Lyons Township High School senior Emma Kwak had concerns when the Lions’ 400-meter relay finished third at the IHSA Class 3A Shepard Sectional and didn’t qualify for the state meet.
After going to Eastern Illinois University with that relay the past two years, Kwak found a different path.
The 800 relay took first place in 1:47.76 to be among the Lions’ 10 state qualifiers with top-two finishes. Kwak advanced with seniors Claire McVady and Ella Ormsby and sophomore Jordyn Hoffenberg.
“I was iffy wondering if I was going to make it, but I was really hoping because it’s my last year,” said Kwak, who also qualified for state in the 100 and 200 as a sophomore.
Seniors Catherine Sommerfeld (3,200 in 10:56.17), Becky Phillips (400 in 59.18) and Charlotte Lange (1,600 in 5:07.89); junior Madison Findley (800 in 2:22.56); the 3,200 relay (juniors Shannon Cranny, Kristina Findley and Anna Bylsma and Lange in 9:37.43); and the 1,600 relay (Sommerfeld, Kristina Findley, senior McVady, Phillips in 4:05.03) also were sectional champions.
Junior Julianne Melby (3,200 in 12:03.38), sophomore Leigh Farrell (2.97 meters/9 feet, 9 inches in pole vault) and Cranny (1,600 in 5:25.68) advanced with second-place finishes.
This is the first state trip for Lange, who has continued her breakthrough season from cross country.
“It’s been really fun, feeling like I’m actually contributing,” Lange said. “[I hope to] definitely contribute in the 4-by-800. That’s our big focus. As far as the [1,600], to break 5:10 is a time goal but just compete well, focus on closing.”
LTHS boys track and field
The Lions and York tied for fourth (68 points) at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Meet at Glenbard West on May 13.
Senior Will DiSessa won the 100 meters (11.20) and triple jump (13.67m/44-10.25). Senior Vincent Barcelona won the 300 intermediate hurdles (39.92) and was second in the 110 high hurdles (15.37).
The 3,200 relay (Nick Strayer, Michael Ferrell, John Meyers, Matt McGovern in 7:58.81) and 400 relay (Adrian Llenares, Dan Montesano, DiSessa, Rempfer in 43.20) were third.
Jack Rempfer (50.05) and McGovern (50.65) finished 3-4 in the 400 meters and Ben Wuggazer was fifth in the 3,200 (9:56.42).
The Lions compete at the IHSA Class 3A Proviso East Sectional on May 17.