Becky Phillips

Lyons Township High School senior Becky Phillips already is used to going to the IHSA Class 3A girls track and field state meet with sprint relays.

This season, she’s even helping the 3,200-meter relay continue its usual success.

“Normally I’m in three events, so it’s not that much of a switch,” Phillips said. 

Phillips was part of the Lions’ winning foursome at the Downers Grove South Invitational April 8 with senior Catherine Sommerfeld and juniors Kristina Findley and Madison Findley, whose 9:31.06 is the state’s No. 1 time so far this outdoor season. 

The Lions were an all-state eighth in 2022 (9:32.05) with four non-seniors, including Kristina Findley.

Phillips has been to the past two state meets with the 1,600 and 400 relays. The also state-qualifying swimmer will run track at St. Louis University.

“I’m more of an endurance person not a ‘sprint’ sprinter, so I like the 4-by-800,” Phillips said. “Obviously it’s an event change from years before, but I’m open to it.” 

Claire McVady

Claire McVady, another key senior, made her state debut in 2022 with the 1,600 relay. At Downers South, McVady joined Phillips, Madison Findley and Kristina Findley (4:08.07) on the second-place 1,600 relay, which has a 4:05.00 state cut. The same lineup improved to 4:05.60 on April 14 to finish second at Downers Grove North’s Bruce Ritter Invitational.

“I hope to I help the team with the 4-by-400 and hopefully we can make it to state like last year,” said McVady, who is new to the regular 800 relay lineup. “We’re getting better [in that relay]. We lost a lot of the people from last year so we’re trying to find some people to fill the spots.”

The Lions finished third at Downers South (82 points).

Emma Kwak (100 in 13.12), Alannah Justinich (1.50m/4 feet, 11 inches in high jump) and the 800 relay of Kwak, McVady, Kristina Findley and Phillips (1:48.59) also were second. 

Sommerfeld (800 in 2:24.00), Ella Ormsby (10.08 meters/33-1 in triple jump) and Sydney Bonner (300 low hurdles in 50.91) were third. Fourth-place senior Charlotte Lange (5:10.13 in 1,600) was under that 5:11.78 state cut.

At Downers North, the Lions were eighth (38 points). 

Phillips ran 59.39 for second in the 400, just .03 shy of the state cut. Sommerfeld was fourth (5:03.66) in a competitive 1,600 in which the top two finishers broke 5:00. Sommerfeld also led off the Lions’ fifth-place 3,200 relay with a 2:19 split. The relay, which also included Leigh Farrell, Kristina Findley and Madison Findley ran a 9:49.16.