Girls track: St. Bede’s Lily Bosnich, Henry-Midland’s Daniella Bumber each qualify for state in 4 events

Marquette, Bureau Valley, Earlville, Amboy co-op also sending athletes to state

St. Bede's Lili Bosnich (center) pulls ahead of Fulton's Emery Wherry and Amboy's Elly Jones to win the 100 meter hurdles during the Class 1A Sectional meet on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Bureau Valley High School.

MANLIUS – Before the start of the 200-meter dash at the Class 1A Bureau Valley Sectional on Wednesday, St. Bede’s Lily Bosnich and Henry-Midland’s Daniella Bumber discussed how many good freshmen there are in the area this spring.

“The freshmen this year are so good,” Bosnich said. “Daniella and I were talking about it. We were like, ‘We were those freshmen,’ and now it’s weird to see that, but it’s also cool to see it, too.”

While there are plenty of talented freshmen, Bosnich and Bumber didn’t give up their spots at the top just yet.

Both super sophomores won two sectional titles, qualified for the IHSA State Meet in three individual events and helped a relay to state.

Bosnich won the 100-meter and 300 hurdles in school-record times of 15.36 seconds and 46.6 seconds. She also placed third in the 200 in a state-qualifying time of 26.45 and anchored the Bruins’ 4x100 relay to a state-qualifying 51.41.

“It feels really cool, because last year I went mostly in relays,” said Bosnich, who medaled in the 4x100, 4x200 and 300 hurdles last year. “And I’m going in three personal events and one relay this year. I’m so glad I can be there for my team and help them come too, not just me.”

Bosnich ran her record-setting and qualifying times despite a bad abrasion on her right leg suffered on a slide during the St. Bede softball team’s game against Seneca on Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty big scratch to say the least,” Bosnich said. “It’s funny, because so many people have come up to me and asked about it. It’s just like a bonding moment at this point. I can just laugh it off.

“It gave me a distraction. I thought about that more than my races.”

Riverdale's Preslie Willemkens, Newman's Elaina Allen and Henry-Senachwine's Daniella Bumber run in the 100 meter dash during the Class 1A Sectional meet on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Bureau Valley High School.

Bumber flew around the track in 57.41 to win the 400 and ran a 25.59 to edge Newman’s Elaina Allen in the 200 after finishing second to Allen in the 100 in 12.57.

“It feels good, but she is phenomenal,” Bumber said about coming back to top Allen. “The freshmen this year are crazy. She is one of them. I gave her a big hug at the end (of the 200) and wished her good luck in her 4x4. I think it’s good to have competition. It makes me happier when I do. And I like seeing people succeed. Coming back in the 200 definitely felt good, but I also know she works hard too, so empathy for her as well.”

Bumber also anchored the Timberducks’ 4x100 relay to a state-qualifying 51.78.

Relaymate Taylor Frawley will also compete at state in an individual event with a leap of 5.2 meters in the long jump, while H-M’s Daphaney Kessling won the title in the high jump (1.53).

The host Storm finished second in the team standings with 88.5 points behind champion Fulton (126) on the strength of six state qualifiers.

Bureau Valley sophomore Maddie Wetzell pull off the distance double dip with titles in the 3,200 (12:43.11) and 1,600 (5:47.26).

“I’ve been working all season for this, so it’s nice to see everything pay off in the end,” Wetzell said.

While Wetzell cruised to a 17-second victory in the 3,200, the 1,600 was more of a battle.

She was just behind Riverdale’s Jillian Murray when the bell rang signifying the final lap, and she still trailed on the back straightaway before overtaking Ostrowski on the final curve and winning by 3 1/2 seconds.

“I was thinking, I don’t want to lose,” Wetzell said. “I’m a very competitive person. I heard my coaches and people cheering for me saying I had to go. I really wanted it, so I had to fight for what I wanted.

“[When I passed her] I was just thinking, ‘You have to go.’ I didn’t know how close she was behind me. I couldn’t really hear anything. I just wanted to cross that finish line.”

Teammate Addie Wessel joins Wetzell as a double state qualifier, as she beat the mark in the 100 hurdles (16.65) and 300 hurdles (49.07), while Lynzie Cady leapt 5.01 to be one of five qualifiers in the long jump.

The Storm are sending three relays to state.

The foursome of Connie Gibson, Taylor Neuhalfen, Kate Salisbury and McKinley Canady won a strong field in the 4x100 (50.58) that saw six teams advance and placed second in the 4x200 (1:49.23).

“It’s amazing,” said Canady, a first-year track runner as a junior. “I love my relays. They’re really great.”

Canady anchored both sprint relays.

“I could see in the corner of my eye that Fulton was struggling with the handoff, so I just knew I had to push for the last straightaway,” Canady said. “I could tell that we had it at that point.”

Salisbury, Cady, Gibson and Emma Mussche just snuck in in the 4x400 as they placed third in 4:19.66, beating the state-qualifying standard of 4:19.68.

Bureau Valley's McKinley Canady hugs teammate Maddie Wetzell after coming in the 4x100 meter relay during the Class 1A Sectional meet on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Bureau Valley High School.

The Amboy co-op also had multiple qualifiers in Elly Jones in the 100 hurdles (third, 16.56) and triple jump (third, 10.33), Bella Yanos in the long jump (fifth, 5) and Jillian Anderson in the high jump (second, 1.53) along with the Clippers’ 4x100 relay (sixth, 52.05).

Earlville freshman Vyvienn O’Connell cleared 2.92 to place second in the pole vault.

“It feels pretty good,” O’Connell said. “I got a new PR. I definitely got my hips up more and had better form and everything through it.”

Marquette junior Maggie Jewett earned her first trip to state with a third-place finish in 1:01.5 in the 400.

“It felt amazing,” Jewett said. “I did cross country my freshman year and went to state for that, but this is my first year going to state for track, and I’ve been working toward it the whole season. I was really proud of myself tonight.”

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