Lady?Leafs nab first NIB 12 title

Amy Carton
Conference Champs are front row, from left: Halle Olson, Sarah Noble, Audrey Anderson, Cortney Backes, Kristina Medema, Maggie Schlindwein, Paige Gatter, Hannah?Lohman, Britta Conrad, Amber Fobert, Kirsten?Backes, Jade Collins, Kaci Storm, Ali Rahn and Darrian Hartman. Middle row, from left: Anna Madigan, Seana Talbert, Emily Diehl, Kelcey Adams, Emily Ford, coach Natalie Bodeker, coach Mel Snook, Danielle Strouss, head coach Phil Paulson, Morgan Kelly, Jamie DeFauw, Amanda Egan, Hilary Lohman, Jessica Stoneking, Andrea Kastorff, Rayne Bodeen, Courtney Cutlip, Jacque DeFauw, Katie Eastburn, Sarah Dellett, Erin Peterson, Noelle Zumbrock, Jeni Bergles, Hannah Waller, coach Joni Nelson and coach Avery Mickley.

The Lady Leaf girls’ track and field team are the first Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Champions.

“It was really nice and great for our kids,” said head coach Phil Paulson. “I didn’t know it was going to be a little further spread out in points and to come up with that finish was amazing.”

Geneseo claimed the title despite a night of distractions and a change of venue.

“The lights went out at Kaneland,” said Paulson. “We were given a few options: 1.) See if the lights could be fixed, but that didn’t work. 2.) Use buses to surround the field to light the track. 3.) Change the venue, which is what we did and moved the meet to Sycamore with six events left.

“The kids were really surprisingly upbeat and were still focused after the interruption. I told the girls we were in the drivers’ seat so lets hang on and try to win this thing.”

The Lady Leafs edged out Sterling and Kaneland for the top spot with 131 team points.

Kaci Storm and Amanda Egan were Geneseo’s lone conference champions and multiple champs as both girls nabbed two titles apiece.

Storm won the 100-meter hurdles, taking the tape in 15.52 seconds and the 300-m hurdles in 45.90.

“Kaci ran really well in the 100 and exceptionally well in the 300 and won two different events at two different venues,” said Paulson. “She is ready to compete at the state level.”

Egan captured the shot put title with a throw of 34-8 1/4 and the discus championship with a mark of 119-1.

“Amanda really competed on Friday,” said Paulson. “She came from behind and won it on her last throw in the discus. She was really happy about that.”

Emily Ford placed second in the 800-m run and 1600-m run with times of 2:19.90 in the 800 and in the 1600 in 5:20.62.

“Emily had two PRs, but didn’t place first, but the field was very competitive,” said Paulson. “She challenged some of the top runners in the state.”

Geneseo’s 4x400-m relay of Katie Eastburn, Ford, Halle Olson and Storm came in second with a time of 4:12.17.

Jamie DeFauw cleared the bar in the high jump at 4-10 for second place, while Darrian?Hartman took second in the pole vault with a final height of 9-6.

Paige Gatter took home third in the 3200-m run with a time of 11:48.78, followed by the 4x100-m relay of Eastburn, Hannah Waller, Jade Collins and Rayne Bodeen in third at 51.59.

The 4x200-m relay of Collins, Bodeen, Waller and Storm came in third in 1:49.60.

In fourth place were Eastburn, 400-m dash, 1:00.90; Waller, 300-m hurdles, 50.10; and Andrea Kastorff, triple jump, 34-0.

Rounding out the top 5 finishes were Bodeen, 100-m dash, 13.30 and Waller, 100-m hurdles, 16.94.

“Overall, the girls did exceptionally well,” said Paulson. “I was a little concerned about the focus compared to last year because we were missing some upperclassmen and we have some young kids, but the girls were focused and brought it. They did a good job.”

Additional Track Results

400-m dash- Morgan Kelly, 12th, 1:07.10. 1600-m run- Maggie Schlindwein, 11th, 5:45.46. 3200-m run- Sarah?Dellett, 12:43.51. 4x800-m relay- Maggie Schlindwein, Kelcey Adams, Kelly and Fobert, 10:37.08.

Additional Field Results

High jump- Jacque DeFauw, 11th, 4-6. Pole vault- Jessica Stoneking, eighth, 8-0. Long jump- Eastburn, 16-2 1/2. Triple jump- Hartman, eighth, 33-3. Shot put- Audrey?Anderson, 13th, 27-8. Discus- Anderson, 14th, 79-3.

The results for the junior varsity conference meet are as follows: Kristina Medema, 100-m dash, fourth, 14.15 and 200-m dash, fifth, 30.20; Hannah Lohman, 400-m dash, third, 1:09.90; Courtney Cutlip, 400-m dash, eighth, 1:13.10; Adams, 800-m run, seventh, 2:45.44; and Britta Conrad, 800-m run, ninth, 2:49.53.

Also, Gatter, 1600-m run, first, 5:47.01; Dellett, 1600-m run, second, 5:52.69; Conrad, 3200-m run, fifth, 14:28.98; Hilary Lohman, 3200-m run, seventh, 14:59.13; Cortney Backes, 100-m hurdles, fourth, 19.83 and 300-m hurdles, third, 57.30 and Emily Diehl, 300-m hurdles, 10th, 59.90.

The 4x100-m relay of Kirsten?Backes, Jamie DeFauw, Jacque DeFauw and Medema, second, 55.37; the 4x200-m relay of Olson, Jacque DeFauw, Kirsten Backes and Medema, first, 1:58.50; the 4x400-m relay of Schlindwein, Adams, Fobert and Kelly, first, 4:39.40; and the 4x800-m relay of Seana Talbert, Cutlip, Jeni Bergles and Hannah Lohman, fifth, 11:54.75.

Placing in field events were Stoneking, high jump, first, 4-6, shot put, eighth, 25-2 and discus, fourth, 79-04; Anna Madigan, pole vault, seventh, 7-0; Allishia Rahn, pole vault, 12th, 5-6; Cortney Backes, long jump, eighth, 12-11 1/2 and triple jump, fourth, 28-5 1/2; Hannah Lohman, long jump, 13th, 11-10 1/2 and triple jump, second, 30-9 1/2; and Noelle Zumbrock, shot put, 19th, 21-4 and discus, 11th, 66-7.

The Lady Leafs will be in action today in the IHSA Rock?Island Sectional at 3:30 p.m. with running prelims beginning at 4 p.m.

“The girls will be tested Friday and we will have to push for the state qualifying standards,” said Paulson. “I hope we match what we did last year in terms of the number of girls that advance.”