Burlington Central senior Katie Trupp is no stranger to the girls track and field state finals podium.
As a freshman she took fifth in the state in high jump and followed that up with a pair of medals sophomore year in the pole vault (sixth) and high jump (seventh).
Trupp will look to make it a 3-peat at this weekend's Class 2A state finals at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Stadium in Charleston. Class 1A preliminaries start today, while Class 2A and 3A action gets under way Friday.
Trupp again qualified in the pole vault and high jump. She's seeded second in the pole vault after an 11-10 sectional showing. Bloomington Central Catholic's Sarah Bell is first at 13-0. She's tied for the third seed in the high jump at 5-4 (top seed is 5-6).
"I've been on the podium and now I want to go higher," she said. "I really want to get up there. I know I can do it. Now, it's just a matter of doing it. I have to stay with it, stay focused and keep my eye on the ball."
Trupp said things have come together nicely for her in the pole vault this season. She's gone 12-feet in the event and would like to go in the 12-3 to 12-6 range at state.
"Things are starting to click," she said. "I'm starting to get my technique down. Technique is important because you're inverted and you have to deal with the runway. I like training it. I like how the technique is something you have to learn and understand. It's fun to get out there and vault every day."
Trupp, who will continue her track and field career next season at Southern Illinois University (pole vault and high jump there), has gone as high as 5-6 in the high jump this year.
"I've been consistent at the higher height," she said. "I'm hoping I can get 5-7 at state. There's a lot of technique involved with bending backward and getting yourself up there. My coach always told me you are born a high jumper and then you work at technique. It's not as hard to master as the pole vault."
Trupp's event-mate Natalie Overstreet also qualified after clearing 9-9 at sectionals. She's tied for the eighth seed in that event.
Kayla Wolf is the third seed in the 800 in Class 2A after running 2:17.08 at the sectional. Rochelle's Michelle Dobbs is the top seed at 2:14.25. Wolf also is part of Central's 3,200 state relay team with Hannah Zipoy, Jane Crocetti and Liz Brake. Central sophomore Jasmine Castillo will run the 300 hurdles in Charleston.
Also in Class 2A, Hampshire achieved an area rarity by qualifying all four of its relay teams for the state finals.
The 400 relay features Caitlyn Graff, Elizabeth Pagan, Jenny Dumoulin and Ashley Fouch. Pagan, Anita Trzebunia, Nikki Dumoulin and Jenny Dumoulin comprise the 800 relay, while Elizabeth Evans, Nikki Dumoulin, Pagan and Fouch run the 1,600 relay. Evans, Nikki Dumoulin, Natalia Sztuk Vel Sztukowski and Trish Dumoulin run the 3,200 relay. The 1,600 relay team is seeded 10th.
Jenny Dumoulin also qualified for state in the shot put. She won a sectional title with a 40-0 throw and is the sixth seed at state.
"I've spent a lot more time on the shot put this year," she said. "I've had a lot of help from my teammates and coaches. They have been a huge help."
Dumoulin said she's improved her throw 4 feet from last year.
"My technique has improved," she said. "The major points are being quick and explosive."
This is the senior's first trip to the state meet. She'll continue her basketball career and carry on the family tradition at Elgin Community College next year.
"I feel very fortunate to be able to go Downstate," she said. "I have heard 48-feet is the farthest (sectional throw). I have to go down there and continue to improve."
Hampshire's Ashley Fouch will run the 400. She won a sectional title with a 1:00.56 effort.
In Class 3A, Cary-Grove and Huntley will be well represented in Charleston. Cary-Grove individual qualifiers include Faith Furio (long jump), Erika Sternard (high jump), Joslyn Nicholson (triple jump), Nikki Freeman (discus) and Olivia Roehri (discus). The Trojans also qualified their 800 relay team of Furio, Nicole Robins, Lauren Schoepke and Morgan Schulz.
Nicholson is the No. 6 seed in the triple jump, while Freeman, a freshman, is the No. 6 seed in the discus and Roehri is right behind her at No. 7.
Huntley's Macy Tramblay won a sectional title in the 100 hurdles (15.18). She'll be joined at state by teammates Delaney Lyman (pole vault), Omo Tseumah (high jump) and Anthonia Moore (400).
Tseumah is tied for the third seed in Class 3A after a 5-5 sectional height (5-7 is the top seed). Moore is the No. 7 seed in the 400, while Tramblay, a sophomore is the No. 12 seed in the 100 hurdles.
"I have focused on my form and running through all the way," said Tramblay, a state-qualifier as a freshman whose low time is 15.2 this season. "My goal this year is to make the finals. I have to run my race and focus on what I need to do and not focus on the person next to me. If I do that, I'll be OK."
Jacobs sophomore Lauren VanVlierbergen won a sectional title in the 1,600 at 5:05.52. She'll also run the 800 and will be part of the Golden Eagles' sectional-championship 3,200 relay team with Molly Barnes, Tori Tamburrino and Samantha Baran. That quartet ran 9:26.45 to qualify for state.
VanVlierbergen is the No. 6 seed in the 1,600 in Class 3A and is No. 7 in the 800. The Jacobs 3,200 relay team is seeded fifth.
VanVlierbergen joins Hampshire's Jenny Dumoulin, Pagan and Fouch as area athletes pulling triple duty at state.
In Class 1A, Harvest Christian Academy freshman Hannah Nelson is seeded 11th in the 1,600. She'll be joined in action today by teammates Valerie Richter (800) and Sydney Doby (discus). Harvest's 3,200 relay team also qualified.