by Mike Slodki
With the temperature finally rising in the area, Kaneland High School girls track seems to be taking that as a cue.
The first-place honors are becoming more frequent, and the Lady Knights have a bit of momentum entering the prestigious Kane County Meet on Friday in Batavia.
Last Wednesday had the Lady Knights edged by just one point in a 72-71 loss to Glenbard South.
Friday saw Kaneland compete at its usual late-April stop, the Dixon Relays.
Against the host Raiders, Lauren Whittakerâ€™s discus effort of 97 feet was good enough for first.
Teammate Kelli Patterson enjoyed three firsts on the day. The senior hit a 4-8 in the high jump, a 15-3 in the long jump and a 33-3.5 in the triple jump.
Jordan Pinkston was tops in the pole vault thanks to a 9-6 effort.
The Lady Knights also took first in the 4×800 relay thanks to a 11 minute, 5.7 seconds effort from their foursome.
s 15.4 second 100m high hurdles time was good for first place, as was her 48.7 second 300m intermediate hurdles time.
Kelly Evers, who ran a 5:53 1600m run, won the event.
In the 10-team Dixon Relays, the Lady Knights were fourth-best on the evening with 64 points. Machesney Parkâ€™s Harlem High School was first with 86, followed by Western Sun Conference mainstay Rochelle (73) and Moline (65).
First places by Kaneland were achieved in the pole vault, thanks to the efforts of Pinkston, Sara Wallace and Katie Bergman, and the varsity 3200m relay.
The vaulters hit a combined 27 feet, while the long-distance foursome of Lisa Roberson, Andie Strang, Laney Deligianis and Evers finished in 10:11.
Kanelandâ€™s frosh/soph 400m relay took third in 54.04 seconds, and the F/S 3200m relay finished in 10:49, good for second.
â€œAs of today this was the first time I didnâ€™t hit 9 feet on my first attempt this season, so that kind of upset me, but I was hoping for a top finish because some of the girls here went to indoor State,â€ Pinkson said.
KHS coach Pat Sheetz saw the 3200m first-place finish in the works already, which happened as Strang pulled away in the anchor leg.
â€œThey were posting great times, their best of the year, and it was a matter of continuing to work,â€ Sheetz said. â€œTheyâ€™ll get better and better as we head toward Sectionals.â€
â€œI just go out and try to get a lead for the rest of my team; if need be they have the lead to fall back on,â€ Roberson said.
Strang felt no added pressure being the last hope for the Lady Knights in the event.
â€œI donâ€™t think I had any more pressure than any of the other girls; we ran what we needed to,â€ Strang said. â€œI just did what I had to do to catch up to the Geneseo girl.â€
In the mile team race, Kaneland finished second with a cumulative time of 20 minutes.
In the unique throwers relay, Kanelandâ€™s 58.66 time was enough for second place.
After the Kane County meet this Friday, the girls travel along with Yorkville to Sycamore on Tuesday, May 5.