Cary-Grove's drive for five didn't come easy.
The Trojans edged Huntley by 7 points to win their fifth consecutive McHenry County Girls Track and Field Meet on a crisp Saturday in Cary, and they did so by navigating potholes.
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Sophomore Morgan Schulz tweaked an ankle in warm-ups and had to pull out of the 800-meter relay, which finished second only to Huntley. The Trojans relinquished points in the day's second race when the 400-meter relay team dropped the baton and finished sixth.
Nevertheless, Cary-Grove prevailed by dominating the field events, winning both hurdles races and receiving gutsy contributions like Schulz's win in the 300-meter low hurdles. That race began with her standing up because placing her ankle against blocks was painful. It ended with her wincing despite a winning time of 49.28.
"It was just cool at the end to know I won," Schulz said.
The Trojans nabbed 140.5 team points to Huntley's 133.5. McHenry was third (88), followed by Crystal Lake South (73) and Jacobs (55).
"It was tough because Huntley is a real good team and we knew we couldn't make many mistakes," Cary-Grove coach Mark Andreson said. "When we bobbled the baton in the (400-meter relay), we knew that was going to put us in a points hole.
"We had to be tough. It's a really young team. For them to show the resilience with Morgan hurting and a couple of girls out sick because of the craziness of this spring weather, it really impresses me. It's a good group. "
The Trojans secured county titles in three field events. Senior Joslyn Nicholson won the triple jump (34 feet, 8 ½ inches), junior Faith Furio won the long jump (17-1½) and sophomore Olivia Roehri threw the discus 125-3.
Cary-Grove scored well even if it didn't win a field event. Freshman Nicole Robins took second in the high jump (5-2) while junior Erika Sternard took third (5-1). Roehri was second in shot put (35-2) and senior Anna Wcislo was third (35-1). Wcislo also placed third in discus, and sophomore Delaney Perrone was third in the triple jump.
On the track, Cary-Grove sophomore Eva Burk won the 100-meter hurdles (15.36), and Schulz returned to finish second in the 100 dash.
Huntley senior high jumper Omo Tseumah cleared 5-8 to establish a new county meet record. The Marquette-bound senior broke the previous record by an inch.
Tseumah almost missed her chance to make history. She did not clear 5-4 until her third and final attempt. She then cleared both 5-6 and 5-8 on the first try.
"I came here to set a meet record and (a personal record)," said Tseumah, who matched her career best. "After it took my third attempt to clear 5-4, I just had to get back in my head. I had to breathe down, calm down."
Huntley won the 400-meter and 800-meter relays, took second in the 1,600 relay and fourth in the 3,200 relay.
Individually, sophomore Macy Tremblay finished second in the triple jump (33-6) and 100-meter hurdles (15.94), sophomore Delaney Lyman placed second in the pole vault (7-9) and fourth in the long jump (15-4 ½), and senior Anthonia Moore was third in the 200 dash (27.30) and second in the 400 (1:00.2).
Jacobs miler Lauren VanVlierbergen, a 2012 state qualifier in the 800, won perhaps the most talent-rich race of the day. VanVlierbergen took the 1,600 title in 5:05.04 ahead of Crystal Lake Central sophomore Sami Staples (5:08.06) -- a fourth-place finisher at the 2012 Class 3A meet -- and defending Class 2A state champion Katie Adams of Marengo (5:15.38).
"I was hoping to stay behind and outkick everybody, but it didn't work out that way," said the Jacobs sophomore, who finished seventh at the Class 3A cross country meet in November. "Last year I was more an 800 runner, so the mile is still kind of new to me, but I like the longer distances better after cross country."
Van Vlierbergen was also a member of Jacobs' winning 3,200-meter relay team. She and teammates Sam Baran, Molly Barnes and Kayla Giuliano posted a winning time of 9:46.11.