A cold and windy day awaits the participants of the Naperville North girls track and field sectional.
Starting with the field events, Naperville North high jumper Maeve Conneely is one jump from elimination, but she comes through by clearing 5’1 to take 2nd place and qualify for state.
The sectional champion is Emma Ludwig of Glenbard East who tops 5’3 to take the top height in the sectional.
Now to a different type of jumpers, the pole vaulters as Catherine Meehan of Benet Academy clears 9 feet, 9 inches to get into the top six. Unfortunately for the 2018 state qualifier, her career would end there as she could not top that height.
Naperville Central senior Rose Fritz took 3rd at state a year ago and she gets up and over 10 feet, 3 inches to punch her ticket to state despite several injuries throughout the season.
The pole vault sectional crown goes to Downers Grove North junior Carolyn-Paig Breit who clears 10 feet 9 inches.
The first track event is the 4X800 with 13 teams taking part. After the first handoff, Naperville Central with an early lead in front of a tight pack of runners.
In the end, Glenbard West pulls away with Naperville North finishing in 2nd and Downers Grove South 3rd. Hinsdale Central and Wheaton South also qualify for state.
Longest race of the meet is the 3200 with Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West and Naperville North’s Alex Morris as the top two favorites.
After the first 800 meters, Hart with a lead and Morris just behind her, the rest of the pack follows about 15 meters behind.
To nobody’s surprise, Hart pulls away and wins with a time of 10:18. Alex Morris is 2nd, 25 seconds behind Hart. 7 runners qualify for state including Laurel Moneysmith from Wheaton Warrenville South and Maggie Gamboa from Naperville North.
The 800 meter race is a tight one, star junior Katelynn Hart with a short lead over Naperville North senior Claire Hill and Kaylie Politza from Lemont. Down the stretch, Hart picks up another 10 points for Glenbard West, Erin Reidy of Downers Grove South takes 2nd and Claire Hill third. The top 6 finishers all qualified for state.
Time to start jumping over things with the 100 meter high hurdles, it’s neck and neck the whole way between Huskie star Halle Bieber and Bolingbrook’s Kayla Walters. At the line Walters wins by 6 tenths of a second. Walters also took home the long jump sectional title.
The 400 meters is close the whole way with Aaliyah Collier from Glenbard West and April Poskus of Stagg going 1-2 to take the state spots. Natalie Walsh of Naperville North and Mia Nolan of Benet take 3rd and 5th respectively.
Time for one of the longer races with the 1600, Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West out in front over the rest of the field midway through the race.
Hart finishes with her third first place title on the night, Emma Watcke from Hinsdale Central finishes strong for 2nd place ahead of Campbell Petersen of Naperville North, Sam Poglitsch of Wheaton South and Alex Morris. The top 8 all make the state cut line.
Another hurdles race as Halle Bieber and Kayla Walters go head to head once again, this time it’s Bieber who gets the edge in the 300 low hurdles race. The defending state champ crosses in 44.97. Claire Haas from Wheaton South also qualifies.
Another quick race for Halle Bieber and another impressive finish. The Huskie star leans ahead of Kimberly Brent from Downers Grove North to win the 200 meter dash. Huda Hussaini from Glenbard West and Leeya Zander of Wheaton North also qualify.
Last race of the night will decide the sectional championship as Glenbard West leads Naperville North by two points heading into the 4X400. The Hilltoppers look to be in good shape as they lead heading into the final handoff with Hinsdale Central and Wheaton Warrenville South right on their trail.
Claire Hill of Naperville North runs a fantastic final 400 meters to climb into 2nd place, but Glenbard West anchor Audrey Allman hangs on for the win to clinch the sectional championship for her team. Downers Grove North takes 3rd. Despite the chilly conditions, a great night of competition for every team involved.
Check out how the other Girls track and field teams did in our Girls Highlights!
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