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High jump-champ James leads Panthers to state

North qualifies 4 individuals, relay for trip to Eastern Illinois

AURORA – A successful 2013 season for the Glenbard North girls track team continued at the May 9 Class 3A West Aurora sectional.

Finishing third in the team standings with 66 points, the Panthers qualified four individuals and one relay for this weekend’s IHSA state meet at Eastern Illinois University.

Leading the charge was senior Kailey James, who punched her ticket to state for the fourth-consecutive year after winning the high jump event with a mark of 5 feet, 4 inches.

She also narrowly missed on advancing in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, where she placed third and fourth, respectively.

“She has always jumped well at the end of the year,” Heilers said. “She was disappointed about not coming out in the hurdles but the high jump is her specialty and love. She is going to go down there and give it one more shot. She made it to the finals for the first time last year, and hopefully this time she will get a medal around her neck.”

Freshman Allison Wahrman qualified in the long jump (17-5.5) and triple jump (35-6.5). Simone Carr moved on with her runner-up finish in the 400, and Tasia Collins advanced with her throw of 37-8 in the shot put.

The 4x100-meter relay rounded out the state-bound group with a runner-up finish in 48.94 seconds.

“We are going to see if we can get a kid on the track or in a field event on Saturday,” the coach said. “That is the goal for everyone, to get to the finals. That makes it fun for everybody.”

About the only hiccup was senior Briana Kruse not qualifying in an individual event. A major point scorer for the Panthers all spring, Kruse’s performance was hampered by a recent bout with strep throat, Heilers said. She could run on the 4x100 relay.

That turned out to be one of the few disappointments in an otherwise memorable spring for Glenbard North.

“Obviously for me, this is one of the best years in the last 10,” Heilers said.

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