GENOA – Burlington Central showed off its depth at the Class 2A Genoa-Kingston Sectional Friday night.
The Rockets won only one individual event — Madelyn Mucci in the triple jump — but took home the team title and still sent a busload of qualifiers to Charleston next weekend for the state meet.
The Rockets won two relays, including the 4x400, to clinch the team title. The final event was a microcosm of the evening as the Rockets squad of Kenzie Anderson, Mia Estrada, Tia Brennan and Paige Greenhagel edged Rosary by seven tenths of a second.
Burlington Central edged Rosary for the overall title, 105-94. Kaneland was close behind in third with 87.
The Rockets likely set the school record in the 4x200 relay according to their coach Vince Neil.
“We’ve been telling the kids all week that everybody’s got a job to do and just focus on the things that you can control,” Neil said. “We had some kids really step up and be better than their seeds. The depth of the program was great to see today.”
Some of those who stepped up included Greenhagel, who qualified in the long jump with a second-place finish and placed third in the high jump before anchoring the 4x200 relay. Izzy Solomon scored points in the 100 and 200 and ran both sprint relays. Nina Tomko took second in the 100 hurdles.
“It’s such a great feeling,” Solomon said of winning the team trophy. “We seem to go back and forth with Rosary and this being my senior year it’s great to end on that note with a sectional championship.”
The Rockets were strong in the throws with Tiana Foreman finishing second in the shot put and third in discus. Amanda Melton was fourth in both events.
“Today it was the warm weather and feeling really loose,” said Foreman. “Everything definitely felt right.”
Sisters Lianna Surtz and Chiara Surtz ran 1-2 in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters for Rosary. Mary Dietz won the 110-meter hurdles for the Royals, outleaning Tomko at the finish line.
Aurora Central Catholic’s Isa Orozco won both the 400 and 800, beating Rosary’s Olivia Kunio in the latter.
After running in unseasonably cold weather for most of the spring, the athletes had to adjust to temperatures in the low 90s at the start of the meet.
“It was hard, but all the other athletes have it the same way,” Orozco said. “It’s hurting [times] a little bit, but hopefully I’ll be OK [for the state meet] because I’ll be training with the heat a little bit more.”
Kaneland was strong in the field events, with Olivia Rohlman winning the discus and finishing third in the shot.
The Knights took first and third in the pole vault with Jessica Phillip winning with a vault of 3.51 meters and Cora Heller taking third. They were sandwiched around Rosary’s Libby Saloga as the top four finishers all qualified for state.
The Knights’ Matilyn Mumm took second behind Mucci in the triple jump.