Tersina paves the way in Prospect's romp to Rolling Meadows Sectional crown
With a 68-37 lead over rival Hersey at about the halfway point of the meet, the Prospect girls track team clearly established itself as the team to beat Wednesday night at the Rolling Meadows Sectional.
From there, Prospect just ran away with this 13-team meet as the Knights outscored runner-up Barrington 144 to 80 for the championship. Hersey was third with 51 points followed by the host Mustangs (47 points), Fremd (43) and South Elgin (42).
The Knights' 4x800-meter relay team set the tone early as Veronica Znajda, Kaitlin Skelton, Hailey Erickson and Cameron Kalaway took first place in 9:25.90 to advance to the state meet next week at Eastern Illinois University.
The top two finishers in every event as well as any individual to beat the cut-off times and distances also qualified for the state meet.
Prospect had numerous key contributors as senior Daria Tersina set a school record with a winning time of 12.20 in the 100-meter dash. The Winona State University-bound Tersina also won the 200-meter dash (25.12), and the triple jump (11.47 meters). Tersina also placed second (5.49 meters) in the long jump.
Prospect's Giselle Salom Hamwi was the pole vault champion with a winning mark of 3.12 meters. The Knights kept the momentum going in the 800-meter run as Lily Ginsberg (2:14.38) placed first to edge teammate Audrey Ginsberg (2:16.47) in second. South Elgin's Naomi Ruff (2:16.59) also earned a trip to state in the 800-meter run.
"She (Tersina) is a big-time athlete, and we've been blessed to have the opportunity to coach her," said Prospect coach Peter Wintermute, whose team also won the sectional title last year. "Ultimately, this meet is about putting kids in the lineup with a chance to live for next weekend."
Barrington put together an excellent meet behind freshman Scout Storms winning the 3,200-meter run in 10:42.21, and the 1,600-meter run in 4:58.61. The Fillies also got first-place finishes from Breanne Dunn in both the 100-meter hurdles (15.50), and the 300-meter hurdles (46.28). Barrington's Claire Kavanagh (38.61 meters) won discus, while teammate Sofiabella Amirante qualified for state in shot put.
"I'm really happy with the two state qualifiers in shot put and discus," said Barrington coach Jody Gitelis. "Storms ran a 10:27 as her best time this season (at 3,200 meters), and she's an incredible little athlete."
Rolling Meadows' sister duo of junior Hannah Oloro (1.55 meters) and senior Ore Oloro (1.55 meters) placed first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Fremd's Kiera White won high jump with a leap of 5.56 meters while the Vikings' team won the 4x200-meter relay in 1:45.36. Hoffman Estates' Ashley Oliver won the 400-meter dash in 56.96. Prospect won the 4x400-meter relay.
"They (Oloro sisters) have worked hard," said Rolling Meadows coach Charlie Henry. "They both did cross country for the first time in the fall, and they've looked great all year."
Hersey's Becca Caliendo was one of seven state qualifiers in the shot put with a winning throw of 12.99 meters. Schaumburg's Layla Jessie placed second in the triple jump to qualify for state.
"Becca (Caliendo) is going to be throwing (shot put and discus) at Purdue next year," said Hersey coach Jim Miks. "And this is actually her first full season of track. She's a great athlete and a great kid."
Other second-place finishers were Prospect's Anika Knipple (pole vault), Hersey's Claudia Sepko (110-meter hurdles), Hersey's Anna Harden (3,200-meter run), Prospect's Emma Letzig (300-meter hurdles), South Elgin's Ruff (1,600-meter run), and Hoffman's Oliver (100-meter dash).
Larkin's Heather Durrant qualified for state at 1,600 meters while Prospect's Lillian Lucansky qualified in the discus. Other shot put qualifiers were Hoffman Estates' Amaya Hendrickson, Schaumburg's Jackie Tuzil, Schaumburg's Antenise Williams, Hersey's Chinemerem Iwuagw, and Prospect's Madison Payne.