Lady Knights qualify for state in seven events
KANELAND—Friday’s Class 2A Burlington Central Sectional had many good teams, but only one collective winner.
That would end up being the local outfit from Maple Park.
With 73 points as a team, Kaneland girls track edged Hampshire to become 2013 sectional champs.
The hosts, at 69 points, took third, followed by Sterling with 57 and Sycamore with 52.
Kaneland ended up with seven events in the state-qualifying range, with the end-of-season meet at Eastern Illinois University this weekend.
“They always rise to the occasion, just like they did at conference,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “We never try to win a sectional; we try to qualify kids, but I think if they did what they were supposed to do, they would have a chance. Hampshire is a very good team.”
Junior Christina Delach got the party going with a third place, 9-9 effort in the pole vault.
Delach said she is happy to continue the long line of successful State-bound vaulters.
“I’ve been with a lot of girls that have qualified before, so it’s just kind of cool to be down there. I’ve been there to watch, now I can jump,” Delach said.
Junior Lauren Zick took second in the long jump, thanks to a 16-6.5.
Senior Ashley Castellanos was crowned sectional champion in her triple jump group by covering 34-08, which she did on her second, as well as her final jump.
Going for multiple events, Castellanos knew the value of practice and form.
“Every day I practiced, it made me a little bit better,” Castellanos said. “In something like the 4x400m, it’s how I can push through and how I can hold on to running that whole lap.”
In relay action, the KHS 4x800m foursome of senior Amanda Lesak, sophomore Aislinn Lodwig, junior Sydney Strang and sophomore Jessica Kucera captured the event with a time of 9:51.73, 2.23 seconds ahead of the Dixon challenge.
Freshman sensation Brianna Bower, with an 11:37.52 time in the 3200-meter run, secured a first-place honor.
Sophomore 1600m run rep Victoria Clinton continued along on her stellar 2012-13 athletic season by qualifying with a second-place, 5:20.92.
Finally, the 4x400m relay group of Castellanos, freshman Allie Heinzer, Lesak and Zick finished in second with a 4:07.45.
“I’ve definitely been working on race plans,” Zick said. “Basically getting ready for the competition and being ready for whatever comes our way.”
Lesak, a 4×4 veteran since the beginning of the campaign, thinks this week’s prep is simple.
“The most important thing we have to remember is to stay relaxed,” Lesak said. “Sometimes if you’re really nervous or tense up or thinking too much, that’s when the mistakes happen.”
The State meet occurs Thursday, May 16, through Saturday, May 18.