Category: <span>Sports</span>

You go girl!

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This girl can jump… and spike and block…

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For Clyde-Savannah (1-1), Kelsie DiSanto slammed 7 kills. Riley Carr delivered 14 assists, 2 aces and 9 digs. Cailin Bloomer also had 9 digs.

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Danielle Taets stepped up her game on Saturday and walked away from the IHSA Class 1A State Track & Field Championships with two gold medals.

The Orion junior won both the triple jump and 100 hurdles titles at O’Brien Stadium. To add to her medal haul, she finished third in the 300 hurdles.

However, Taets wasn’t the only local competitor to home with a gold medal. Fulton junior Chloe Lindeman won the 1A shot put title.

Taets set herself up for a big day by being in the top three in all three of her events after Thursday’s qualifying. Still, she was amazed at her accomplishments.

“It’s kind of crazy to me; I never would have expected it coming in my freshman year of track,” said Taets. “It’s kind of unbelievable how much I’ve changed through freshman year. I’m hoping to keep getting better and better.”

Since being shut out in medals as a freshman, the sleek standout now has collected five medallions in the last two years. At the 2017 state meet, she was a triple jump runner-up and finished 7th in the 100 hurdles.

In this year’s 100 highs, she took the lead from the very beginning, not letting up until she crossed the finish line with a time of 14.72, just two-tenths of a second ahead of Arthur’s Kenli Nettles.

“When I pushed out, I felt really fast in the beginning,” she said. “I was just thinking to myself; I’ve gotta keep up this speed.”

As it turned out, the Class 1A triple jump competition turned into a Three Rivers Conference showdown between Taets and Fulton junior Daekota Knott. While Taets carried over her 38-foot qualifying leap from Thursday’s preliminary action, Knott improved 4.5-inches to 37-8.5, but remained in the silver medal position.

Taets made it to the podium in her third event, the 300-meter hurdles, taking third place in 46.03, with only .66 between her and the fourth place finisher.

Thanks to Taets efforts, Orion placed seventh in the team standings with 28 points – a total that included senior Alexandra Mack’s ninth-place finish (15.76) in the 100-hurdles.

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Danielle Taets has a full day ahead of her for Saturday’s IHSA girls state track and field finals, as she prepares to compete in both hurdle events and the triple jump.

The Orion junior also takes some high expectations after qualifying among the top three in all three events during Thursday’s Class 1A preliminaries at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.

In the triple jump, Taets logged the top qualifying mark with a best of 38-feet even. In the 300-meter low hurdles her 46.00 clocking was third-best.

But Thursday’s highlight for Taets was in the 100-meter high hurdles, where she ran her fastest race of the last three years and broke a personal record with her time of 15.12. That was the second-fastest time, missing the top seed by .04.

“That’s my best race ever,” she said after the event. “I’m really happy about that. Hopefully, it gives me a good lane assignment for finals.”

Though Taets was nervous, she said taking the time to warm up before competing and focusing on her own lane helped.

“I saw the seedings. I knew it was going to be anyone’s race,” said Taets, who won the second heat by a half-second.

The race was “ridiculously close,” she said, but concentrated on doing her best.

Between now and Saturday, her plan is to try and relax, while doing “a bunch of drills” to try to improve her skills even more.

“I’m happy about this, especially since I PR’d at state, so it just feels really good,” said Taets, whose 100 hurdles time trailed only sophomore Kenli Nettles, of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond.

In the triple jump, Taets is ahead of Three Rivers Conference foe Daekota Knott. The Fulton junior recorded the second-best qualifying leap of 37-4.

During last year’s state meet, Taets performed well, grabbing a second place in triple jump and seventh in the 100-meter high hurdles. Now, she says the pressure is on to keep up the pace.

Taets’ teammate, Orion senior Alexandra Mack, will join her in competing at Saturday’s 100-meter high hurdles final, grabbing the final qualifying spot in the nine-runner finals with her qualifying time of 16.07. She was the only runner over 16-seconds to make finals.

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