It was perhaps one of the most diverse state championships in Class A history between the top three trophy winners.
Moweaqua (Central A&M) muscled their way to a first championship with power and strength. The Raiders picked up big points in the throws and hurdles to score 59 points.
The runner-up spot went to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley on the strength of two young ladies: seniors Sydni Meunier and Angel Gaesser. They helped churn out 48 points in the middle-distance and relay arena.
St. Joseph-Ogden took the third and final team plaque with 46 points with long distance star senior Chelsea Blaase and standout sprinter/jumper senior Rachel Ballard leading the way.
Meunier and Gaesser form strong running pact-
It’s not a secret that Meunier and Gaesser are close teammates. But what is perhaps hidden is that the dynamic duo are very good friends who have competed together in a variety of sports since the sixth grade. GCMS has no cross country program so the pair uses the fall season to compete in volleyball to stay fit. Gaesser also played basketball during the winter session.
The spring season seems to bring out the best in the two runners.
After Gaesser assisted her teammates in earning one point the 4x100 relay it was time to go to work. The next event would be crucial for the Falcons. They needed to strike it big in their best event. Meunier got out well after the cut in bolting fast to the pole- Gaesser chased hard. The first 400 was clocked in 61.8 by Meunier. They were seemingly light years ahead of the chase pack entering the backstretch. Meunier continued to press the pace through the 600 mark. Gasser tired a bit over the last 200 but was able to hold off the surprisingly feisty Kristen Paris (Sr., Fisher) for second place. Meunier won going away in a personal best 2:11.30.
Meunier returned a bit later to breeze in the 1600 over 3200 champion Chelsea Blaase in 5:07.88.
The final event of the Spartan’s pair legacy was cemented in winning the 4x400 in a solid 3:59.22. It was very appropriate for Meunier and Gaesser to finish things off before heading into the sunset.
Field events enjoy a super day-
Often times the field events will get attention on the front page story because of a super human performance of one athlete.
It would be different this time.
Central A&M throwing ace senior Janie Howse would lead a strong contingent in the discus; she won with a healthy 140-7. Two other throwers eclipsed the 135-foot mark including teammate junior Genny Rose Stringer who placed third (137-9). In all it 11 of the 12 finalists exceeded the state standard of 112-3.
Megan Lauzon (Jr., Rushville-Industry) kept the pressure on the heavily favored Whitney Walker (Sr., Illini Bluffs) after leading in Thursday’s preliminary round. Lauzon was able to improve from her 42-9.25 to 43-9.5 on Saturday. Walker moved up well the 43-6 output fell short. Anisa Razo (Sr., Ottawa Marquette) also threw over 40-feet with a solid 40-1.75.
Katie Bloch (Jr., Argenta-Oreana) seized her shining moment with she tied a US#2/IL#1 high jump of 5-10. Upon being declared the winner at 5-8, Bloch asked event officials to place the bar up to 6-0 instead of the IHSA record of 5-11. The three attempts fell quietly short, but perhaps 2013 will be the year that Melinda Morris’ 1980 long standing record will fall.
The sprint action did not disappoint-
South Holland Seton Academy’s 4x100 upperclassmen quartet of Jasmine Gardner, Mykel Adams, Nancy Jeanty, and DeJanae Terry finally achieved a feat that many supporters thought they could, an IHSA record. The four young ladies got the stick around the track nicely in setting a meet record 48.51. Eureka ran well but had to settle for second with a very fine time of 48.63.
Sullivan Co-op took a bit of a chunk off of the 4x200 record (1:43.35) set last year by then 1A champion Aurora Christian with an impressive 1:42.82. Starlet Paige Neuhauser took the baton on the anchor leg and blazed the final curve with whippet appeal- so much that Seton Academy’s Terry had no answer and settled for a distant second in 1:44.87.
Moweaqua’s Madison Renfro and Taylor Adcock took care of the hurdle titles. The senior Renfro won in a speedy 14.55. Last year she ran 14.99. Adcock completed the sweep in 44.46.