Boxed in or not, Spartans' Frum advances to state track in Charleston

Sometimes the best track and field athletes still need to figure things out.

Glenbrook North sophomore Juliet Frum, Class 3A runner-up last fall in cross country and 11th in the 1600-meter run at the 2022 3A girls state track meet, found herself boxed in running the 800 at the 3A Glenbrook South girls track and field sectional on May 10.

Prospect's Lily Ginsberg and Meg Peterson provided a fine windbreak on a sunny Wednesday, but running shoulder to shoulder they commanded the two inside lanes in front of Frum.

Then Wheeling's Brenda Torres moved up on Frum's outside shoulder.

"To get around I'd have to knock her out and then go around the two girls," Frum said. "When I tried to do that around the 600 mark I almost fell. So that kind of deterred me. Mentally I was trying to recover from that. That definitely cost me a lot of my confidence."

  New Trier's Phoebe Paster clears the high jump bar during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview May 10. Joe Lewnard/

Not enough to sabotage her reservation into the girls' state meet at Eastern Illinois University, with preliminaries May 19 and finals May 20 at O'Brien Stadium.

Frum finished third in the 800 and matched that in the 1600, her time of 5 minutes, 3.03 seconds putting her among seven qualifying milers, including New Trier sophomore Josie Cahill, produced by the Glenbrook South sectional's deepest event.

"I'm going to try and go both. It'll be a tough turnaround from the 800 to the mile, but I'm excited. I think it'll be fun to double and see what I can do in both events," Frum said.

She counted that 800 as a learning experience.

"Yes, for sure. I'm so glad it happened at this meet and not state or another meet, because that would have been terrible," said Frum, Glenbrook North's sole qualifier.

New Trier - whose 76 points ran a distant second in team standings to sectional champion and defending 3A third-place squad Prospect's 165 points - clinched eight positions.

  New Trier's Helen Kessler clears the bar while competing in high jump during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview May 10. Joe Lewnard/

Coming off their Central Suburban League South title, the Trevians advanced two relays, Cahill, high jumpers Helen Kessler and Phoebe Paster, pole vaulter Sophie Garrou, and Gaby Manzano in both long jump and triple jump.

Seventh-place Loyola qualified five spots: three relays, Makena Coltoff in the 300 hurdles and Jane Lynch in the 3200.

Glenbrook South freshman Katie Willits cleared the same 1.52-meter (5 feet) height as Kessler and Paster, but in the sectional's one event where a qualifying standard was not met, both New Trier seniors advanced due to fewer misses in their attempts.

  Glenbrook South's Katie Willits competes in long jump during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview May 10. Joe Lewnard/

Glenbrook South seniors such as Audrey Walch, Tara Wirtschoreck, Maya Malecki, Natalie Kattan, Angela Karavites, Olivia Willits and Maggie Jortberg were among the Titans whose prep track careers ended.

"I'm just sad to leave here," said Jortberg, sixth in the 3200, 16th in the 1600. She's the third Jortberg sibling to have run at Glenbrook South following Matthew and Kate.

"I feel like my family has been part of this program for so long," said Maggie, slightly heartened that she'll run at Marquette. "That it ends with me is so sad."

  Glenbrook South's Maggie Jortberg competes in the 3,200-meter run during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview May 10. Joe Lewnard/

Her tears showed the heart track and field athletes put into their sport. So did the effort of Loyola junior Lauren Woodward in the 3200 relay.

Anchoring the relay for Kathryn San Roman, Maeve Norman and Morgan Mackie, Woodward collapsed before the finish line and crawled on hands and knees to deliver a downstate berth.

"First lap toward the end it started to burn, so I knew the rest of the race was going to be pretty bad," Woodward said. "Then the last lap I heard my coach (ChrisJon Simon) yelling at me and I knew it'd be close, so I just wanted to put it all out there to give it every chance we had."

Lynch saw the effort and matched it in the open 3200, going nearly 10 seconds under the qualifying standard.

"I saw all my teammates in the four-by-eight (relay) here today, and they made it by a second. So I just used that as motivation. I was like, I want to be down there with them."

  New Trier's Sophie Garrou is able to clear the bar while competing in pole vault during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview May 10. Joe Lewnard/

New Trier's Garrou pulled off one of the sectional's most courageous moves to make her third trip to Charleston in pole vault.

The senior didn't enter the competition until the bar was at the qualifying height of 3.12 meters (10 feet, 3 inches) - then missed her first two attempts.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, great, feeling so good right now,' " Garrou said sarcastically.

She'd come in at 10-3 at the CSL South meet and won that. On her third and final attempt at Glenbrook South Garrou cleared the height and went on to win the event at 3.36 meters (11 feet, ¼ inch).

"I was freaking out, but the weight that came off my shoulders after I got over that first bar, it was crazy," she said.

One of the sectional's top athletes, New Trier's Manzano, won long jump at 5.56 meters (18-3), then survived a scary-looking slip on her first attempt in triple jump finals. She rallied to place second and qualify at 11.11 meters (36-5½).

"In the long jump my last jump was the qualifying mark and I ended up winning. I was really nervous," she said. "In triple jump I was like, I just need to do this, I need to get that 11.09 (qualifying mark). After that fall I was like, I need to do this."

  New Trier's Carly McConnell competes in shot put during the Class 3A Glenbrook South track and field sectional in Glenview Wednesday. Joe Lewnard/

A junior, Manzano led off the Trevians' qualifying 1600 relay team for Carly McConnell, Anna Rivera and Callie Chiarelli. Manzano joined Cahill and Loyola's Coltoff as individual qualifiers also on qualifying relays, looking for more in Charleston.

"Hopefully we can do better at state," Coltoff said after the Ramblers' third-place 1600 relay finish with Lieselle Curry, San Roman and Ali Banaszek. "We're going for it next week, trying to get all-state."

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