GENEVA – If the Upstate Eight Conference girls track and field Championships are any indication on how the Tri-Cities teams are going to do starting next week at IHSA sectionals, there will be some very happy teams after the meet.
St. Charles East took the UEC River Division title by nearly 40 points over second-place Geneva with 163 points, and also won the overall UEC title when the meet was scored together, 142 to 99.5, over Neuqua Valley.
East started the meet with a bang, taking the 4x800-meter relay, beating second-place Geneva by 11 seconds.
The Saints four runners – Anastasia Honea, Corrin Adams, Lauren Towne, Toree Scull – ran a 9:40.52 to finish first.
Scull carried over her strong race in the 4X800 relay by winning the 1600 in 5:10.54. Scull paced herself and raced behind Streamwood’s Gabby Juarez for most of the race before finishing with a kick to dust off Juarez by three seconds.
“The mile and the 4x8 are my focus for sectionals. I’m a distance runner and I like the mile because it has distance but there is also speed in it,” Scull said. “I’m trying to get under 5-flat for state but the weather conditions weren’t that great for that.”
While the distance runners may not have liked the unseasonably warm temperatures, competing sprinters welcomed the warmth with open arms.
Diminutive Batavia freshman Hannah Schlaman had a great day for the Bulldogs, winning the 100-meter dash with a 12.84.
“I was really fast in the 100 and it definitely feels good to win it at the conference meet,” Schlaman said. “It was not a PR, that’s a 12.1, but it was still overall a good day.”
Schlaman was part of Batavia’s 4x100 relay team that came in second to East, that featured Notre Dame-bound sprinter Jordan Shead. Shead helped East win the 4x100 with a 49.74 before coming from behind to beat Schlaman in a very competitive 200-meter dash.
“That’s just how my legs work, it takes them a while to get going,” Shead said of her win in the 200. “They’re just so long it takes them a while to get up to speed. So on the 200 meters it takes me a little while longer to get up to speed.”
Shead also won in the 400 meter dash with a 57.22 in what was a great day for East.
The Saints won by nearly four seconds in the meet's final event, taking the 4x400 relay in 4:01.99.
“it was a dress rehearsal for next week. We talked about options and things and ways we wanted to put them,” East coach Tim Wolf said. “We’ve been running kids all over the place all year long and have started to put them together for how we want them at sectionals next week. It was an awesome meet; these guys all did a great job.”
Geneva seemed to be on East’s heels in most events, placing second in the 4x800 and 4x400 relays. Kathryn Adelman ran a strong 800, taking home the title with a 2:20.55.
Veronica Ramming won the discuss by a wide margin with a 102-0 seed mark.
“I think we’re right where we need to be. Obviously we have a bigger meet next week with sectionals,” Geneva coach Peter Raak said. “Ramming won with a new PR tonight. Kathryn obviously in the 800 did well and we had a ton of all-conference girls so it was a good night for us.”
Geneva finished second in the River division with 128 points while Batavia was third with 122.