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Hornets enter sectionals after six-title effort at Gold meet

Sarah Minor —
Keara Toombs, competing at a meet earlier this season, ran a leg for Hinsdale South's winning 4 x 100-meter relay May 3 at the conference meet.
Sarah Minor — Keara Toombs, competing at a meet earlier this season, ran a leg for Hinsdale South's winning 4 x 100-meter relay May 3 at the conference meet.

DARIEN – If York High School cross country has the Long Green Line, then maybe Hinsdale South girls track and field has the Bee Line.

The Hornets were first in six events and had seven other top-three finishes May 3 as they scored 131 points at the West Suburban Gold meet at Willowbrook. Even with a slew of great performances, South had to settle for second place as Downers Grove South tallied 166 points for the win.

“I’m really proud of the girls,” South coach David Bonner said. “Obviously you want to go out and win a conference championship, but if you’re not going to win then you hope you put out good performances. The performances we had were exceptional, and I’m proud. It was definitely a success that way.”

Nakiyah Darden and Sarah Warren were dual titleists. Darden won individually in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.78 seconds while Warren won the 100 dash in 12.85. Darden and anchor Warren bookended Maya Thompson and Keara Toombs on the 4 x 100 relay, which posted a winning time of 50.54.

Rachel Steinhaus won the 100 hurdles (16.93), Alivia Blumenstein was tops in the long jump (16 feet, 4 inches) and Bridget Bodee won the high jump (5-3).

Bonner said Bodee’s success throughout the season has led him to expect big points from her, and Darden has been under the state-qualifying time in the 300 hurdles for some time. Those performances didn’t come as a shock, but a couple of wins stood out.

“Rachel in the 100 hurdles was ranked seventh and won so she kind of defended her 55 hurdles title from indoor,” Bonner said. “Alivia won long jump after she was the No. 2 seed, and it was just cool to see her step up in the beginning of the meet and set the tone for us.”

The Hornets also picked up big points with several runner-up and third-place finishes.

Darden was second in the 200 dash (26.97), Thompson second in the triple jump (33-11.5) and Jess Hawken second in high jump (5-0).

Jada Holloway joined Hawken, Thompson and Toombs on the third place 4 x 200 relay (1:53.98), and it was Blumenstein, Bodee, Holloway and Sam Noble that guided the 4 x 400 relay to a third-place time of 4:23.90. Thompson earned a medal with a third-place mark of 15-8 in the long jump, and Blumenstein went 32-1.75 to take third in the triple jump.

The Hornets will put the season on the line at today’s Lockport sectional, where berths to next weekend’s state meet are up for grabs.

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