Lincoln-Way Central’s Marla Hayes turned in a strong performance in the preliminary round of the IHSA Girls State Track and Field Meet on Friday afternoon.
Hayes’ throw of 42.81 meters (140 feet, 4 1/2 inches) put her in the catbird seat heading into Saturday’s Class 3A finals. In field events, preliminary throws can stand as a throw in the finals and she currently has a lead of almost 8 feet over her nearest competitor, Maeve Kelly of New Trier.
In other Class 3A preliminaries, Lincoln-Way East’s Sophia Barnard continued her strong efforts in the hurdle events. Barnard’s 14.09-second effort in the 100 hurdles was the second-best time of the preliminaries, while her 45.88 showing in the 300 hurdles was the third-best qualification.
The pole vault pit will be chock full of local athletes in the finals. Plainfield Central’s Tessani Foster, Lincoln-Way East’s Jaiden Knoop and Lockport’s Makenna Skoczylas all cleared 3.30 meters (10-8) and are part of the 13-person field advancing to the finals.
Plainfield South’s Janiya Bowman qualified in three individual events. She started her day with a sixth-place performance in the long jump with a leap of 5.58 meters (18 feet, 3 inches). Later, Bowman snagged the last qualifying spot in the 100 final, clocking in at just under 12 seconds in 11.98. Bowman gave herself a little more breathing room in the 200 qualifications, turning in the sixth-best time of the preliminaries in 25.69.
Plainfield South’s Jahnel Bowman qualified for the triple jump finals with a 11.37-meter (37-3) jump that placed her sixth, and she’ll be joined from the local ranks by Plainfield East’s Mazie Gierat with a 11.30-meter (37-0) effort that placed her seventh.
Two local squads, Plainfield North and Lincoln-Way East, earned spots in the 4x400 relay. Plainfield North took the seventh spot in a time of 4:04.77, while Lincoln-Way East recorded the eighth best time in 4:05.17.
Plainfield East’s 4x200 relay earned a lane in the finals as the Bengals’ effort of 1:45.24 qualified them eighth.
Minooka claimed one of the final spots for qualifying in the 4x800 relay, turning in an effort of 9:43.3 to take 11th place among qualifiers.
One of the athletes with high expectations entering the event, Lincoln-Way East’s Mariam Azeez, scratched out of the state meet after a hamstring injury deemed her unable to participate. Azeez was the defending state champion in the 100.
In the Class 2A preliminaries, Providence Catholic pole vaulter Natalie Papes was the lone area athlete to qualify for Saturday’s finals. Papes was one of nine vaulters that cleared 3.12 meters (10-2) and will be part of the 12-person field that will compete in the finals. Papes entered the state meet tied for the No. 1 seed in the event.
Boys Track and Field
Plano Class 2A Sectional: Morris had four sectional qualifiers and a pair of sectional champions to lead local athletes at the Plano Sectional.
Myles Johnston won the 100-meter dash with a 10.62 sprint and Johnston later returned to the track to earn a qualifying slot in the 200 as well, taking second in 22.51.
Morris also went 1-2 in the 1,600 with both Kaden Welch (4:35.72) and Matt Clark (4:36.39) earning spots in the field at Eastern Illinois University.
Joliet Catholic’s long jumping duo of Adrian Washington and HJ Grigsby also took the first two spots. Washington won the event with a 6.82 meter leap, while Grigsby measured up with a 6.45 mark.
“I knew I had to change where I normally start after a couple of warmups. I probably start closer to the pit than most guys, but today I had to move back,” Washington said. “The wind was tough for sure, but I think it was more a mental thing to get over. I scratched on my first jump, but my second attempt ended in a very good PR of 0.4 meters.”
Providence also had a pair of qualifiers as Ryan Ondrasek won the 300 hurdles in a time of 40.07, while Jude Horak met the qualifying standard with a 50.81 performance which was good for third in the 400.
Coal City’s qualifiers were Collin Dames who was the runner-up in the shot put with a heave of 14.06 meters and Christian Micetich, who met the qualifying standard in the 300 hurdles with a 40.55 effort that earned him third place.
Coal City 2, Beecher 1 (8 inn): At the Class 2A Beecher Regional, Abby Gagliardo scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the eighth inning as the Coalers knocked off top-seeded Beecher for the regional title.
Gagliardo tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. Coal City (15-15) will face either Bishop McNamara or Herscher in a Class 2A Herscher Sectional semifinal Wednesday.
Manteno 5, Seneca 4: At the Class 2A Manteno Regional, a late rally from the Fighting Irish came up short in the regional final.
Allison Arwood had two hits, including a triple, and drove in two runs for Seneca. Sam Vandevelde and Alyssa Zellers each drove in runs for Seneca, which closed out its season at 22-11.
Plainfield Central 17, Joliet Central 2 (4 inn.): At Plainfield, Alyssa Bonomo homered and drove in five for the Wildcats in a Southwest Prairie Conference contest.
Abby DeGrado drove in four runs, and Molly McGowan knocked in three for Plainfield Central (11-14, 9-8). Cameron King and Natalee Curry had RBIs for Joliet Central (2-22, 0-17).
Minooka 12, Romeoville 1 (5 inn.): At Romeoville, Peyton Lowdon allowed one hit and struck out seven for the Indians in a SPC contest.
Anna McClimon homered, tripled and drove in four, and Lowdon added three knocked in with a double for Minooka (16-12-1, 11-5). Alaina Moreno had the lone hit for Romeoville (3-19, 2-13).
Lemont 5, Providence 0: At Lemont, Sage Mardjetko continued her incredible season, striking out 19 in a nonconference contest for Lemont (26-6).
Raegan Duncan had three hits, including a double, to drive in four. Alyssa DeMaio scored two runs for Lemont.
Reed-Custer 10, Seneca 7: At the Class 2A Reed-Custer Regional in Braidwood, Jake McPherson hit a grand slam in the fourth inning than contributed an RBI in a six-run, sixth inning for the Comets.
But that wasn’t all. McPherson pitched into the seventh inning, striking out 13 to lead R-C (14-10) to a regional semifinal win. The Comets will face Joliet Catholic in the regional final Saturday.
Tyler Sulzberger homered and drove in three for Seneca (15-7).
Lincoln-Way East 23, Neuqua Valley 3 (4 inn): At Naperville, an 11-run second inning was all the Griffins needed in the nonconference contest. Andre Bollman hit a pair of home runs and drove in six for LWE (21-6). John Connors also went deep twice for the Griffins, knocking in four. Aiden Knipper, Alex Stanwich, and Trevor Fishman all had a pair of RBIs each.
Lemont 3, Providence 1: At Wheaton, as part of the Do It Steve’s Way Memorial Tournament, Ryan Klukas and Mike Biscan combined to allow two hits and one earned run for Lemont.
Dmitri Spatharakis, Pat Gardner and Luke Wallace had RBIs for Lemont (22-8). Pierre Danet had an RBI for Providence (18-15).
Willowbrook 9, Lincoln-Way West 6: At New Lenox, Cole Crafton had four runs driven in, including a home run, for West in a nonconference contest. Tyler Pritchard had two hits, and Jacob Morris an RBI for West (21-5-1).
Joliet Catholic 3, Kaneland 1: At the Class 2A Kaneland Regional in Maple Park, the Angels captured the regional championship over the host Knights.
JCA (14-5-1) will face either Benet Academy or Hinsdale South in the Wheaton Academy Sectional semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Moline 2, Minooka 0: At the Class 3A United Township Regional in Moline, Minooka fell to the No. 2-seeded Maroons in the regional final. Minooka closed its season at 9-11-1.
Metea Valley 3, Plainfield North 2: At the Class 3A Metea Valley Regional in Aurora, the fourth-seeded Mustangs ousted the fifth-seeded Tigers in the regional final. North closed its season at 16-4-4.
Lincoln-Way East 7, Bloom Township 0: At the Class 3A Lincoln-Way East Regional in Frankfort, the No. 3-seeded Griffins cruised at home to the regional title. East (14-5-1) will face host Sandburg in a sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Lemont 2, Glenbard South 0: At the Class 2A Hancock Regional in Chicago, No. 2 seed Lemont captured the regional championship. Lemont (19-4) will face Nazareth Academy in a Class 2A Wheaton Academy Sectional at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Naperville North 3, Lockport 1: At the Class 3A Lockport Regional, the host Porters fell to the second-seeded Huskies in the regional final. Lockport closed its season at 16-7-1.