The Barrington girls track team was looking for the right combination at the 80th annual Palatine Relays.
And on a chilly and overcast Saturday, the Fillies found it.
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Barrington won only 3 of 21 events, but the Fillies showed their depth by finishing in the top three in 14 events and winning the program's first Palatine Relay title since 2008 with 119 points.
Host Palatine took second with 99.5 points followed by Fremd (92 points), Peoria Richwoods (82 points). Lane Tech (46.5 points) edged Wheeling (44 points) for fifth place.
"It was a positive day," said Barrington coach Jody Gitelis of the Fillies' big victory. "We have a lot of young kids that are stepping up, combining with our senior leadership … It's a combination that's working."
Peoria Richwood junior Brenna Detra won her second consecutive McElroy Award for the meet's most outstanding female athlete by taking first in the 300 low hurdles (44.5), 200 (24.7), and 400 (56.5).
Detra, who has won seven state medals -- including a state title in the 300 low hurdles in Class 2A last season -- also hit an personal best 16-9 in the long jump in leading Peoria Richwood to first place in the long jump relay (47-10).
"My coaches definitely had that goal," said Detra of her McElroy honor. "They were like 'Same as last year.' So I was like, 'I got it.' "
Palatine junior Tess Wasowicz also had an impressive day. She cruised to solid victories in the 800 (2:15.7) and 1,600 (5:04.9), and then helped the Pirates win the 1,600 relay (4:04.2).
"The first race got me going," said Wasowicz of her 800. "Being one of the leaders, I know I have to produce on the track and be there for the team."
Barrington's depth charge started with senior Melissa Madden who took second in the meet-opening 300 hurdles (47.4) and ending the meet by combining with junior Samantha Babiuk, freshman Stephanie Bergren, and senior Caroline Carley in helping the Fillies take second in the 1,600 relay (4:05.4).
"We came here to win it all, and that's what we did," said Madden who was one of the Fillies' two state qualifiers last season. "We were going to put it all on the track and see how many points we could get. So we're definitely happy with the results."
Carley also took second in the 800 (2:20.2) and helped the Fillies finish third in the 3,200 relay (10:05.9).
"We had lots of second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes," said Carley. "No one really dominated, but we all came together."
Including senior Ella Tracy who took second in the 3,200 (11:19.9) to Crystal Lake Central freshman Sammi Staples (10:56.8), but was awarded first place in the team race since Staples was running as an individual entry.
Barrington also displayed some talented youngsters as Bergren combined with sophomore McCall Braun, sophomore Kristin Clarke, and Cary Reynolds in leading the Fillies to victory in the frosh/soph 1,600 medley.
Freshman Lauren Cropsey also had a strong showing, combining with Clarke, Melina Milone, and Katherine Davis in powering the Fillies to first place in the 800 relay (1:50.7).
"It was a good day," said Cropsey, who helped the Fillies finish second in the 800 medley relay (1:58.5). "We all support and push each other."
While Barrington was clicking, Palatine had a few fatal hiccups. The Pirates were 'DQ' in the 400 relay and 400 high hurdle shuttle relay due to false starts, and the Pirates also dropped the baton in the frosh/soph 800 medley relay.
But in between those trouble spots, the Pirates picked it up by winning fiveevents. Wasowicz contributed to three of the victories including combining with junior Taylor Tenca, freshman Kara Burton, and senior Laura Schweikert in the meet-ending 1,600 relay victory.
Sophomore duo Cassidy McPherson and Liz Cox helped power the Pirates to victories in the distance medley (12:57.5) and 3,200 relay (9:47.8).
And Schweikert showed her talent by taking second to Detra in both the 400 (58.3) and 200 (25.8).
"I think we really came together at the end and finished well," said Schweikert of the Pirates' hard-charging finish.
Junior Meg Jump helped Palatine take second in the triple jump relay (94-9.75), and the Pirates also took second in the frosh/soph. 1,600 medley relay (4:30.5).
"Those three relays, we had a few miscues," said Palatine coach Joe Parks. "But otherwise I thought we had a solid day."
Fremd hung tough all day thanks in a large part to its field events. Senior Stephanie Uhrich cleared 5-foot-4 in the high jump and also cleared 10-6 in the pole vault to lead Vikings victories.
Uhrich barely missed clearing 5-6 in the high jump, and the senior feels its only a matter of time before she does.
"It's just the little things I need to tweak to get over those higher heights," said Uhrich who finished second individually in both the high jump and pole vault. "The relays are definitely a team effort and I thought we responded well."
Elena Knudson (31-9.5), Leah Ferguson (32-8.5), and Ida Crawford (33-9) combined to lead Fremd to first place in the triple jump relays (97-6.5).
"We had a good team effort and we all were focused," said Crawford. "We dealt with the weather -- when God give us lemons, we made lemonade."
Senior Kathryn Kendzior helped push Fremd to the victory in the 400 high hurdle shuttle relay (69.2).
Junior Kelly Breen finished third individually and second in team points in the 3,200 (11:32.4), and the Vikings also took second in the long jump relay (44-8) and distance medley (13.19.7).
Detra powered Peoria Richwood with four victories, with Kyvierra Hawkins aiding the Knights attack by taking first in the 100 (12.3) and supporting the 400 relay victory (51.4).
Junior Sydney Keith took third in the 100 (12.7) and combined with Dee Hanna, Mayra Ocampo, and Angela Reinhart in leading Wheeling to second in the 400 relay (51.8).
"The handoffs were really nice," said Keith, who was slowed a bit by nicked ankle. "We're looking to keep lowering our times."
Wheeling also received a nice effort by its throwers, with sophomore Ashley Sicard (101-2), junior Brie Majkowski (106-1), and junior Jessi Zuba (102-5) combining to lead the Wildcats to a second-place finish in the discus relay (309-8).
"It's nice to have consistent throwers all throwing over 100," said Zuba. "We're getting better as the season progresses."
Sophomore Jennifer Donnell also had an impressive day in the throws for Conant. She had the top individual marks in both the shot put (40-1) and discus (113-0), combining with Jordan Gonzini (31-10) and Raison Bailey (34-2) to lead the Cougars to victory in the shot put relay 106-1.5.
"Last year I was just hitting 38 feet; this year I'm up in the 40's," said Donnell. "This year I'm really dedicated and looking to keep going up."
The Relays also had a number of individual standout performances.
• Huntley junior Omo Tseumah has cleared 5-8 two times in the high jump this season, and she cleared 5-6 on Saturday in taking the individual top spot. The junior just missed clearing 5-8 when her hand hit the bar on her third attempt.
"It gives me confidence," said Tseumah of her consistency. "But I know I have to keep hitting all the way to state."
• Crystal Lake Central freshman Sammi Staples won the Class 2A cross country title in the fall and the freshman showed no signs of letting up in cruising to the 3,200 title on Saturday as she competed as an individual.
Staples took control of the race just before the first mile and had no let-up in the second mile, cruising to the victory in 10:56.8.
"It has helped me a lot, but it's also nerve-wracking," said Staples of her cross country title.
She'll compete in 3A at the girls track state meet.
"It's nice to know I'm getting these times," said Staples, "but there is just so much competition in 3A."
• Bloomington Central Catholic junior Sarah Bell took second in the pole vault in Class 2A last season, and she looks like she is on target for another medal this season.
Bell took first individually in the pole vault (12-3) on Saturday.
"I've had better marks indoor than outdoor this season," said Bell, "But I'm working through it. I'm excited because with the weather being what it was today, I was still able to hit."