Girls Track

Girls Track and Field: Batavia completes team triple crown with sectional title

Brian Hill/
Batavia's Meghann Hartmann competes in the high jump during the Class 3A Lake Park sectional girls track Thursday May 12, 2022 in Roselle.

ROSELLE – Katrina Schlenker sped down her final straightaway at a Class 3A girls track and field sectional with utter abandon.

The Batavia senior standout was given the symbolic honor of icing the Bulldogs’ perfect season.

Schlenker, runner-up in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, anchored the Lake Park sectional-closing 4-minute, .81-second championship 4x400 relay for the Bulldogs.

Essie Newburn and Izzy Taylor ran legs not only on the final relay but also the other quartet’s victories in the 4x100 and 4x200 for Batavia.

Sophomore twins Maddie and Mariah Wilson were also members of a state-qualifying relay for the Bulldogs Thursday night at the Lancers’ East Campus.

With its 109-73 victory over St. Charles East, which had victories in the 4x800 as well as Natalie Grimaldo claiming the 300 hurdles, not to mention a surprise triumph by Mary Ramirez in the discus, Batavia completed the Triple Crown of team titles — Kane County, the DuKane Conference and the lone state preliminary in Medinah.

“Our (three) sprint relays are all top 10 in the state,” Newburn said of her decision to focus on the relays. “I had to be a part of that.”

For the runner-up Saints, who had to settle for such a distinction for a third straight week, do-it-all senior jumper Katie Kempff qualified in both horizontal jumps after electing to step aside in the high jump after another mandatory state berth at 5 feet, 3 inches.

“I had to manage my time,” Kempff said.

Brian Hill/
St. Charles East’s Katie Kempff competes in the long jump during the Class 3A Lake Park sectional girls track Thursday May 12, 2022 in Roselle.

The decision opened the door for reigning St. Charles North all-stater Natalie Buratczuk.

The Eastern Michigan recruit was on the cusp of being eliminated at 5-1.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” Buratczuk said. “(But) I just pulled it together and popped over it.”

Buratczuk then cleared 5-3 and 5-5 on consecutive attempts to defend her sectional championship.

Geneva recorded wins by freshman quarter-miler Bridget Hecker in the open 400 in 58.82 and Angela Romano, the senior shot put champion at a half-inch shy of 40 feet.

There were multiple double champions from the DuPage County contingent at Lake Park.

The Lancers’ very own, Paulina Lucer, showcased her exceptional athleticism by winning the pole vault at 11-6 while also overcoming even more obstacles with a second title in the 100 hurdles.

The Lancers’ Martina Latoria would have won two jumps’ titles had Glenbard East senior Keeli Dunaway not spoiled her party. Latoria won the long jump and Dunaway took the triple jump.

York junior Brooke Berger ran a smoking-hot open metric half-mile after earlier helping the Dukes’ 3,200 relay to the No. 1 seed in the state.

Glenbard West senior Audrey Allman and Glenbard North junior Grace Schager, both returning all-staters, won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs in 4:56.25 and 10:44.59.