Girls track and field: West Aurora takes 4th; Rosary's Surtz wins 1,600

  • Rosary's Katie Lifka, left, takes the baton from teammate Lianna Surtz in the Class 2A 3,200-meter relay during the girls state track finals in Charleston Saturday.

      Rosary's Katie Lifka, left, takes the baton from teammate Lianna Surtz in the Class 2A 3,200-meter relay during the girls state track finals in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Burlington's Brooke Barkocy competes in the class 2A 100-meter high hurdles during the girls state track finals in Charleston Saturday.

      Burlington's Brooke Barkocy competes in the class 2A 100-meter high hurdles during the girls state track finals in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Bobby Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/18/2019 10:06 PM

CHARLESTON -- West Aurora senior Dajour Miles had a flair for the dramatic in her storied four-year career.

Miles ended her career in the same fashion, puling up with an injury in the final 25 meters of the 200 meters to end her final race in ninth place -- on the grass during the medal stand ceremony.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Miles, a two-time state champion in the 400, finished second in the 400 (55.27) to help West Aurora snare fourth in the team standings with 32.5 points. H-F's Ashanti Denton won the 400 in a time of 54.45. The Kentucky recruit ran the anchor leg of West Aurora's fifth-place 400 relay (48.48).

"I was disappointed not winning the 400," Miles said, sporting a huge ice wrap on her left hamstring. "But (Denton) did her thing. She did a good job. I was little upset, but I still have more to go in my career."

West Aurora junior Abbey Kuhn set the stage for a big showing next season in the pole vault. Kuhn finished in second place (11-6) behind senior champion Maddy Smith of Ottawa (11-9).

West Aurora's Victoria Spagnola left O'Brien Stadium with a pair of medals. The sophomore placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (45.18) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (14.23).

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"I can't wait for the next two years," she said. "I expect to get better and maybe win a state title."

Geneva senior Sophia McDonnell had a memorable final race, finishing fifth in the highly competitive 3,200.

"It was an amazing experience to end my career being all-state," she said.

Huntley's Daryn Davis tallied five points by notching fifth in the triple jump. St. Charles North junior Kayla Mikottis placed sixth in the discus (127-11), and Batavia's 3,200 relay earned a ninth-place medal.

Class 2A: Rosary freshman Lianna Surtz overcame a five-week rest period early this winter to put her name among the best in school history. Surtz broke out to a fast start and hung tight to win the 1,600 crown in a time of 5:09.07.

"I've had shin splints due to a growth spurt, so I mostly followed the doctor's orders and rested for most of the season for five weeks," she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Surtz said her rest was mainly precautionary and caused her to sit out the 3,200. She said Friday's preliminaries pushed her to a strong showing in the finals.

"I'm glad to have this experience of running against such great runners," she said. "I wasn't expecting this and was surprised to be (so far) ahead."

The Rosary 3,200 relay team of Katie Ubertino, Surtz, Katie Lifka and Maia Italia edged out Fenwick to place fourth in a time of 9:51.22.

Burlington Central sophomore Carolina Hintz tossed a top throw of 129-10 to finish in fifth place in the discus. Sophomore Avery Anderson collected eighth for the Rockets in the 800 (2:22.67), while sophomore Brooke Barkocy finished ninth in the 100 hurdles (15.85).

Class 1A: Aurora Christian junior Alyssa Busker brushed off any thoughts of quitting competing in track and field.

But Busker did question her ability to compete at a high level after enduring two years of a painful right hip injury that left her pondering her future exploits on the track.

"I was really happy to be here (at state) considering my freshman and sophomore year my hip was not good and wasn't where I wanted it to be," she said. "This year I was glad to not have any issues with it. It was pretty bad."

Saturday's Class 1A state track and field state meet proved that Busker is back at an elite level.

She started her day by posting a school-record time of 12.04 seconds to win the state title in the 100-meter dash. A few hours later, Busker doubled her first-place medal total with a victory in the 200 (24.66).

"When I ran good (Friday), I knew I had a chance to do well," Busker said. "I can't believe it. I never thought I would be good enough. I was probably never going to make it to finals. It was just wear and tear from running. When I rested, my hip got better."

Harvest Christian Academy's 3,200 relay team placed fourth in 1A with a time of 9:59.26.

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