Girls track and field: Mendota freshman Mariyah Elam wins IHSA Class 2A state high jump title

Henry-Midland’s Daniella Bumber wins three medals, St. Bede’s Lily Bosnich two

Mendota’s Mariyah Elam clears the bar in the 2A high jump Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

CHARLESTON – It takes a village to win a state title.

At least that’s how it felt for Mendota freshman Mariyah Elam, who overcame a case of nerves to take first in the Class 2A high jump Saturday at Eastern Illinois’ O’Brien Field.

Elam cleared 5 feet, 4.5 inches, not her personal best but good enough to be the program’s first state champion since Sherry Hoffman won the Class A long jump in 1989.

“I was scared,” Elam said of the run-up to state. “I was like, ‘Oh, there’s girls jumping 5-6 and 5-7. And that’s just my PR and I’ve only done it once.

“(But) everybody in my whole town was rooting for me and on Facebook and all that.”

Elam hasn’t had much luck during the daytime, a trend that ended on Saturday.

“I was happy I was able to pull through even though jumping in the sun is not my strong suit,” she said. “I’ve never been over 5-2 in the sun. Today I made it happen.”

Elam won a second medal in the 100-meter hurdles, taking eighth in 15.91 after earning the last qualifying spot.

“I was almost cut from the finals but that .11 seconds (the margin she advanced by), that did me something good,” Elam said.

Henry-Midland sophomore Daniella Bumber won three medals in the 1A sprints, posting PRs in all three races. She took second in the 400 at 55.84, finished fifth in the 200 at 25.28 and was eighth in the 100 at 12.44.

“(The) 400 was the biggest surprise of the day,” Bumber said. “I came in hoping for 56. My PR was a 56.60 and I haven’t been able to replicate that in about two years. So crossing the finish line today it was a relief, it was exciting.”

With temperatures in the 80s, the forecast wasn’t necessarily for a great day for Bumber.

“I prefer to run in cooler weather just because I get really nauseous in the heat,” she said. “(But) obviously this weather likes me.”

Henry-Senchawine-Midlands’s Daniella Bumber reacts to her time in the 1A 400 dash Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

St. Bede hurdler Lily Bosnich won a pair of medals in 1A, finishing second in the 300s with a PR of 45.25 and seventh in the 100s at 16.90.

Coming into the season, the sophomore wasn’t expecting to place in two events at state.

“I did not think I was going to make it for the 100 hurdles,” she said. “So that’s what I focused on the entire season. Which is also why I’m so upset (by the finish). But I’m just glad that I made it here.”

Also winning medals in Class 2A were Princeton’s Morgan Foes, fourth in the shot put with a throw of 38 feet, 3.5 inches and seventh in the discus with a throw of 116-6, La Salle-Peru Elli Sines, who was fifth in the 100 hurdles at 15.54, Princeton’s Camryn Driscoll, ninth in the 400 in 59.55

Other local placers in Class 1A were Amboy’s Elly Jones, who was fourth in the 100 hurdles with a PR of 15.92; Henry-Midland’s Taylor Frawley, who took eighth in the long jump at 17-1.25; and Bureau Valley’s Connie Gibson, Taylor Neuhalfen, Kate Salisbury and McKinley Canady in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. The 4x100 was seventh in 50.64 and the 4x200 took ninth in 1:49.57.

Lasalle-Peru’s Elli Sines clears the final hurdle in the 2A 100 Hurdles race Saturday in May at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.
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