CHARLESTON – St. Charles East’s 4x400-meter relay wasn’t at full strength until sectionals.
Elizabeth Chmelik was out with a stress fracture, while her sister, Allison, had missed time with a thigh strain.
At Friday’s IHSA Class 3A Girls Track and Field State preliminaries, the Saints’ 4x400 was certainly clicking, beating its sectional time by nearly seven seconds with a mark of 3:51.93. The relay, which featured the Chmelik sisters, Jordan Shead and Britney Williams, had the top time in Class 3A.
The relay’s goal was to make the finals and get a personal best, and both were accomplished. They’re feeling relaxed entering the finals.
“Really good,” said Allison Chmelik, who also earned a finals spot in the triple jump, taking sixth at 37-00.75. “I’m really confident that we can do well.”
The Saints had seven entries qualify for today’s finals – the second-best total in 3A. Lincoln-Way East had 11. Other St. Charles East qualifiers were Corrin Adams, who took eighth in the 800-meter run (2:18.77), as well as Shead and Williams in the 400-meter dash.
Shead took fourth place at 55.37, pulling ahead of the competition at the finish, while Williams was sixth at 56.25.
“That’s what I try to do each time,” Shead said. “My goal each time is to finish strong.”
The Saints’ 4x800 relay of Krista Fitzmaurice, Adams, Anastasia Honea and Torree Scull placed seventh at 9:24.59, while the 4x100 relay of Kimberly Abels, Shead, Allison Chmelik and Williams finished sixth at 48.24.
If all goes well today, St. Charles East could find itself as one of three teams to finish with a trophy.
“It’s going to be close,” Shead said. “But I think if we all get our best efforts in, we’ll have a good chance.”
Other area finalists in Class 3A are Batavia’s Skylar Schoen, who was 12th in the pole vault (10-09), and Geneva’s Kathryn Adelman, who took sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:18.19.
After the pole vault, Schoen wasn’t sure if her mark would be good enough, so she had to play the waiting game. She went through the same thing at last year’s sectional.
However, once again, everything worked out in Schoen’s favor.
“It was a bad feeling,” she said. “Waiting back here again, I was kind of nervous all over again.”
It’s Adelman’s first trip to the state meet. She hopes Friday’s experience will benefit her in the finals.
“Coming here once, maybe it’ll calm my nerves for the morning,” she said. “It’s a good experience.”
Neither Hannah Schlib (35-11.25) nor Kaylee Raucci (35-01.75), both of St. Charles North, advanced in the triple jump.
In Class 2A, Kaneland produced three finalists. Junior Lauren Zick took 11th in the long jump (16-11.25), while Christina Delach was 11th in the pole vault (10 feet). The Knights’ 4x800 relay of Amanda Lesak, Aislinn Lodwig, Jessica Kucera and Sydney Strang was ninth at 9:39.47.
Burlington Central had two finalists in the pole vault with Katie Trupp and Natalie Overstreet, who both jumped 10-03. Trupp also qualified in the high jump, taking seventh at 5-02.
The Rockets’ Kayla Wolf was fifth in the 800 at 2:15.86.