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St. Charles East relays record-setting

Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:34 a.m. CST
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(Jeff Krage for the Shaw Media)
St. Charles East's Brittany Williams runs the final leg of the 4x800 meter relay during Friday's Kane County Girls Track Meet at Geneva High School.

GENEVA – St. Charles East’s Britney Williams shined once more in her fourth and final Kane County Girls Track and Field Meet on Friday.

Once more, she and the Saints watched West Aurora claim the team crown.

The Blackhawks’ four-peat ultimately mattered little as the Saints packed their belongings and boarded the team bus. East is worrying only about what it can control at this point, and right now, there’s little to fret.

“I think we’re progressing really well. I mean, we’re not, like, super-stacked in everything, but I think everyone’s improving and really getting toward their goals,” Williams said. “It’s amazing.”

Williams and junior Jordan Shead were part of county record-setting relays in the 4x800 (9:20.13) and 4x400 (3:59.89) while helping the Saints to a runner-up finish. West Aurora totaled 131 team points, with East (100.5) and third-place Kaneland (83) its most immediate challengers in the 14-team field.

Saints coach Tim Wolf explained a few lineup changes – namely Williams’ and Shead’s 4x800 debut – by saying athletes “have been training outside of our box.” With state series meets looming, East is eager to compete no matter its lineup.

Here’s a look at other highlights from the meet:

• Chronicle-area schools won three of four relays, as Rosary’s quartet of Sydney Zaragoza, Molly Stefanski, Stephanie McDermott and Megan Conlin took the 4x200 title in 1:47.28 between the Saints’ victories.

Conlin, the Royals’ anchor, credited the pleasant conditions in part for the surge.

“It was beautiful weather. I mean, [needing] no Under Armour makes it great,” she said. “As the weather progresses, it’s warmer and our times decrease. It’s nice.”

• Ashley England notched St. Charles North’s lone event title with her run of 11:28.19 in the 3,200. The junior doesn’t want to call it beginner’s luck in her first track season, so she won’t. Still, the fact is the former soccer player has embraced an activity she once used only for training.

“I ran cross country to stay in shape for soccer, found out I liked it a lot and I found it was a passion,” she said.

Geneva freshman McKenzie Altmayer finished second. Batavia’s top individual finisher also was a runner-up – Taylor Stieve in the 300 hurdles.

• Standout sophomore distance runners Torree Scull of St. Charles East and Victoria Clinton of Kaneland staged several middle-school cross country duels. In high school, they compete in different classes, with Clinton breaking through as the 2A state champ in November.

Clinton’s decision to come out for track this season – she also balances spring triathlon training – created a memorable reunion. Scull scored some Wredling revenge by winning the 1,600 in 5:14.07, about five seconds ahead of her runner-up friend.

“She beat me in middle school every race, so I’ve been trying to beat her for a long time,” Scull said. “She’s a really good runner, so it’s good running with her.”

For Clinton, the feeling was mutual.

“It was fun to see some friends from back in the day,” she said.

• Kaneland’s Ashley Castellanos cleared 35 feet to win the triple jump, while Lauren Zick scored high in several events, including the long jump (second) and 200 (third). Zick also was part of Kaneland’s runner-up 4x100 relay.

“Happy with everybody,” Knights coach Doug Ecker said. “We had a good day, and that’s what happens.”

• Burlington Central senior Katie Trupp winning the high jump and pole vault at Geneva? If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is.

Trupp completed the same double victory at the Vikings’ Mike VanDeveer Invitational on April 13.

“I felt comfortable here from being here a couple weeks ago. Kind of familiar with the equipment,” Trupp said. “But I’m kind of not too mental about that, and it comes to me.”

• Fellow Rockets senior Kayla Wolf won the 800 at VanDeveer, but emerging Aurora Central Catholic freshman Karina Liz thwarted her bid for a repeat.

Channeling memories of finishing behind Wolf in her 2A championship run at last month’s Illinois Prep Top Times indoor meet, Liz won Friday in 2:15.58, outpacing Wolf’s runner-up 2:18.02.

“She’s been looking forward to this race, and she ran it perfectly today,” Chargers assistant Manny Barraza said.

The Chargers’ other county champion still was humbled by her feat despite already boasting a state medal. Senior Lisa Rodriguez transferred to ACC shortly after competing as a sophomore on Aurora Christian’s 1A state champion 4x200 relay.

She won the individual 200 Friday, staring down a tough field that included Kaneland’s Lauren Zick and Anita Saffa of West Aurora.

“I’m not going to lie, I surprised myself, but I worked really hard for it. I really wanted to,” said Rodriguez, who lives in Sugar Grove. “I focused this meet on the [200]. It means so much to me that my senior year I can be the Kane County champion.”

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