PLAINFIELD – A warm, breezy evening greeted track and field athletes at the Class 3A Plainfield North Sectional on Thursday.
State qualifying performances were on the minds of everyone, as you had to finish in the top two or meet the state qualifying standard for the event. The girls state finals take place next weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
Plainfield East led area schools, as the Bengals qualified in five events, including two relays.
Plainfield East junior Elissa Perkins led the way, qualifying in four events, a first in school history. She qualified in the long jump with a leap of 5.46 meters (17′-9″), the triple jump at 11.2 meters (37′-6 1/2″) and teamed with D’Aria Christian, Ally Wojciechowski and Ava Mabry-Spencer to win the 4x200 relay in a school-record time of 1:43.44. She also placed second in the 4x100 relay (48.85).
“It feels really good to qualify in all my events for the state meet, and I’m really excited,” Perkins said. “To be honest, the triple jump is my favorite event. I learned last year at state just to stay calm, relax and have fun. It’s also great that we have qualified in so many events.”
Also qualifying for the Bengals was Mazie Gierat in the long jump with a jump of 5.42 meters (17′-7 3/4″) and the triple jump with a leap of 11.49 (36′3 3/4″). Jocelyn Trotter won the high jump, with a clearance of 1.55 meters (5′-1″), and Mabry-Spencer was second in the 100 dash (12.30).
Plainfield South qualified Janiyah Bowman, as she won the 100-meter dash in 12.23 and the long jump at 5.67 meters (18′-6″), and she placed second to qualify in the 200 dash (25.12). Her sister Jahnel Bowman also qualified in the long jump, going 5.37 meters (17′-6″) and in the triple jump at 11.09 (36′3 3/4″). Dana Surwillo also qualified in the pole vault.
Janiya Bowman and East’s Mabry-Spencer have been teammates in summer track and shared the one-two finish with a hug.
“We train together in the summer, and that really helps both of us,” Bowman said. “We are friends, but we still want to win when we are out here.”
“This feels good to qualify in an individual event,” Mabry-Spencer said. “Our relay team went last year [to state], and we qualified again this year, but after not making it in the 100 meters a year ago my work has paid off. Janiya and I share this moment together.”
Plainfield North won the final event of the night, as they ran 4:02.54 to win the 4x400 relay with Lauren Dellangelo, Taylor Green, Alex Eydenberg and Natalie Liapis. Dellangelo also qualified in the 400 meters (59.05) and Emily Shafron in the pole vault.
Plainfield Central received a win in the pole vault from Tessani Foster, jumping 3.58 meters (11′-7 1/2″). Lockport qualfied Makenna Skoczylas in the pole vault.
Yorkville received a double win from Courtney Clabough in the shot put with a throw of 12.36 meters (40′-5 1/2″) and the discus with a heave of 41.01 meters (134′-5″). The Foxes also qualified Katie Melzer and Allegra Triner, as the teammates finished one-two, running 2:20.71 and 2:20.83 respectively in the 800. The 4x800 relay won with a time of 9:35.18, and Kaitlyn Rojas qualified in the shot put with a toss of 10.97 meters (36′-0″).
Just like at the Southwest Prairie Conference meet a week ago, Oswego’s Audra Soderlind won the distance double, taking the 3,200 meters in 11:00.04 and the 1,600 meters in 5:07.11.
“The two mile was hot, but both races felt really good,” Soderlind said. “I didn’t know how I would feel for the 1,600 but sometimes when you don’t feel the best you run well. We will see about next week and whether to double or not. I just have to see everything and then make a decision.”
Oswego also qualified their 4x200 relay (1:45.73) and 4x400 relay (4:04.24), Emma Ponx in the pole vault with a 3.58 meter effort (11′-7 1/2″) and Gwen Berenyi in the pole vault with a 3.43 meter clearance (11′-2 1/2″).
Oswego East qualified Kenna Nord in the long jump with a leap of 5.35 meters (17′-5 1/2″). Hailey Soriaga qualified in the pole vault.
In the team race, Neuqua Valley won with 99 points. Yorkville was second (76), followed by Oswego (72), Plainfield East (61), Oswego East (58). Plainfield South was sixth, followed by North, Lockport, Plainfield Central, Romeoville, Joliet West and Joliet Central.