Girls track and field: Downers Grove North dominates at Palatine
With no team scoring for the open-meet formatted Palatine Invitational, individuals were able to really step up and shine for their teams Saturday in girls track.
The host Pirates were strong, but it was Downers Grove North that really stood out in both the field and running events as the Trojans got a first-place finish from their 4x100 meter relay team of Celeste Bonga, McKenna Cinotte, Mia Bowers, and Kim Brent early in the competition with a winning time of 49.8.
Cinotte took home first place in both the long jump (15 feet, 5½ inches), and the triple jump (35-6) while junior teammate C.P. Breit (10-9) won the pole vault competition by tiebreaker over Palatine's Jess Streepy.
"They weren't my best jumps, but I just wanted to come out and do my best today," said Cinotte. "I think I can make state in the triple jump. I hit the state mark today, and 36-8½ is my PR in the triple."
Brent also took home first place in the 100-meter dash with a school-record time of 12.24 while the Trojans' 4x400 meter relay team of Bonga, Bowers, Lily Johnson, and Brooke Peters closed out the day by posting a first-place time of 4:18.2 in that event.
"It was a good meet overall. Our big invite on Thursday was canceled due to dampness so we used our full lineup here today," said Downers Grove North coach Matt Maletich. "Kim Brent broke her own school record in the 100 today, the previous record was 12.34. There was a little tail wind, but she still ran really well."
Palatine's troops were led by senior Erin Oleksak, who won the 400-meter run in 1:00.3 while the Pirates' 4x800 meter relay team of Fiona Metzo, Mia Solano, Anne Marie Jordan, and Ellie Roy placed first in 10:05.9. Oleksak also won the high jump competition (5-2). She placed fifth in the state last year in the 100-meter high hurdles.
Roy also took top honors in the 1,600-meter run with a clocking of 5:28.8 while teammate Kylee Stammer (111-2) edged Downers Grove North's Phoebe Covey (111-0) for first place in the discus throw.
"This meet is kind of a prep for the rest of the season, and you get a chance for every single kid on your team to compete, which is unusual for a Saturday meet," said Palatine coach Joe Parks. " (Oleksak) is primarily focused on the two hurdles races so this was an opportunity for her to run in a different event today."
Libertyville's 1-2 punch was outstanding in the 800-meter run as sophomore Annalese Chudy placed first in 2:29 followed closely by freshman teammate Bree Ponchak (2:30) in second place.
The Wildcats' 4x200 meter relay team of Emily Ciezadlo, Nicole Woloszyn, Reese Dannenfeldt, and Dakota Lyons also captured first place in 1:49.9.
"They were both boxed in at the beginning, but they worked their way out of it, and Bree just edged the Taft girl to end up in second place," said Libertyville coach Tom Bizosky. "The 4x200 broke 1:50 for the first time all season. We've been working on handoffs, and it paid off in that event."
Wheeling got a winning time of 24.9 from senior Alexis Knight in the 200-meter dash along with a first-place finish from senior Nosa Igiehon (35-6) in the shot put.
"Overall this meet is about cleaning up some things, it's low key, and we like what we saw from top to bottom," said Wheeling coach Tim Nowicki. "That 15.3 was a PR in the hurdles for her (Knight). She looked smooth, and she was only a tenth behind the winner."
Cary-Grove senior Jenna Walker was the winner in the 100-meter high hurdles (15.2) while sophomore teammate Morgan Dieschbourg won the 3,200-meter run in 11:53.6.
"They both work really hard so it was nice to see them have success and medal today," said Cary-Grove coach Mark Anderson. "Jenna's time is right at or below the state qualifying time, and that was a good field."
Grant got a second-place finish from junior Taylor Bushman in the 300-meter low hurdles.
"We've got our Lake County meet on Thursday (at Lake Zurich) so today was more of an individual effort with no team score," said Grant coach Greg Wodzien. "Taylor is a great kid, she's the kind of kid that every coach wants in their program. Her work ethic is great, and it was a PR for her in the 300."