DeKALB – Cary-Grove’s Olivia Roehri stepped into the shot put ring at the Class 3A DeKalb Sectional Track and Field Meet and unleashed her career-best throw by almost 2 feet on her first attempt.
Just like that, in a matter of seconds, the Trojans’ first competitor of the meet had their first of many state qualifiers in a night filled with personal-best performances.
Later, triple jumpers Maggie Cherveny and Delaney Perrone followed suit, each qualifying on their first attempts.
“Those are things you dream about as coach,” C-G coach Mark Anderson said. “Then it actually happens. This was a very stress-free night.”
C-G finished with 13 qualifying entries for next week’s IHSA Girls State Track and Field Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston and scored 127 points, more than doubling second-place Huntley with 62 points.
Shortly after C-G’s Nikki Freeman and Roehri had qualified in the discus, an excited Anderson came to tell Roehri of Cherveny’s and Perrone’s feats.
“It’s a good day for Cary-Grove,” Roehri said. “I knew mine was a PR [personal record], but when she said 37 feet I couldn’t believe it.”
Freeman, who won the discus, moved past Roehri with her final shot put attempt, a career-best 38-8 1/2. They celebrated together and then, a few minutes later, Freeman also celebrated with Crystal Lake South’s Kianna Clark, who threw 37-8 1/2 on her final attempt to qualify, 1/2-inch better than the state standard.
Jacobs’ Lauren Van Vlierbergen and C-G’s Morgan Schulz both qualified in three events and had one of the meet’s best races in the 800 meters. Van Vlierbergen won in 2:14.30, Schulz finished in 2:14.33.
Schulz then came back with her career-best time of 43.67 in the 300 low hurdles and also qualified with a second-place finish in the 200.
“I was really excited with how I performed,” Schulz said. “The 800 was a really fun race. I kept telling myself to stick with Lauren and I would make it. She just leaned me out a little bit.”
Van Vlierbergen anchored Jacobs’ winning 4x800 relay team with Molly Barnes, Taylor Bona and Kayla Giuliano before winning the 800 and taking second in the 1,600 to McHenry’s Lauren Opatrny.
“My goal was to get the 4x800 team down [to state],” Van Vlierbergen said. “I’m so happy we made it. Molly ran 7 seconds faster than her best time. That was a good way to start the day.”
Crystal Lake Central senior Celeste Madda also qualified in three events, winning the 100 and 200 and placing second with the Tigers’ 4x100 relay team. Central’s Claire Dalman won the pole vault and qualified with Madda, Skylar Buetow and Mackenzie Thompson in the 4x100.
Huntley’s Macy Tramblay ran another career-best time (14.73) to win the 100 high hurdles. The Red Raiders’ Tess Miller won the triple jump, and Tramblay, Miller, Tina Driscoll and Kate Mitchell took second in the 4x400 relay to qualify.
“I feel really good about my achievement,” Tramblay said. “I’ve been working on keeping a clear mind and running a steady race.”
South’s Clark won in the 4x100 relay with Gaby DeJesus, Kathleen Pencak and Taylor Schau 50.14, their best time of the season.
Schau also made it in the 300 hurdles in 46.01 and Huntley’s Emily Schmidt qualified with 46.03 in third place. Schmidt wiped out in the 100 high hurdles and did not finish the race, then came back and ran 1.5 seconds faster than she had before.