ST. JOSEPH — Salt Fork junior Brynlee Keeran didn’t step foot once on the track at St. Joseph-Ogden High School on Wednesday, but she did plenty of running and she will be advancing to the IHSA Class 1A girls state track and field meet next week in four events.
Keeran pulled off a rare combination in the IHSA Class 1A sectional meet, she qualified for state in four field events — high jump, long jump, pole vault and triple jump.
“Making it in all four events was my hope. I felt pretty confident that I could make it in the pole vault and the triple jump, but the long jump and the high jump were kind of questionable,’’ said Keeran who actually won the sectional title in the pole vault with a height of 3.34 meters and she also won the triple jump with a leap of 10.38 meters.
“I’ve been pretty consistent at 4-10 this year, but I hadn’t jump 5-foot in a couple of years,’’ she said about the high jump as the state qualifying mark is 5-foot or 1.52 meters.
So, when she cleared 1.52 meters on her second attempt, Keeran sprinted to give her mom a big hug.
“I wasn’t expecting that,’’ she said, noting that she also didn’t expect to make state qualifying with a jump of 5.01 meters to take third in the long jump. “Thankfully, I just ripped it out tonight.’’
So, what was the toughest part about qualifying for state in four field events?
“The fact that all four events are basically running at the same time, especially on a field like this,’’ she said pointing to the long jump and triple jump pits on one end of the field, while the high jump and pole vault areas are on the opposite end, more than 120 yards of distance in between.
And this is how she did it.
“I finished my warmups at pole vault and then I ran down to the long jump,’’ she said. “I did two jumps there and I ran back to the high jump. After a jump there, I went back to the long jump and finished that event. Then it was back to high jump. Once I finished that event, it was time for me to do the pole vault. When I got done there, I had just enough time to get back down to the other end of the field for the triple jump.’’
Now that she is qualified for state in all four, how is that going to work next week?
“I think I’m going to really busy,’’ she said, noting that her only trip to state as a freshman was in the triple jump only.
Keeran will not be the only Salt Fork athlete with a busy day at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
Senior Gracie Jessup has also qualified for state in four events for the Storm. Jessup, who will be returning in the 100 and 300 hurdle races, has added the 200 and the long jump to her schedule in her final season.
“I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to do, from making it in two events as a sophomore to four this year as a senior,’’ said Jessup. “I’m ending my track career with a bang.
“It also shows all the hard work that I put in last year when we didn’t get the opportunity to run.’’
Jessup said that she has made big improvements in both the 200 and long jump events this year.
“I think I have improved by nearly a second in the my best 200 time,’’ she said. “And in the long jump, my personal best this year is nearly a foot better than it was when I was a sophomore and just missed reaching state.’’
The two hurdle races were just typical runs for Jessup, who admitted they were not her best of the year.
“All that matters is that one race at state in those two,’’ she said. “My races felt clean and smooth, but my starts were not as strong as I’m going to need them to be in either race. I also feel like I was a little too high over the final hurdles. Those are easy fixes before state.’’
Keeran and Jessup were a big part of Salt Fork’s run for a sectional title, but the Storm, with just seven girls, couldn’t get past the 29-member St. Joseph-Ogden team, that scored points in 17 of the 18 events and the Spartans swept all four relay races.
St. Joseph-Ogden won the sectional title with 139 points, while Salt Fork’s seven had 133.
“This doesn’t change that our main goal is still to win state,’’ said Jessup, while members of the Storm team noted that Salt Fork finished 2nd in the 2016 sectional meet but then won the state title the following week. “We got five of our seven girls to state.’’
Jessup also noted that Katelyn Lang, who was a contributor both on the track and in the field events, missed Wednesday’s meet with an injury.
Joining Jessup and Keeran at state for Salt Fork will be Olivia Birge in the shot put and discus events, Shelby McGee in the 100 hurdles and triple jump events and Macie Russell in the 800.
Westville, which finished sixth in the team standings, will be represented at state next week by Jaitlyn White in the 100 hurdles.
Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin, which finished seventh, was able to get its 800 meter relay team of Aubrey Peters, Gabriela Moreman, Vivi Ruffo and Amber-Christine Reed qualified.
Bre Crose advanced for Hoopeston Area in the 100 meters, while freshman Haley Carlton qualified in the pole vault for Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman.
PREP GIRLS TRACK
At St. Joseph-Ogden High School
IHSA Class 1A Sectional Meet
Team scores — 1. St. Joseph-Ogden 139, 2. Salt Fork 133, 3. Urbana University High 89, 4. (tie) Champaign Judah Christian and Watseka 27, 6. Westville 22, 7. Hoopeston Area 21, 8. Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 18, 9. (tie) Clifton Central and Iroquois West 16, 11. Milford/Cissna Park 15, 12. (tie) Oakwood and Champaign Academy 12, 14. (tie) Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman and Schlarman Academy 4. 16. Armstrong-Potomac 2.
Top two advance to state unless otherwise noted
100 meters — 1. Atleigh Hamilton (St. Joseph-Ogden) 12.97, 2. Bre Crose (Hoopeston Area) 13.06, 3. Ella Greer (Urbana University) 13.06, 4. Carlie Thompson (Salt Fork) 13.67, 5. Haleigh Maddock (St. Joseph-Ogden) 14.01, 6. Vivien Griffin (Iroquois West) 14.11.
200 — 1. Atleigh Hamilton (St. Joseph-Ogden) 26.50, 2. Gracie Jessup (Salt Fork) 26.67, 3. Bre Crose (Hoopeston Area) 27.60, 4. Karissa Auxler (Milford/CP) 28.52, 5. Caylee Losch (Urbana University) 29.60, 6. Nikita Taylor (Oakwood) 29.70.
400 — 1. Atleigh Hamilton (St. Joseph-Ogden) 58.83, 2. Zoey Muller-Hinnant (Urbana University) 1:02.32, 3. Savannah Tyler (Westville) 1:03.87, 4. Jasmin Cullum (Milford/CP) 1:05.30, 5. Karissa Auxler (Milford/CP) 1:06.00, 6. Carlie Thompson (Salt Fork) 1:06.40.
800 — 1. Macie Russell (Salt Fork) 2:30.16, 2. Shayla Brown (Champaign Academy) 2:31.63, 3. Samantha Hartke (Iroquois West) 2:31.64, 4. Eleanor Laufenberg (Champaign Academy) 2:33.70, 5. Danbi Choi (Urbana University) 2:40.75, 6. Addie Allen (St. Joseph-Ogden) 2:42.02.
1,600 — 1. Kate Ahmari (Urbana University) 5:25.92, 2. Ava Knapp (St. Joseph-Ogden) 5:35.82, 3. Allie Morris (Oakwood) 5:37.86, 4. Macie Russell (Salt Fork) 5:42.78, 5. Aleigha Garrison (Judah Christian) 5:44.78, 6. Samantha Hartke (Iroquois West) 5:55.58.
3,200 — 1. Kate Ahmari (Urbana University) 11:36.59, 2. Aleigha Garrison (Judah Christian) 12:00.95, 3. Kara Mathias (Urbana University) 12:32.55, 4. Taryn Sexton (St. Joseph-Ogden) 13:33.36, 5. Maya Chahine (St. Joseph-Ogden) 14:50.37, 6. Allison Pickett (Hoopeston Area) 15:03.55.
100 hurdles — 1. Gracie Jessup (Salt Fork) 15.23, 2. Jaitlyn White (Westville) 16.41, 3. Shelby McGee (Salt Fork) 16.43, 4. Cadi Hu (Urbana University) 16.61, 5. Bre Crose (Hoopeston Area) 18.00, 6. Anna Eisenmenger (Judah Christian) 18.21. Jessup, White and McGee advance to state.
300 hurdles — 1. Gracie Jessup (Salt Fork) 47.68, 2. Cadi Hu (Urbana University) 48.98, 3. Shelby McGee (Salt Fork) 51.70, 4. Kaytlyn Baker (St. Joseph-Ogden) 52.52, 5. Stefania Dzhaman (Urbana University) 52.72, 6. Aubrey Peters (Bismarck-Henning/Rosssville-Alvin) 54.89.
400 relay — 1. St. Joseph-Ogden 52.13, 2. Urbana University 52.32, 3. Westville (Savannah Tyler, Jamyn Meeker, Olivia Hutchins, Jaitlyn White) 52.55, 4. Watseka 54.35, 5. Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 54.79, 6. Milford/Cissna Park 56.09.
800 relay — 1. St. Joseph-Ogden 1:51.47, 2. Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin (Aubrey Peters, Gabby Moreman, Vivi Ruffo, Amber-Christine Reed) 1:52.69, 3. Urbana University 1:55.59, 4. Watseka 2:00.10, 5. Iroquois West 2:02.85, 6. Oakwood 2:05.77.
1,600 relay — 1. St. Joseph-Ogden 4:15.17, 2. Urbana University 4:16.79, 3. Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin (Amber-Christine Reed, Alexa Ball, Aubrey Peters, Gabby Moreman) 4:25.93, 4. Clifton Central 4:51.57, 5. Westville 4:57.03, 6. Watseka 4:59.27.
3,200 relay — 1. St. Joseph-Ogden 10:27.70, 2. Urbana University 10:50.99, 3. Clifton Central 11:28.31, 4. Milford/Cissna Park 12:15.77, 5. Iroquois West 12:21.55, 6. Watseka 12:23.20.
Shot put — 1. Olivia Birge (Salt Fork) 11.14 meters, 2. Kinzie Parsons (Watseka) 11.02, 3. Abi Tapuaiga (Judah Christian) 9.93, 4. Samantha Cade (Hoopeston Area) 9.10, 5. Ashley Eldridge (St. Joseph-Ogden) 9.08, 6. Audrey Taylor (Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin) 8.83.
Discus — 1. Olivia Birge (Salt Fork) 37.95 meters, 2. Kinzie Parson (Watseka) 36.92, 3. Abi Tapuaiga (Judah Christian) 32.80, 4. Sarah Gigi (Clifton Central) 30.49, 5. Ashley Eldridge (St. Joseph-Ogden) 29.68, 6. Hazelyn Hunter (Salt Fork) 28.52.
High jump — 1. Abby Behrens (St. Joseph-Ogden) 1.52 meters, 2. Brynlee Keeran (Salt Fork) 1.52, 3. Macy Reed-Thompson (St. Joseph-Ogden) 1.47, 4. Riley Klump (Iroquois West) 1.42, 5. Mattie Kennel (Armstrong-Potomac) 1.42, 6. Carlie Thompson (Salt Fork) 1.37.
Pole vault — 1. Brynlee Keeran (Salt Fork) 3.34 meters, 2. Grace Schmitz (St. Joseph-Ogden) 3.19, 3. Payton Carter (St. Joseph-Ogden) 2.74, 4. Haley Carlton (Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman) 2.74, 5. Abby Weiss (Judah Christian) 1.99. Keeran, Schmitz, Carter and Carlton advance to state.
Long jump — 1. Gracie Jessup (Salt Fork) 5.29 meters, 2. Atleigh Hamilton (St. Joseph-Ogden) 5.25, 3. Brynlee Keeran (Salt Fork) 5.01, 4. Nikita Taylor (Oakwood) 4.62, 5. Vivien Griffin (Iroquois West) 4.39, 6. Raegan Gooding (Watseka) 4.27. Jessup, Hamilton and Keeran advance to state.
Triple jump — 1. Brynlee Keeran (Salt Fork) 10.38 meters, 2. Shelby McGee (Salt Fork) 10.10, 3. Raegan Crippen (St. Joseph-Ogden) 9.89, 4. Mia Martinez (Schlarman Academy) 9.88, 5. Anna Eisenmenger (Judah Christian) 9.17, 6. Charlotte Ebel (Urbana University) 8.91.