Girls track and field: Glenbard West's Allman, Glenbard North's Schager bring home gold

  • Glenbard North's Grace Schager has taken the lead as she heads toward a victory in the 3,200-meter run during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Glenbard North's Grace Schager has taken the lead as she heads toward a victory in the 3,200-meter run during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Left, to right, Naperville Christina Gu, Prospect's Audrey Ginsberg and St. Charles East's Laci Chivari run next to each other in the 3,200-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Left, to right, Naperville Christina Gu, Prospect's Audrey Ginsberg and St. Charles East's Laci Chivari run next to each other in the 3,200-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville North's Emma Barnes carries the baton after taking it from teammate Christina Gu in the 3,200-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Naperville North's Emma Barnes carries the baton after taking it from teammate Christina Gu in the 3,200-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Neuqua Valley's Zawadi Brown carries the baton for her team in the 400-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Neuqua Valley's Zawadi Brown carries the baton for her team in the 400-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard North's Grace Schager won the Class 3A 3,200 state title Saturday in Charleston.

      Glenbard North's Grace Schager won the Class 3A 3,200 state title Saturday in Charleston. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Neuqua Valley's Inara Ukawuba competes in the 100-meter hurdles during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Neuqua Valley's Inara Ukawuba competes in the 100-meter hurdles during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Paulina Lucer heads for the finish line in the 100-meter hurdles during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Lake Park's Paulina Lucer heads for the finish line in the 100-meter hurdles during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville North's Christina Gu crosses the finish line in the 800-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Naperville North's Christina Gu crosses the finish line in the 800-meter relay during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Audrey Allman has a lead going into the final lap of the 1,600-meter run during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday.

      Glenbard West's Audrey Allman has a lead going into the final lap of the 1,600-meter run during the Class 3A girls state track finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Audrey Allman won the 1,600.

      Glenbard West's Audrey Allman won the 1,600. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/21/2022 10:46 PM

CHARLESTON -- Audrey Allman had a grand strategy.

Grace Schager was an equally brilliant tactician.

 

As a consequence, the distance-running legacy in DuPage County remains ever intact.

Allman, the Glenbard West Vanderbilt-bound senior, and Schager, a Glenbard North junior who has taken her athleticism to a new level, left their imprint at O'Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University Saturday.

Allman built a commanding lead at the mid-mark of the Class 3A 1,600-meter run and completed her dominant state-title run with a victory in excess of 30 meters.

Schager, meanwhile, opened the individual girls track and field state finals by authoring the finest of 19 athletes breaking 11 minutes in the 3,200 run.

Schager became the first state champion for the Panthers in 19 years with her triumph in 10:17.12.

Allman followed in the considerable footsteps of former Glenbard West greats Madeline Perez and Katelynne Hart by winning the metric mile in 4:49.81.

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"I have total faith in this program," Allman said. "I have been dreaming about (this moment) since I was a kid. It was a long time coming."

The 3,200 run had a compelling back story as defending champion in both the longest race as well as the reigning state cross-country champion, University of Washington-bound Oak

Park-River Forest senior Josephine Welin, ran in the slow heat after making her outdoor season debut at the Proviso East sectional.

"It was definitely a different race plan," Schager said of Welin, who finished fourth overall, running in the first heat. "I feel like I would have loved having her in my heat. She is incredible."

Neuqua Valley sophomore Zawadi Brown anchored the Wildcats' 400 relay to third; the lacrosse athlete was also fifth in the 200 and 400 dashes with respective times of 25.17 and 56.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's been a great day," Brown said. "I went in with high expectations and am happy with how it ended."

Naperville North had twin runner-up developments as Denise Hernandez, who ran the third leg on the Huskies' fifth-place 800 relay, was unable to overtake two-time long-jump champion Alex Johnson of Huntley.

"I knew I had to get to six (as in six meters) -- but I am very happy about placing in the top three," Hernandez said. "I placed my goal at 19 feet -- and I got it (19-2)."

Freshman Emma Berries' anchor leg powered the Huskies' 3,200 relay (9:21.38) to their other second-place finish.

Hinsdale Central junior Catie McCabe was runner-up to Normal Community defending state champion Ali Ince, owner of the fastest time in the nation, in the 800.

York half-miler Brooke Berger was fourth after earlier playing a starring role on the Dukes' third-place 3,200 relay.

Neuqua Valley hurdler Inara Ukawuba was fifth and eighth in the 100 and 300 distances.

In Class 2A, Glenbard South hurdler Gianna Huerta, one year removed from a lost season due to a serious knee injury, was third in the 300 hurdles after placing sixth at the shorter distance.

Benet distance runner Louisa Diamond I was seventh in the metric-mile and 2-mile.

In Class A, I C Catholic Prep senior Carly Manchester earned the only area medals by ply fifth in the 3,200 and eighth in the 800.

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