The only person who may be able to keep Huntley senior Alex Johnson from repeating as Class 3A triple jump state champion lives in the same house that she does.
Dominique Johnson, Alex’s sophomore sister, landed her career-best jump, 12.35 meters (40 feet, 6 3/4 inches), in Friday’s preliminaries at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium and leads heading into Saturday’s finals.
Alex Johnson scratched on her first two attempts, then hit 12.27 (40-3 1/4) on her last attempt. The Johnsons are 2 feet ahead of the next-best jumper.
The Johnson sisters and Prairie Ridge’s Rylee Lydon made the long jump finals, all in the top five. Alex, in first place at 5.96 (19-6 3/4), is trying for her third consecutive state long jump title. Lydon at 5.71 (18-8 3/4) is in second, and Dominique Johnson at 5.51 (18-1) is in fifth.
Lydon also qualified in the high jump, 100 high hurdles (14.72) and the 400 (57.05).
The Johnsons teamed up with K’Leigh Saenz and Vicky Evtimov in the 4x100-meter relay to qualify with the third-fastest time (47.81). Dominique Johnson, Saenz, Evtimov and Emily Byers qualified in the 4x200 in 1:41.36, the third-fastest time.
Huntley is trying to make a run at a top-three finish in Class 3A and a team trophy.
The Red Raiders got a boost for the team standings when senior discus thrower Ally Panzloff, who will play volleyball at NCAA Division I Brown, unleashed a career-best throw of 48.73 (159-10) and sits in first place heading into the finals.
Huntley’s Sienna Robertson made the discus finals at 36.61 (120-1) in 10th place.
McHenry’s Alyssa Moore ran 2:15.91 to qualify in the 800 meters with the sixth-fastest time. Prairie Ridge’s Rachel Soukup qualified with the third-fastest time (4:58.48) in the 1,600. Soukup also will be the top seed from sectionals in Saturday’s 3,200. There are no preliminaries for that event.
In Class 2A, Burlington Central’s Paige Greenhagel qualified in three of her four events, just missing with her 4x400 relay team, which was 10th, one spot from qualifying.
Greenhagel had the fifth-best time (57.41) in the 400 and is in third place in the long jump at 5.36 meters (17-9). She also advanced in the high jump, which starts over in the finals.
Richmond-Burton’s Angelina Gersch qualified in two events, the triple jump and 300 low hurdles. She is in third in triple jump at 10.97 (36-0) and got the final of nine spots in the hurdles in 47.24.
Woodstock’s Hallie Steponaitis moved on to the high jump finals, and teammate Keira Bogott, who played soccer most of the spring season and ran in only a few meets, made the 800 finals with the final spot of 12.
Woodstock North’s Ashley Janeczko threw 16.08 (36-4 1/4) in the shot put and sits in ninth place going into the finals.
Johnsburg’s Caitlyn Casella ran her fastest time ever (12.21), but missed the 100 finals in 10th place, one spot from qualifying.