As an eighth-grader at Elmhurst’s Sandburg Junior High, York senior Molly Evans found the slots for track and field events she wanted to try completely filled.
“My coach was like, ‘Molly, no one’s doing triple jump. Would you like to try that?’” Evans said. “I did it maybe two, three times and it was kind of a fun thing.”
Now it’s her primary passion.
It especially is after her breakthrough career-best, state-qualifying triple jump at last year’s sectional. Evans now wants to see how far the sport can take her. The professed procrastinator soon will select an NCAA Division I program to compete for, and she will major in elementary education.
“It’s new, it’s fresh, and I think I can progress [jumping],” Evans said. “I would argue that if I didn’t qualify for state, most likely I’d be playing volleyball at the collegiate level. But my heart’s in it for track.”
On April 13, Evans finished fourth in triple jump (35 feet, 1 1/2 inches) at Downers Grove North’s Bruce Ritter Invitational. The Dukes were 13th (24 points).
A committed volleyball player since sixth grade, Evans wanted a spring sport her freshman year at York and initially thought soccer. A friend swayed Evans to track and field, and her triple jumping resurfaced. While the 6-foot Evans became a starting middle hitter for varsity volleyball as a junior, until last year’s sectional she hadn’t jumped further than 33-9 1/2.
Her resounding fifth-place 36-0 qualified for state by beating the 35-11 qualifying standard. It also completely changed her athletic priorities.
“I’m a very driven person, so once I realized, ‘Wow, I never even considered going to state and then I qualified,’ it was really cool,” Evans said. “I thought if I work hard, maybe I can qualify again and not only qualify, but place [top nine all-state.] That’s been my goal since last year.”
This winter, Evans increased the indoor school record to 35-5. She added long jump for the first time and her 16-7 1/2 missed that indoor record by three inches. The outdoor records are 36-6 1/4 and 17-5.
Not even tendinitis in Evans’ knees appears able to deter lofty goals for her jumps and 300-meter low hurdles – state berths in all three events, if not all-state.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to keep in shape so my knees don’t die out on me before I want them to,” Evans said.
Freshman Cassidy Toussaint finished fourth in discus (91-2) and eighth in shot put (34-0) at the Ritter Invitational. The 3,200 relay of sophomore Emma Kern, senior Katherine Tomaska and sophomores Maya Curry and Lydia Hickey (9:56.25) and the varsity 1,600 relay of sophomores Marissa Chavez and Isabella Walker, junior Sarah Pinkowski and Hickey (4:18.61) were fifth.
Alondra Holler scored three goals and Kate Crotty added one for Montini (5-6, 2-0) in a 4-1 win over Bishop McNamara on April 18.
Holler, Emily Detmers and Abby Wolf scored goals for Montini in a 3-0 win over St. Laurence on April 16. Emma Repking scored Montini’s goal in a 4-1 loss to Joliet West on April 12.
Jimmy Allen doubled for the Trojans in an 11-1 loss to Chicago Christian on April 17. Allen and Jake Loerop had doubles in an 8-2 loss to Riverside-Brookfield.