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updated: 4/12/2014 10:55 PM

Fitzmaurice lifts St. Charles East to title

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

Krista Fitzmaurice was the ultimate teammate Saturday afternoon at St. Charles North.

A returning all-state 3,200-meter relay member for the St. Charles East girls track and field team, the senior did not earn a point in the Saints' dominant championship effort at the North Stars' Invitational.

But Fitzmaurice had a ubiquitous presence -- serving in various capacities as chief motivator, team timer and unofficial athletic trainer -- as the Saints nearly swept the individual running races in claiming the eight-team title with 128 points.

St. Charles North was well behind in second, followed by Wheaton North, Conant, Glenbard South, Glenbard East, Libertyville and Benet.

"It's not just track," St. Charles East coach Tim Wolf said of Fitzmaurice, who is recovering from a stress fracture in her right foot. "She goes to all the sporting events at school. She is such a great kid. If I gave out a best teammate award, it would go to her."

The Saints' stable of returning state qualifiers more than made up for Fitzmaurice missing the meet.

Jordan Shead and Allison Chmelik, members of the defending state champion 1,600 relay, claimed titles at 200 and 100 meters with the other finishing second.

Chmelik claimed a second title in the triple jump, turning back St. Charles North sophomore Hannah Schilb on the final attempt to win at 36 feet, 1 inch.

Torree Scull, all-state at 800 meters as a freshman, destroyed the field in the event and later ran the third leg on the Saints' victorious 1,600 relay.

"I haven't run the (800) in a while," said Scull, who tamed the capricious winds to win in 2 minutes, 22.01 seconds. "I wanted to get a time in and see where I was at."

Scull plans to focus on the 1,600-3,200 double this spring as the Saints' standouts essentially skipped their traditional events.

"(It was) not so much experimentation as it was a kind of training," Wolf said.

The Saints swept the distance events as Anastasia Honea and freshman Hannah Ewald cruised to one-sided victories at 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

"I did the mile at this event last year," said Honea, one of four returning 3,200 relay runners for the Saints.

"I have never run the 2-mile before," Ewald said. "I want to run it again. I kind of treated (the final push) like the mile near the end."

Casey McNichols not only won the 300 hurdles in ease but also ran the first leg of the Saints' 1,600 relay.

Corrin Adams' anchor leg in the event was preceded by the senior finishing runner-up in the open 400.

"The team is exciting me more all the time," Wolf said.

Schilb came back to win the long jump for St. Charles North after being surpassed by all-stater Chmelik in the triple.

"I think it's going to be a tough year going against (Chmelik)," Schilb said. "We're definitely going head to head (already). I really wanted to hit over 17 (feet in the long jump)."

Jessica Grill claimed the North Stars' second field-event crown by virtue of criteria in the pole vault with a 10-foot effort.

Kaylee Wessel, recently committed to South Carolina, anchored the North Stars' 3,200 relay to victory by more than 11 seconds.

"We had such a big lead," said Wessel, who teamed with Sydney Brellenthin, Katie Francissen and Audrey Blankenship. "My (split) time wasn't that good. It didn't need to be."

Brittany Kostrzeski was runner-up in the 100 hurdles for St. Charles North.

Wheaton North used a strong performance from its field-event members to edge past Conant for third place.

"They have done a good job of improving from week to week," Wheaton North coach Brian Zeglin said of the Falcons' field-event contingent.

Sarah Bradley, the Falcons' lone returning state qualifier, was runner-up in the pole vault.

Mary Jane Oviatt was second in the long jump for Wheaton North, and Rebecca Berenschot was third in the shot put.

The senior duplicated the finish in the discus.

Sarah Cassel was third in a very competitive high jump for the Falcons.

On the track, sophomore Jill Humecke was runner-up at 1,600 meters.

"With this being an ACT (testing) day, it gives some younger kids a chance (to compete)," Zeglin said.

Cara Maxwell was third and fourth, respectively, in the 400 and 200 dashes for Wheaton North.

"(Maxwell) brought us a ton of points today," Zeglin said.

Less than a point separated Glenbard South and Glenbard East.

Katelyn Hill, the heart and soul of Glenbard South, led the Raiders with a victory in the 100 hurdles and runner-up finish in the 300 variety.

The Illinois State recruit also anchored two sprint relays to respectable finishes.

"I'm not going to lie: it was a battle," Hill said. "The wind is blowing really hard, a little bit of an injury. With all the elements, I thought I did pretty well."

Mercedes Whitaker was second in the shot put for Glenbard South.

Angela Kerndl won the high jump with a personal best 5-2 before placing in both hurdles races for Glenbard East.

"The wind was really tough (in the hurdles)," the Rams' junior said.

The Rams' all-senior sprint-relay quartet of Anitra Davis, Stephany Flores, Corinthia Jordan and Anaiyeh Smith won the 400 meter event and placed second at 800 meters.

Conant thrower Jen Donnell was in a different category among the shot put and discus competitors.

The four-time state qualifier established herself as one of the top discus performers with a career-best effort of 136-9; she began her day by winning the shot put by over nine feet with a winning toss of 42-4.

"I come in normally being one of the top seeds," Donnell said. "I don't let it go to my head. I'm competing against myself at that point. I have never thrown over 130 feet before. It was a huge improvement (in the discus)."

The Cougars' Meicie Bennett, Tracy Iroegbulem, Sarah Kliora and Daisy Okpa shined on the track.

Okpa went from third to first in the anchor leg in the 800 relay.

"I was thinking to myself that I had to get out," said Okpa, who also placed in the open 200. "Don't think too much about it and just go."

Libertyville senior Raissa Spencer had a brilliant close to win the first major invitational title of her career at 400 meters.

Spencer denied St. Charles East senior Corrin Adams by two-tenths of a second to win in 61:79.

"I knew I had a little bit left in me to finish," Spencer said. "It's the first time I have run (the 400) this year, so I'm pretty excited. It was two seconds better than I have run it before."

Sophomore Kelly Waldvogel was second in the high jump for Libertyville at 5-1.

Lily Moore showcased versatility by placing high at both 400 meters and pole vault.

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