Girls track: Henry’s Daniella Bumber, St. Bede’s Lily Bosnich eye multiple 1A medals

Two Bureau Valley relays seeded to be in medal contention

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.

Last spring, Henry-Midland’s Daniella Bumber put herself on the map in Illinois track and field as she placed second at the Class 1A state meet in the 400 meters in 57.63 seconds as a freshman.

Now she wants to take the next step.

“I want to place top five in all my events,” said Bumber, who was fourth in the 200 (25.35) and sixth in the 100 (12.67) last year. “Preferably first or second in the 400. That’s what I really want. I think with last year’s showing, I really need to improve where I was at. Even with the talent pool increasing, I still have to make a good showing.”

Bumber enters the state meet, which is Thursday through Saturday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, with the second-best sectional time in the 400 of 57.41 behind Father McGivney’s Lilly Gilbertson. Defending champion Ahry Comer of Pope County is seeded fifth at 59.66.

Bumber also is seeded fifth in the 200 (25.59) and 10th in the 100 (12.57).

“Ahry Comer is a beast out there,” Bumber said. “Lilly Gilbertson, I raced her at Top Times, and we were neck and neck. Alaina Lester [of Belleville Althoff] is ranked first in pretty much everything this year. I’m not scared. I know who I have to beat. I know what I have to get, and I have to go out there and do it.”

Bumber said she’s hoping the strong field at state pushes her to better times. She’s looking to run in the 56s in the 400, 25 flat in the 200 and under 12.43 in the 100, which was her state preliminary time last year.

“I think with the talent pushing me, especially at the end, I’ll hit the mark I want to hit,” Bumber said.

Bumber also will run with Alison Mitchell, Taylor Frawley and Zoey Holstrom in the 4x100 relay.

Frawley also will compete in the long jump, where she’s seeded 12th, while Daphaney Kessling enters state tied for the 11th best sectional high jump after winning the event at the Bureau Valley Sectional.

Like Bumber, St. Bede sophomore Lily Bosnich will compete in four events at state with hopes of bringing home multiple medals.

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.

Last year, she placed sixth in the 300 hurdles and helped the Bruins’ 4x100 and 4x200 relays to medals.

Bosnich enters this year’s state meet with the third-best sectional time in the 100 hurdles (15.36) and 300 hurdles (46.6), which are both school records.

“It means a lot because that’s the main thing I’ve been focusing on, especially with the 100-meter hurdles,” Bosnich said about being the No. 3 seed in both hurdle events. “Last season, I couldn’t get the three steps down and now going into state as the third seed, it gives me confidence to know I can do it.

Tuscola junior Lia Patterson is the No. 1 seed in both hurdle events. She won the 300 hurdles state title last year and placed second in the 100 hurdles.

“(Keys to success at state are) keeping up with Lia Patterson and tunnel vision, knowing I can do it and just having confidence in myself,” Bosnich said.

Bosnich is seeded 14th in the 200 (14.41) and will anchor St. Bede’s 4x100 relay, which is seeded 14th (51.41). She’ll run with Sierah Shaver, Emerald De La Torre and Mackenzie Stanbary. Shaver and De La Torre also were on last year’s medalist 4x100.

Bosnich will have a busy weekend as she will compete in the state track preliminaries Thursday then will return to Peru for the softball team’s regional final before going back to Charleston for the state track finals.

“Last season I didn’t get to make the regional championship and it was a bummer, so I’m glad I’ll be making it this year to be there for my team, but it’s going to be a lot,” Bosnich said.

Bureau Valley is sending three individuals and three relays to state.

The Storm foursome of Connie Gibson, Taylor Neuhalfen, Kate Salisbury and McKinley Canady are seeded third in the 4x100 (50.58) behind El Paso-Gridley (49.97) and North Mac (50.31) and sixth in the 4x200 (1:49.23).

“I just hope we get a medal,” Canady said.

Salisbury and Gibson also will compete in the 4x400, which is seeded 21st, along with Lynzie Cady and Emma Mussche.

Addie Wessel is seeded 12th in the 100 hurdles and 15th in the 300 hurdles, Cady is seeded 25th in the long jump and Maddie Wetzell was sectional champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 and is seeded 28th and 29th, respectively.

Bureau Valley's McKinley Canady pulls ahead of Amboy's Bella Yanos, Henry-Senachwine's Daniella Bumber and Fulton's Miraya Pressman to win the 4x100 meter relay during the Class 1A Sectional meet on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at Bureau Valley High School.

“I really just hope to PR and have my last run of the season be the best one I’ve done all year,” Wetzell said.

Fieldcrest’s Macy Gochanour could be in the mix for a medal in the 300 hurdles as she’s seeded 12th at 48.83. She’s also seeded 20th in the 100 hurdles.

Teammate Pru Mangan will compete in the discus, where she’s seeded 27th.

Earlville freshman Vyvienn O’Connell had the 14th-best pole vault at sectionals (2.92), which was her personal record.

“I definitely got my hips up more and got better form and everything through it,” O’Connell said about her sectional vault. “[At state], I’m hoping to get by 9-7 [2.92 meters] again or 10 foot [3.05].”

The Amboy co-op will have three individuals and a relay at state.

Elly Jones will compete at state for the fourth time as she’s seeded 11th in the 100 hurdles (16.56) and 20th in the triple jump.

Jillian Anderson is tied for the 11th seed in the high jump, and Bella Yanos is tied for the 27th seed in the long jump.

Jones and Yanos also will run on the 4x100 relay, which is seeded 21st, along with Maddie Althaus and Alexa McKendry.

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