Girls track and field: Batavia, Rosary earn three IHSA all-state honors; St. Francis takes title in 4x800

Batavia medals in three relays, St. Charles North has two all-state performers

St. Francis’ Erin Hinsdale reacts to her team’s time in the Class 2A 4x800 Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

CHARLESTON – It wasn’t pretty, but Batavia did what it came to do.

The Bulldogs in Class 3A, along with Rosary and St. Francis in Class 2A, finished the season with three top nine all-state finishes at the IHSA girls track and field state championships May 18 at Eastern Illinois University.

The quartet of Izzy Taylor, Madison Wilson, Mariah Wilson and Elizabeth Wende had two of the three medals for Batavia. They finished the 4x100-meter relay with a sixth-place showing in 47.55 seconds. A few hours later, the Bulldogs stepped onto the podium again, this time after an eighth-place finish in the 4x200 in 1:41.07.

Team members said that after missing the finals last year, it was a relief to know that their hard work to get on the podium at the state meet paid off.

“It was great to finally make it to finals this year,” Mariah Wilson said. “And we got to give it all we got for some of our last years. I’m really proud of us because we all did this.”

Taylor and Wende got their third all-state honor of the day competing with Kate Solano and Leah Zimberoff in the 4x400, but it didn’t come without some drama. With the team in fourth place heading around the final corner, a runner from Kenwood fell in front of Wende and she wasn’t able to avoid the fallen runner and took a stumble. Wende managed to pick herself up and finish the race and the Bulldogs placed eighth in 3:57.86 for their third medal of the day.

Wende, a sophomore, said the fall is something the three returners in the event can use for motivation heading into next season.

“I’m going to try my hardest to go out as far as possible from anyone next year,” Wende said. “That way I don’t have to worry about tripping over someone again. It’s really going to motivate me.”

Batavia’s Madison Wilson fires of the blocks in the 3A 4x200 Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

The 4x400 marked the end of her high school career for Taylor, who finished with six all-state medals after getting three this year and three in 2022. The senior said she had an amazing time in her four years with the Bulldogs.

“I got to run with my favorite people every day and I made a lot of friends,” Taylor said. “The medals were pretty cool, too.”

St. Francis was the only area team to earn a state title, winning the Class 2A 4x800. After running the fastest preliminary time May 17, the team of Allie Sheldon, Elena Mamminga, Margaret Andrzejewski and Erin Hinsdale ran a Class 2A state record time of 9:12.80, barely beating out Morton at the line.

With a team of three freshmen and one sophomore in Andrzejewski, team members said they hadn’t really thought about winning state until about two weeks ago.

“I was just like, ‘Wait, we can win state,’ ” Andrzejewski said.

Hinsdale, who ran a 2:15 final leg in the victory, said when she got the baton at the same time as Morton’s Taygen Beyer, she just wanted to do what was needed to win.

“I wasn’t even thinking about my 800 race,” Hinsdale said. “I’m just so excited because it’s my first year and these girls are just the most amazing people to run with.”

Hinsdale added another all-state medal to her first-year collection after taking second in the 800 in 2:14.83.

St. Francis’ Abigael Sheldon had an all-state performance in the discus after finishing sixth with a throw of 36.36 meters (116 feet, 6 inches).

Rosary found its way to the podium in the 4x800 after finishing ninth with a season-best time of 9:44.58.

Vivian Wyller, who was part of that team, also medaled in the 1,600 after finishing fifth with a personal record of 5:09.08.

Wyller said capping her senior season with two state medals was definitely something special.

“We knew we had a good chance in the 4x8 coming into this, but just having a team effort is so different because we all put in something, which was awesome,” Wyller said. “And then in the 1,600, it’s my favorite event, so I knew that I wanted to end on a good note, so it was very rewarding.”

St. Francis’ Margaret Andrzekewski starts her leg of the race in the 2A 4x800 Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

Katie Kostro had Rosary’s third all-state finish after tying for ninth place in the high jump by clearing 1.5 meters (4-11).

St. Charles North finished with two all-state performers. After ending the prelims of the shot put in 12th place, Tosin Oshin tossed a personal-best 11.92 meters (39-1.25) for a seventh-place finish in the event.

The North Stars also had their 4x800 team take the final spot on the podium after running 9:24.24 for ninth place. After the race, team members were ecstatic about how they exceeded expectations throughout the year.

“At this time of the year, we didn’t even think that we could even make state in the 4x800,” Julia Rodney said. “But after Reagan Sipla joined the team at the beginning of outdoor, we just came together as a team.”

St. Charles East’s Marley Andelman ended her time with the Saints on a high note. After being part of a sixth-place finish in the 4x800 last year, Andelman got a sixth-place finish of her own with a personal-best time of 2:14.15 in the 800.

The time was a school record in the event for the senior, who will compete in triathlons at Texas Christian University next season.

Andelman said getting a medal to end her high school career definitely was special.

“The ladies in the field are so special, so to just be here was a feat in itself,” Andelman said. “Honestly, I just wanted to race as hard as I can knowing it’s my last time crossing the finish line and just standing on that podium with the medal, it was amazing.”

Geneva triple jumper Reilly Day had a seventh-place finish after jumping 11.56 meters (37-11 1/4).

Day, who didn’t compete in track and field last year, said getting an all-state medal was something she couldn’t have guessed coming into the weekend.

“I just needed to believe in myself,” Day said. “I knew I could jump better than anyone else here, so I just trusted that I knew what I could do and gave it my all.”

Kaneland’s lone representative was senior pole vaulter Cora Heller, who finished in ninth place after jumping 3.40 meters (11-1 3/4).

Heller, who is committed to jump at St. Augustine next year, said that despite not having her best jump on the day, she was extremely pleased to be walking away with an all-state medal.

“We’ve had a rough season with so many meets being canceled in pole vault while also not having a coach, so to end it off here, it’s been a successful meet,” Heller said.