Kaneland girls track coach Doug Ecker says his team's goal going into a sectional meet is to qualify as many athletes as possible to the state meet.
But earning a sectional championship is nice too.
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The Knights won the Class 2A Burlington Central sectional title Friday night with 83 points. Hampshire was second with 74. Burlington Central took third with 69 points.
"We don't come to do that, but the girls really ran well," Ecker said. "It was a good effort from everybody. You don't get many chances to win a sectional."
Kaneland had two individual sectional champions as well as the 4x800 relay team.
Brianna Bower won the 3,200-meter run in a time of 11:37.52. The freshman said she was really nervous to start the race, but the nerves went away "probably about a half of lap into it."
"There was really good competition today. It was just a lot of fun to race," Bower said.
Ashley Castellanos finished first in the triple jump with a distance of 34-8. The 4x800 team of Amanda Lesak, Aislinn Lodwig, Jessica Kucera and Sydney Strang won in a time of 9:51.73.
Lauren Zick, who Ecker said has been sick all week and even pulled out of the 400, finished second in the long jump (16-6 ½) and was part of the 4x400 relay team that finished second and also advanced. Joining Zick on the 4x400 team were Lesak, Castellanos and Allie Heinzer.
Victoria Clinton (second in 1,600, 5:20.92) and Christian Delach (fourth in pole vault, 9-9) also will compete at the state meet
Burlington Central senior Katie Trupp has some high aspirations for the Class 2A state meet.
Trupp secured her third trip to the state meet Friday night by winning the pole vault and high jump at the Burlington Central sectional.
"I really want to get top three. I want to get on the podium," Trupp said. "I really want to get 5-7 in the high jump. I want to go 12-3 in the pole vault. I know I can do it. It's just a matter of doing it."
Trupp, who advanced to the state meet her first two years before a broken foot kept her from a chance to make it last year, won the high jump with a height of 5-4 and the pole vault at 11-10. She tried to clear a personal best 12-3, but just missed. It's a height she hopes to hit next weekend at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston.
"I was close, which made me feel better," Trupp said of the attempt at 12-3. "I've got one more meet."
Trupp's efforts helped the Rockets finish third as a team. Kaneland won the meet with 83 points. Hampshire was second with 74. Central had 69.
The Whip-Purs qualified all four relays for the state meet. The 4x200 team of Elizabeth Pagan, Anita Trebunia, Nikki Dumoulin and Jen Dumoulin won the event in 1:50.6. Nikki Dumoulin and Pagan teamed with Elizabeth Evans and Ashley Fouch to win the 4x400 relay in 4:06.67. the 4x100 team with Caitlyn Graff, Pagan, Jen Dumoulin and Fouch finished second (50.96) to advance. Evans, Nikki Dumoulin, Natalia Sztuk Vel Sztukowski and Tricia Dumoulin finished fourth in the 4x800 in 10:03.55 but better the state qualifying time (10:04).
Jen Dumoulin also won the shot put with a toss of 40-0.
"We were definitely hoping for a really good day and it's turned a lot better than any of us could have hoped for," Jen Dumoulin said.
Fouch won the 400-meter dash in 1:00.56. The senior finished fourth in the 200-meter dash at the state meet last season, but decided against running the event Friday to help the 4x400 relay team reach state.
"To me, I felt like I was benefiting either way," Fouch said. "I'm confident that with my team they will help achieve just as much as I would myself in the 200."
Trupp will have several teammates as well with her in Charleston. Kayla Wolf finished second (2:17.08) in the 800 run. Jasmine Castillo also took second in the 300 hurdles in 48.23 seconds. Natalie Overstreet cleared 9-9 in the pole vault, matching the state qualifying height. The Rockets' 4x800 team of Wolf, Jane Crocetti, Hannah Zipoy and Katie Bush finished third (10:02.91) but beat the state qualifying time (10:04) to advance.