meters.

She’s one of five Barbs to make it this year along with Korima Gonzalez in the 800, Tawonna Keith and Sydney Myles in the high jump and Alyssa Tumminaro in the pole vault.

As a freshman, Myles cleared 1.66 to take third at state in the high jump. She’s toward the middle of the pack this year at 1.57.

Kaneland pole vaulter Cora Heller also will compete in 3A, while Sycamore senior vaulter Kaitlyn Lisafeld will be in the 2A field.

“I’m honestly just going to try and have fun with it,” Lisafeld said of her first trip to the state meet. “Whatever I get, I get, because it’s just going to be an experience.”

She’ll be joined in Charleston by teammate Layla Janisch, who qualified in the 800.

Hinckley-Big Rock sophomores Isabella Canzoneri (800) and Addison Marquardt will represent the Royals in Class 1A.

Genoa-Kingston freshman Natasha Bianchi qualified for the 2A meet in the long jump, seeded with a jump of 5.35 meters.

“Just don’t stress at all, have fun with it,” Bianchi said of her first trip to state.

Bianchi will be joined by junior teammate Addison Vicary, who cleared 1.59 in the high jump to qualify.

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