CHARLESTON – There is no 3-mile race at the IHSA girls track state meet, but if there was, it's a safe bet Madeline Perez would have won it.
The Glenbard West junior dominated the 3,200-meter run (10:22.29) Saturday morning to capture the Class 3A title by more than 11 seconds at Eastern Illinois University. Winning the 2-mile race by that margin apparently gave Perez plenty of time to rest up for her bid to pull off the distance double. She turned around and won the 1,600 (4:52.24) by 1.74 seconds.
No other runner finished in the top five of both races. It's not a total shock that Perez proved capable of the elusive double. Six months earlier, she shattered the cross country state meet record – that's a 3-mile contest. However, the first time she had ever won both the 1- and 2-mile races at the same event was last week at sectionals.
Perez's 20 points – 10 for each win – catapulted the Hilltoppers into third place as a team with 31 points. Lincoln-Way East (79) beat out Edwardsville (68.5) for the title.
Glenbard West also boasted one of the state's fastest 800 competitors in senior Emma Reifel who finished third.
Emma Gambol finished eighth in the triple jump (37 feet, 0.5 inches). Gambol and Reifel teamed up in the 4x400 relay, along with Mary Nevins and JaSharra Clark, to pick up two more points with an eighth-place mark (3:58.47).