Girls track and field: West Carroll’s Emma Randecker, E-P’s Kennedy Buck have big days at state track meet

Buck second in Class 1A shot put, Randecker wins three sprint medals

West Carroll’s Emma Randecker (middle) wins the 1A 100 dash title Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

CHARLESTON – West Carroll junior Emma Randecker let the high-quality competition of the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet bring out the best in her.

Randecker ran the best times of her life to win a state title and grab two other top-five finishes in Class 1A sprints. She won the 100 meters, was runner-up in the 200 and took fourth in the 400 Saturday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.

Randecker won the 100 in 12.11, took second in the 200 (24.51) and fifth in the 400 (57.44), which all were the best times of her career.

“I’m really happy with the results and my hard work paying off,” Randecker said. “I got a good start in the 100 and it carried me through the finish of the race. It was very exciting, and unexpected.

“I was really pushing myself with the good competition. Running that competitive of a race really helped.”

Belleville Althoff’s Alaina Lester (24.49), Randecker and Tuscola’s Lia Patterson (24.88) all broke the old 200 record.

Erie-Prophetstown senior Kennedy Buck took second in the Class 1A shot put. Buck unleashed her career-best throw by nearly 2 feet to jump from ninth to second with an effort of 11.93 (39-1 3/4).

Amboy senior Elly Jones earned a medal for the third time in four years in the 100 hurdles, finishing fourth in a PR of 15.92. It was the sixth medal for Jones, who ended up totaling 18 points at state over the course of her career.

“She had a great last run. It was her second best time ever,” Amboy coach Michael Robinson said. “You could tell she was super nervous going into it, but she did fantastic.”

Fulton took fourth in the Class 1A 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Paige Cramer, Brooklyn Thoms, Haley Smither and Miraya Pessman finished in 49.40 in the 4x100. Thoms, Annaka Hackett, Grace Dykstra and Pessman went 1:45.83 in the 4x200.

The Steamers’ Emery Wherry took eighth in the 100 high hurdles in 16.99.

Newman Catholic’s Elaina Allen was seventh in the 100 in 12.44. Newman’s Kennedy Rowzee took seventh in the shot put at 11.50 (37-8 3/4).

Dixon’s Olivia Cox finished eighth in the Class 2A shot put at 11.09 (36-4 3/4).

Dixon’s Olivia Cox throws the shot in the 2A Shot Put Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

E-P coach Liz Green noticed something through her camera lens as Buck released her first throw in the finals: Buck had a huge smile on her face.

“When I saw my throw, I knew it was close to that, because I could see the mark,” Buck said. “I smiled and clapped my hands because I knew it was going to be a [personal record].

“I’m really happy. I went the past three years. Last year I was really close to medaling and it bothered me the last year. When I came in today and looking for another PR. I didn’t know it would be by 2 feet. It was incredible.”

E-P’s Buck had her running part of track and field derailed this season by a stress reaction in her left foot. She plans on playing volleyball and basketball at Rock Valley College, so she had to stop running before doing further damage.

That did not keep her from throwing the shot.

“[The injury] carried over into track,” Buck said. “I gave it a try and didn’t get any better. Stopped running because I knew I was going to play. I knew I could make it in shot.”

Eric-Prophetstown's Kennedy Buck throws 11.93 meters to take second place in the Class 1A shot put at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet on Saturday.
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Joe Stevenson

Joe Stevenson

I have worked at the Northwest Herald since January of 1989, covering everything from high school to professional sports. I mainly cover high school sports now.