CHARLESTON – A broken toe sabotaged Simone Carr’s opportunity at an all-state performance in the 400-meter dash last year.
This time around, nothing was going to stop the Glenbard North junior from standing atop the podium.
Running a school-record 56.27 seconds in the state prelims May 17, Carr came back the next day and posted a time of 56.49 to finish sixth in the Class 3A event.
“I was really happy for her, especially after last year,” said Glenbard North coach Gary Heilers. “She was hoping to get to the finals last year but running with a broken toe (suffered at the sectional), she wasn’t able to get it done. I was really happy to see her do it this time.
“She was excited. She has been working on this for a few years.”
The news was not all good at Eastern Illinois University. Four-time state qualifier Kailey James did not advance to the finals in the high jump after failing to clear 5 feet, 4 inches.
“She jumped well,” the coach said. “She ended up having to go from 5-2 to 5-4 and she had never done that. She had a couple good attempts at it but couldn’t get it done.
“But she had a great career and that doesn’t take away from the fact that she made it to state four times and the finals twice. It just wasn’t her day.”
Freshman Allison Wahrman just missed on advancing to the finals in the long jump, registering a mark of 17-5 in the prelims. She also competed in the triple jump. Tasia Collins participated in the shot put, posting a distance of 34-4.25 in the prelims, while the 4x100-meter relay team of Jackie Howard, Laila Pickens, Carr and Sara Stankoskey clocked a time of 49.24.
“Allison was a couple of inches from making the finals in the long jump,” Heilers said. “And then she had a season-best in the triple jump after that. She handled the nerves and did a great job.”
The state meet put the final chapter on what was a very successful 2013 campaign.
“It was great,” Heilers said. “Anytime you can win big invites, it’s a great year. Every meet we went to, we thought we had a chance to win and that is exciting for the team.”
The Panthers will now say goodbye to 12 seniors, including James and Brianna Kruse, whose solid season was derailed by strep throat.
“No. 1, they (James and Kruse) have been great leaders to the young kids,” Heilers said, “showing them what it takes to be successful. And secondly, every meet they’ve gone to, each has done four events and scored a majority of our points on the track.
“We will miss them, both their leadership and their ability on the track. They are great athletes.”