Palatine edges Geneva for VanDeVeer title
The Palatine mindset of appropriating the girls state track and field championships paid handsome dividends Saturday afternoon in Geneva.
One day after finishing third against a top-notch Downers Grove North field, the Pirates, behind a clean 1-2-3 sweep in the 1,600-meter run, vanquished all comers at the 10-team Mike VanDeVeer Invitational.
Host Geneva won its second sprint relay in the final event to close the gap, but it was not enough to stop Palatine, in its maiden entrance, from snaring the team title with 116 points.
Geneva had two individual champions to duplicate its relay quartets to finish second with 109 points.
Defending champion St. Charles North, severely depleted due to the ACT exam, was third. Batavia was fifth, followed by Burlington Central and Dundee-Crown.
Cassidy McPherson, Jessica Lincoln and Kara Burton — all members of the Pirates' all-state returning 3,200 relay group — doubled their specialty distances to score 24 consecutive points in the open 1,600.
"I don't run (the 1,600) too often," McPherson said. "We are still a bit tired from (competing at Downers North on Friday night). I wasn't looking for anything too spectacular. It was a good effort (between the three of us)."
McPherson crossed the tape in 5 minutes, 21.1 seconds to lead the way.
Fellow reigning state qualifier Megan O'Brien also had a major say in the Pirates' team title.
The senior thrower won the shot put by almost four feet with a season-best effort of 38 feet, 5 inches and came back to finish runner-up in the discus.
"It felt right," O'Brien said of her winning throw in the shot put. "I haven't thrown 38-5 before today (this season). The discus was feeling like it was coming off (my hand) right."
Caitlin Riedy had few issues in capturing the 300 hurdles for the Pirates with a time of 49.04 seconds.
The Pirates' backup 3,200 relay (Amy Kieliszewski, Sabrina Yosif, Kelly O'Brien and Madi Berg) captured one of two relays; the 800 quartet (Meg Jump, Ashley Proksa, Lorena Sarabia and Basirat Iginla) was the other champion group for Palatine.
Youth was served for Geneva in its quest to turn pack traditional state power Palatine.
Foster Ignoffo was at the forefront for the Vikings.
The freshman won the 100 dash in 13.14 seconds and ran the anchor leg on the Vikings' victorious relay squads at 400 and 1,600 meters.
"We have been working (on starts) throughout practice," Ignoffo said of her key to victory in the 100 dash. "We wanted to get (the handoffs) down (for the relays). I can help (the team) with a lot of things."
Ignoffo teamed with Janie McCloughan, Hannah Davison and Aimee Dappas to win the 400 relay; McCloughan, Kathryn Adelman and Jenna Ginsberg and Ignoffo were the right formula for the Vikings at 1,600 meters.
Davison has enjoyed a budding rivalry with St. Charles North senior Kaylee Raucci the last two years in the triple jump.
In yet another grudge match between the returning state qualifiers in the event, Davison trailed her North Star rival going into the final jump.
But the Northwestern soccer recruit garner bragging rights with a winning effort of 34-8.5.
"We are both so competitive with each other," Davison said of the North Stars' Wisconsin-Whitewater-bound senior. "I knew I had to have gone pretty far (on the final jump)."
"(Davison) is a very good competitor," said Raucci, who also finished runner-up to teammate Hannah Schlib in the long jump.
Geneva freshman McKenzie Altmayer used a mad dash at the end to seal her win in the 3,200 run with her 11:37.3 result.
"This was my first time running the two-mile," Altmayer said. "I like the 1,600 better."
"To get second to (Palatine) is a big step in the right direction," Geneva coach Peter Raak said.
St. Charles North nearly swept to the long jump to highlight its day.
The North Stars, who were missing senior leaders Megan Young, Natalia Gawlik and Kaylee Wessel, were a competitive third behind Raucci and Schlib.
The latter was third behind her senior teammate in the triple jump after earlier winning the long jump.
"I look up to the older girls," the freshman said.
Raucci and Schlib were key figures on the North Stars' 400 relay, and Quinn Samanic was second in the 200 dash.
Leah Narup had the lone triumph for Batavia in the 100 hurdles.
"I really don't think about form when I'm running the hurdles," said Narup, who was also third in the 100 dash. "I think about doing my best."
The two Burlington Central standouts did not disappoint.
Katie Trupp became the lone two-event individual champion, and the Southern Illinois-bound pole vaulter and high jumper did so in memorable fashion.
Trupp broke the meet record in the high jump with a winning leap of 5-5.5 and later added her second crown by soaring 11-3 in the pole vault.
"I kind of came in and said, 'Let's try our best,'" Trupp said. "I'm happy with my performance in both events. The weather has been crazy lately. Pole-vaulting in this weather is definitely a mental game."
Kayla Wolf, who is headed to Missouri in the fall to rejoin former teammate Alexa
Tovsen, has doubled her traditional distance as her specialty event for her senior campaign.
"I finally have been able to admit to myself that I'm an 800 runner now," Wolf said.
Wolf seized command in the early stages of the 800 run, ultimately winning by nearly three seconds in a time of 2:18.59.
"I went out on the first lap too slowly," Wolf said. "There definitely is still room for improvement (at 800 meters)."
Dundee-Crown senior workhorse Natalie Himmel was third in the event.
Freshman sprinter Kayla Lawrence later duplicated the finish at 200 meters to match the Chargers' high individual result.
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