St. Charles North senior Kaylee Raucci aspires to study kinesiology at Wisconsin-Whitewater beginning next school year.
She is not out to diagnose her recurring shin splints. The field simply fascinates her.
In the past few weeks, Raucci has compiled her own research on the ins and outs of human movement. It’s a simple lesson, and one she hopes will boost her to a medal in the triple jump at this weekend’s 3A state meet in Charleston:
Removing yourself from many events to save yourself for one recharges the battery.
“Now the shins feel good,” Raucci said. “They don’t hurt. So it definitely helped getting that state qualifying for this one.”
In no particular order, Raucci also competed in the long jump, 300-meter hurdles, 100 and 200 during her North career, as well as running as part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Her versatility added up to competitive invitational meet scores for the North Stars, which was by design.
Once the postseason approached, however, the strategy shifted to sending Raucci downstate for the second successive spring in the best shape possible.
“We were wanting her prepared and totally focused on the triple jump,” North Stars coach John Osmanski said. “Going into sectionals, we knew that was her best shot and we wanted her 100 percent focused on it, and it worked.”
Raucci finished second at last week’s West Aurora Sectional, clearing 35 feet, 9.75 inches – nearly four inches better than the state qualifying standard.
While North Stars freshman Hannah Schilb edged her mentor for the sectional title with a jump of 36-0.75, both athletes talk openly about a friendly rivalry.
So what if Raucci took up track as a seventh grader at Haines Middle School and Schilb is new to triple jumping this season? They’re on the same team and constantly talking technique.
“She’s a great supporter and she made it with me, and so we’re going to go down to state together,” Schilb said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, I think. It’ll be a good experience for me to experience it with her.”
Raucci registered a state preliminary jump of 35-0.25 as a junior. The 12th and final athlete to advance to the Saturday finals cleared 36-10.
Rested and conditioned from a recent slate of low-impact workouts – including elliptical training and biking – Raucci is eager to make a healthy move up the standings.
Considering the absence of shin pain, which had been nagging her since the end of indoor season, she likes her chances.
Wisconsin-Whitewater coach Mike Johnson has targeted Raucci as a decathlete next season, bringing a return to busier days for the NCAA Division III Warhawks.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Raucci said. “He said if I’m pretty strong in one thing and not so strong in one that it will compensate for it, so that will be pretty good.”
For now, though, she only has tunnel vision for the triple jump pit.
“I actually have a goal in mind. I’ve been there before, I know,” Raucci said. “So it’s like I’ll just see what I can do now. Hopefully it’ll be better than [last season].”
Area girls track and field state qualifiers
Prelims today (1A) and Friday (2A, 3A) at EIU in Charleston
Finals for all classes SaturdayCLASS 3A
BATAVIA Skylar Schoen, pole vault Amy Gladis, pole vault 4x800-meter relayGENEVA Kathryn Adelman, 800 McKenzie Altmayer, 1,600 Jenna Ginsberg, pole vaultST. CHARLES EAST Lauren Towne, 200 Torree Scull, 800 Corrin Adams, 800 Jordan Shead, 400 Britney Williams, 400 Maddie Westerhoff, 1,600 Gabrielle Pearce, pole vault Allison Chmelik, triple jump Amanda Passaglia, shot put 4x100 4x200 4x400 4x800ST. CHARLES NORTH Ashley England, 3,200 Hannah Schilb, triple jump Kaylee Raucci, triple jump 4x800ROSARY 4x800CLASS 2AKANELAND Victoria Clinton, 1,600 Brianna Bower, 3,200 Lauren Zick, long jump Christina Delach, pole vault Ashley Castellanos, triple jump 4x800 4x800BURLINGTON CENTRAL Kayla Wolf, 800 Jasmine Castillo, 300 hurdles Katie Trupp, pole vault, high jump Natalie Overstreet, pole vault 4x800AURORA CENTRAL CATHOLIC Lisa Rodriguez, 100, 200 Karina Liz, 400, 800 Jenna Koerner, 1,600 4x400 4X800ST. FRANCIS Megan McShea, 3,200 Amanda Nunley, 100 hurdlesCLASS 1A
AURORA CHRISTIAN Natasha Brown, 100 Becca Wert, 800, 1,600 Taylor Knauf, pole vault Meghan Hagerty, pole vault Peyton Wade, high jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles Alyssa Anderson, high jump 4x100 4x200 4x400