Girls track and field: Lake Zurich secures another NSC crown
It was fitting that Libertyville junior Skyler Daniels won the discus at the North Suburban Conference girls track and field meet in dank Lake Zurich Thursday.
The transfer student from Warren, Ohio, and sister of Chicago Bears offensive lineman James Daniels donned a Chicago Bears windbreaker after winging a personal-best 115-07 in the event.
Another team of Bears -- Lake Zurich's reigning conference champions -- battled all night with another Warren -- Warren Township's Blue Devils -- at Mel Eide Field. LZ's contingent emerged victorious again, amassing 149 points to runner-up Warren's 128. Skyler and Libertyville's Wildcats placed third (80), ahead of Stevenson (fourth, 77).
"Our coach [Jeremy Kauffman, (in his second season) has been all about the team, all about our team culture," said LZ's Emily Burns, who won the 3,200 meters (11:00.18) and the 1,600 (5:15.49). "He's big on, 'Be for us.' He has always emphasized that. It's not always about wins and points.
"All I thought about while racing was my team."
LZ's tight-knit Bears won 7 of the 18 events, including Burns' pair. Haley Burk, Sarah Richards, Ruby Lueras and Jillian Baffa combined for a first-place 10:00.83 in the 3,200 relay; Kelsey Rothas cleared 10-9 to triumph in the pole vault; Isabelle Klett won the high jump (16-10.75); Gretchen Quinn zipped to a 16.09 in the 100 hurdles and joined Burk, Baffa and Sydney Mark to capture the 1,600-meter relay title (4:16.36).
Warren senior Janii Jenkins, fourth in the 400-meter dash at the Class 3A state meet last spring, went 4-for-4 at the NSC meet for the second year in a row. The horse racing fan galloped to gold in the 400 (58.23), 200 (25.77), 100 (12.55) and helped the 400 relay unit post a first-place time of 49.79 (with Jada Vaughn, Kayleigh Glickley and Jataia Harris).
In Jenkins' advanced composition class Thursday, she and her classmates and her teacher talked … entrapped epiglottis. Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach had contracted the condition Wednesday and had to be scratched for this weekend's big race.
"I love horses, and I love when we talk off-topic in that class," said Jenkins, who took riding lessons at the ages of 12 and 13. "My favorite animals. Horses are pretty and majestic."
Other winners Thursday night included Warren's Annika Bynum (high jump, 5-3); Warren's Clara Macheras (shot put, 38-08); Mundelein's Jordyn Miller (800, 2:22.45); and Stevenson's 800 relay (Jade Cadichon, Hailey Peterson, Raeden Mays and Jordan Tollison, 1:48.72).
Upstate Eight meet: Dajour Miles wanted to get the edge off. Victoria Spagnola sought redemption.
They each found a way to deliver.
The two West Aurora track stars used the Upstate Eight Conference championship meet as a platform for their versatility and athleticism in leading the Blackhawks to a dominant team performance at Streamwood Thursday night.
West Aurora won seven individual events and three relays in amassing 171 points to easily surpass runner-up Glenbard East (109 points) and South Elgin (108 points) for the conference title.
Miles ran uncontested in capturing wins in the 200 and 400 meters. The two-time defending Class 3A state champion in the 400-meters, Miles was eager to establish a confident and relaxed rhythm.