Saturday's meets found a break from the cold weather of the past week that had hampered Chicagoland. By mid-afternoon it was a spring-like lower 50s and light wind in Glen Ellyn- the site for the Sue Pariseau Glenbard West Invitational. A change from the cold weather and rain that had cursed the past years at Glenbard West. Not surprisingly, the performances were very good, included were several long held meet records broken.
Glenbard West Remix
Once again the Glenbard West 4x8 quartet was set to open the finals in a big way. The question would be which group would Coach Paul Hass deploy? Last Friday at the Downers Grove North Invitational he rolled out Maddie Nagle, Julie Sakach, Katie Born, and Emma Reifel to get the job done. It seems like every week the Hilltoppers are running their “A” team. But tremendous depth has afforded them the opportunity to do so. On this occasion, Born and Lisa Luczak would sit out and run different events.
For the second invite in a row Nagle was summoned to lead off and provide the hard hitting spark the team has grown accustomed to; she got out well over the first 400 ahead of Barrington and York as the three runners separated from the rest of the field. Nagle was first to transition in 2:18.4 followed by York and Barrington.
Maddie Perez ran the 3200 at Downers North last weekend but this time she would be the second leg. She did not disappoint the faithful in attendance. Perez ran well despite losing the lead momentarily to York; she concluded her run in 2:18.6- a sizable lead of twelve seconds. York and Barrington were now left to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, eccentric meet announcer Bill Treece did his very best to encourage the hearty crowd to cheer on the home team. Sakach seemed to embrace the love and extended the lead over her pursuers to almost half a football length with a 2:19.8 split.
The final duty would be bestowed upon Reifel who brought home the previous record winner. Reifel opened up well despite running what seemed like a solo time trial. The only thing standing in her way was the team school record, stadium record, and the finish line. Reifel continued to surge hard down the backstretch and around the final turn to record a 2:16.3 carry. As well, the Hilltoppers smashed the meet record previously held by Hinsdale Central (9:19.68- 2008) with a sensational 9:13.01- good for US#5. Coach Hass has been trying to keep the 9:00 talk hush but slowly his Lady Hilltoppers are creeping toward that magical mark.
Speedsters Porter and Kieger put on a show
Willowbrook sprint queen Cherise Porter of Willowbrook has slowly been showing her trump card. She is one of the state’s top 100 and 200 sprinters, but for some reason she hasn’t gotten much acclaim. It didn’t seem to bother her after she completed the 100/200 sweep, the latter in 24.65. “I’m happy with my times… this meet is pushing me toward state,” she concluded. That push could include a date with Aaliyah Brown (Lincoln-Way East) and Morolake Akinosun (Waubonsie Valley) next month.
Porter wasn’t the only speedster who put on a show. Whitney Young emerging star Claire Kieger did her very best to upstage Porter. In Kieger’s first event of the day, she won a close battle in the 100H with a 16.21. In less than an hour after the hurdle prelims, she would lead her team in the 4x1 relay. The result was a winner in 50.25. Kieger went three for three when she took the stick as the anchor in the 4x2 with a deficit and made up ground and led her mates to victory in 1:46.90- a full second ahead of Willowbrook. Finally, Kieger was slowed by Porter in the 200, when she placed third in 25.47. But all in all it was a performance worthy of MVP honors if such an award was given out.
Best of the rest
Dhiaa Dean of Kenwood (Chicago) made the most of a last second add to the Pariseau Invite by winning the 800 in 2:15.45. Dean was hoping that the pace was a little faster than the 65.8 that Willowbrook’s Molly Krawczykowski set in the first 400. However, she remained poised before bursting away with less than 200 to go for the win.
Junior Jill Hardies of Hinsdale Central had been out of action for five weeks due to an injured tendon in her foot, but she showed very little rust in winning the 1600 in 5:01.69. Glenbard West’s Maddie Perez led going into the first lap with a 71, and followed with a 2:30, and 3:48. Perez opened up a sizable lead over Hardies and Naperville North's Rachel Weathered. With 300 to go, Hardies moved up on Perez before strongly surging past her over the last 200 of the race. Hardies’ finishing kick looked as though she was in peak form.
Lake Zurich triple jumper Kaeley Ferguson battled Hannah Davidson of Geneva jump for jump before holding on with her final effort of 35-9.75.
McKenzee Kroeschell of Oak Park-River Forest tied a meet record in the pole vault with 11-6 effort.
Host Glenbard West came away with the team title by five points over Barrington. York and Hinsdale Central finished third and fourth respectively, both within 10 points of Glenbard West.
Women - Varsity - Team Rankings - 18 Events Scored
1) Glenbard West 80 2) Barrington 75
3) York 71 4) Hinsdale Central 70
5) Naperville North HS 61 6) Willowbrook 57
7) Whitney Young 54 7) Lake Zurich 54
9) Geneva HS 40 10) Oak Park River Forest Gir 39
11) Kenwood Academy 27 12) Hersey 25
13) Wheeling 24 14) Carl Sandburg HS 20
15) Proviso East 4 16) Thornridge HS 1
Watch the Girls 1600