IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet: G-K’s Natasha Bianchi, IC’s Regan Gibson take top-three finishes

Genoa-Kingston’s Natasha Bianchi lands her jump in the 2A long jump Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

CHARLESTON – Genoa-Kingston freshman Natasha Bianchi traded in her cast for a medal.

Bianchi competed for most of the season with a cast guarding a broken bone in her left hand. She appreciated getting the cast off in time for the postseason.

Bianchi landed a 5.24-meter long jump (17 feet, 2 1/4 inches) on her final attempt, vaulting her into third place in Class 2A at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet Saturday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.

“I was really surprised at my last jump,” Bianchi said. “That’s not my (career) best, but I’ve had a cast on because I broke my hand. That’s my best outside of the cast. That took me from 10th into third.

“It felt amazing and I’m super proud of my growth and completing my goals for the track and field season. (Getting my cast off) was a huge boost and was really helpful. I got a medal. I was happy, I completed all my goals.”

Indian Creek’s Reagan Gibson closed out her high school career with a 3.70 (12-1 1/2) pole vault for second in Class 1A. Elmwood’s Mya Strahm won with a meet-record 4.30 (14-1 1/4).

G-K’s Addison Vicary took fifth in the 2A high jump (1.55, 5-1) and DeKalb’s Joscelyn Dieckman was eighth and Kaneland’s Cora Heller tied for ninth in the Class 3A pole vault.

Gibson, who took fourth last year, will vault at Murray State next year.

“I was really happy with how I jumped today considering my poles were too small,” Gibson said. “I ended up doing really well with that situation.”

Gibson jumped on a 13-foot, 155-pound pole and felt she needed to vault with a longer pole. She was close to her personal-best vault of 12-6.

“It’s within a foot, I’m happy with it,” Gibson said. “All my hard work got me there so I’m happy with it.”

Gibson and Seneca’s Teagan Johnson both cleared 3.70 behind Strahm, but Gibson was second with fewer misses. She did not have a miss at 3.35 (10-11.75), 3.50 (11-5.75) or 3.70 (12-1.5). Johnson had one miss each at 3.50 and 3.60.

Dieckman finished as 3A runner-up last year, but battled an ankle injury early and mental blocks throughout the season. She passed after making 3.40 (11-1 3/4), then came back in at 3.70 (12-1 1/2), but missed on three attempts.

DeKalb’s Korima Gonzalez, who fought a leg strain a good portion of the season, advanced to the 800 finals, but finished 12th. She medaled lqst year, finishing ninth.

The Barbs’ Sydney Myles finished third in the high jump last year and made the finals, but did not medal. She cleared 1.55 (5-1) and finished 16th.

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