Girls track and field: Prospect, St. Viator shine at state
Emmi Scales raised her hands up in the air in celebration late Saturday afternoon.
After completing the final leg of a historic trifecta, Scales reveled in her historic performance at the Class 2A state track and field meet at Eastern Illinois University.
Scales capped a superb two-day showing by earning three first-place medals to etch her name into program history as one of the best all-time track athletes. Scales won the 100-meter run in a time of 12.32 seconds, then took a four-minute break before dusting off the competition in the 100 hurdles (14.01). She closed out her stellar day with a first-place showing on the blue track amid a driving rain in the 300 hurdles (42.81).
"This feel so good, but I'm more relieved because there was such good competition," Scales said. "I've been running without any competition for the whole season, and no one pushing me, so coming here and getting back with people coming up behind me and pushing me, I'm glad that I was able to come out on top in all three. I've been working really hard for the past eight months."
Scales was one of the star performers in the three-class state meet, winning three events despite dealing with weather issues that led to a two-hour delay. Soon after the delay, Scales and the competitors welcomed a warm spell before another cold spell along with more rain arrived near the end of the meet.
"I was really happy with the two hurdles, just two big personal records and thought I ran really well considering the conditions," Scales said. "I've dealt with horrible weather all year long."
Scales and teammate Mary Grace Hegberg were named the East Suburban Catholic Conference co-Track Athletes of the Year, and they both lived up to that honor at the state meet. Hegberg turned in two amazing efforts in her two events for a pair of third-place medals. She clocked a third-place time of 10:14.58 in the 3,200 run and posted a time of 4:49.50 in the 1,600.
Prospect's 1,600-meter relay team of closed out the meet with a group celebration in the rain, as Audrey Ginsberg, Hailey Erickson, Cameron Kalaway and Lily Ginsberg thrilled the crowd -- and themselves -- with a second-place medal (3:57.60) in the final event.
Earlier in the day, the four runners clocked a first-place time of 9:10.38 in the 3,200 relay. Led by two first-place relay teams, Prospect placed third in the final 3A team standings.
The four Prospect runners achieved a rare feat by winning the 3,200 relay for the second year in a row, while also managing to top last season's winning time of 9:13.20 at O'Brien Field.
"Last year I ran the last (leg), but it was the same as last year because we knew that we had trained so hard for this and trusted our coach," Audrey Ginsberg said. "We didn't have any doubts. Both were different, but it was exciting to do it again and all four of us were together again."
Kalaway added: "I went out on the third leg and just wanted to get them a good position. We had no doubts and were confident coming into here. I felt we were really more confident this year, and just happy we were able to do it again."
Erickson said Saturday's repeat was a culmination off hours and hours of hard work.
"I felt really good today, and knew we were capable of winning this twice," Erickson said. "We had so many supporters during this entire journey. We all finished strong."
Lily Ginsberg said she was motivated to win the race after moving to the anchor spot.
"When I got the baton, I was ready to go to win it for my team," Lily Ginsberg said. "I was focusing on how fast I could go, not the position I was in."
The Ginsberg-Erickson-Kalaway-Ginsberg relay nearly made it two first-place medals, but couldn't pass Evanston in the 1,600.
"I'm so proud of everyone, and these are my best friends and my sister," Audrey Ginsberg said, the lone senior in the relay. "This was our last race together, and we wanted to give it all we got."
The Ginsberg sisters wrapped up their final high school meet running together by also adding to their medal count, with Audrey edging out her younger sister with a personal record time for a fifth-place medal in the 800 (2:15.02). Lily Ginsberg took sixth (2:15.04) in the race. Prospect's Daria Tersina snared three medals on Saturday, placing fourth in the triple jump (11.59), sixth in the 100 dash (12.49) and ninth in the 200 (25.83).
Hersey's Becca Caliendo collected a third-place medal in the shot put (13.28) and notched seventh place in the discus (38.03). Maine West's Jaclyn Riedl took fifth in the shot put (12.44), Prospect's Madison Payne placed sixth (12.36), Hoffman Estates' Amay Hendrickson notched eighth (12.23) and Schaumburg's Antenis Williams got ninth (12.20).