CHARLESTON -- Samantha Howard and Tierra Wilson were among the Glenbard South seniors whose time as high school athletes came to a close over the weekend at the Class 2A girls track and field meet.
Howard became a three-time all-state performer in the discus with her fifth-place result; Wilson was ninth in the same event as the duo helped the Raiders finish tied with Burlington Central for ninth.
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The Glenbard South seniors captured a Class 2A sectional championship all four years in the program.
"This group of seniors really contributed big-time," Glenbard South coach Mark Tacchi said. "I think it's the third or fourth time we have finished in the top 10 in the last 15 years."
Tacchi will rebuild next year around sprinter-hurdler Katelyn Hill and freshman distance runner Diane Lipa.
Hill, a junior, was third in the 300 hurdles; Lipa was fourth in the 3,200 run and narrowly missed placing at 1,600 meters.
"Katelyn Hill is just beginning to scratch the surface," Tacchi said. "Nerves got to her a little bit on (Friday during the 100 hurdles preliminaries); otherwise, she would have been a two-event finalist."
The Montini 3,200-meter relay squad was looking to turn the tables on Lakes in the championship race in Class 2A.
One year after finishing runner-up to Lakes, Montini had much the same look as sophomore Maddy Jamrozek was the only new face to the Broncos' quartet.
Coach Pete Connelly scratched his daughter Theresa, the Broncos' anchor leg, in the open 800 Friday to concentrate on the relay finale.
"We were all in for the 4-by-8," coach Connelly said. "It didn't quite work out for us. It wasn't that hard (a decision to withhold Theresa out on Friday). I thought she would need everything (on Saturday) to beat one of the Griesbaum twins on the anchor leg."
Montini shaved almost six seconds off of its Friday preliminary, but it was still not good enough as Lakes defended its title over Montini by less than two seconds.
"We gave (the girls) every opportunity," coach Connelly said. "It just wasn't meant to be."
Brittany Fisher and Catherine Kitz, the Broncos' inspirational senior who has cystic fibrosis, earned all-state relay medals for the second straight year.
Naperville Central coach Mike Stine has tutored state champions and countless qualifiers and other medal-winners during his two-decade-plus tenure at the helm.
But Stine has never had two sprint relays earn all-state distinction the same year until the quartet of D'jenne Egharevba, Rachel Skinner, Lauren Erickson and Mary Beth Blank, running in identical order in both the 400 and 800 relays, finished seventh and sixth, respectively, Saturday at Eastern Illinois.
The foursome, with Skinner as its lone senior, set school records with times of 48.79 seconds and 1:42.16.
"It's really sad," said Skinner, echoing the sentiments of many local seniors in the championship field on Saturday. "It's my last high school race. A wonderful way to end. I couldn't have had (my senior year end) any other way."
The unrivaled Wheaton Warrenville South tenures of McKenna Kiple and Hope Schmelzle also came to a close in central Illinois over the weekend.
Linchpins of three consecutive trophy-winning cross country teams, the Tigers' duo, as inseparable as they were interchangeable, were central figures in three DuPage Valley Conference championships, two Class 3A sectional titles and state history as juniors.
Kiple turned back Madeline Perez, the Glenbard West junior who captured the triple crown of Illinois distance running this school year--cross country, 1,600 and 3,200 runs in track -- as the Tigers' 3,200 relay became the first team to break nine minutes last spring in the event.
Schmelzle, the Purdue-bound all-state runner at 1,600 meters this year, overcame a 40-meter deficit on the third leg during the historic feat last year.
"Overall, I definitely owe all (of my success) to (WW South cross country and track coach Rob Harvey)," said Kiple, who was runner-up at 800 meters in her final state appearance. "It's sad that it's over. I consider myself to be a mid-distance girl. If you want to be a consistent track runner, you have to run cross country."
Kiple will do both disciplines at Miami of Ohio.
Schmelzle was addled by illness in Charleston after earning top seeds from the York sectional in the 1,600 and 3,200.
"The 2-mile was tough," Schmelzle said. "I'm glad I got to experience that field. I was able to execute."
Kiple and Schmelzle were also state runners-up in the 3,200 relay as sophomores.
Downers North senior Gaby Hesslau was part of the Trojans' championship quartet two years; the Miami of Florida recruit had the distinction of being all-state four times in the event after Downers North placed sixth Saturday.