O’Neal, Taets lead locals at 1A state track…

Both personal and school records were broken Thursday as local track and field athletes competed for spots in the final competition of the Class 1A IHSA state series.

Quad-Cities area schools had nine individual and one relay qualify for Saturday’s 1A finals back at O’Brien Stadium.

Topping that list were Alleman High School sophomore Kiah O’Neal in the high jump and Orion sophomore Danielle Taets in the triple jump.

 Coming in with the best sectional leap of 5-feet, 9-inches, O’Neal was one of 17 to clear the automatic advancing height of 5-1. She scratched out of both her open sprint prelims.

Taets came out of Thursday’s prelims with the best triple jump mark of 37-00.75. She also qualified for the finals in the 100-meter hurdles (15.46), where she is seeded fifth.

Because it is her second time at state, Taets said she felt more prepared.

“This makes me excited for the next two years,” Taets said. “Maybe I could do even better than I’m doing now.”

Fulton shot putter Chloe Lindeman uncorked a heave of 43-1.5 to sit second heading into Saturday’s finals.

Riverdale junior Darcie Pilon, running in the 400, said she ran the hardest she has all year at the state meet. That led to her running the fourth-fastest qualifying time of :59.43 and breaking the school record that had been :59.6.

“I’ve been lifting a lot more, working harder in practice,” said Pilon of finally getting the mark.

Fulton’s Lindeman, a sophomore, and senior teammate Emma Jacobs (38-feet, 3/4-inch, eighth best) both qualified for shot put finals, competing in the same flight. Lindeman attributes some of her success to this “healthy competition.”

“I have someone to support me, and she has someone to support her,” Lindeman said. “We know if we have each other we can move mountains. (We’re) very strong forces with each other; we always push each other to do better.”

Though Lindeman will miss her teammate next year, she looks forward to helping Jacobs’ incoming younger sister in the same way Jacobs helped her.

Being a senior, Jacobs said she put aside her nerves to throw as well as she could as she also qualified for the discus finals with the seventh-best qualifying throw of 120-10.

“I love that I got to even come here and have this chance to have an extra meet this year,” said Jacobs after her PR toss. “This whole season, I just wanted to hit 38 again.”

After placing second in state last year, Lindeman said she is more confident but also more nervous.

 “I feel like I have more pressure now because I know I can succeed, so I’m putting more pressure on myself,” Lindeman said.

Riverdale also had two throwers advance. Hope Jackson (127-feet even) is fourth in the discus and Carrie Ferguson is sixth in the shot (38-10).

Mercer County’s 4×100-meter relay — Brooke Ziegenhorn (Who missed qualifying in the pole vault and triple jump), Catelyn Hofmann, Kari Coulter and Kenzie Baker — was the only local relay entrant to qualify for Saturday’s finals. It had the fourth-fastest Thursday time of 50.50. Hofmann, a junior who did not advance in the open 200, said the team will work on improving its handoffs and getting “everything on point” so they can do their best.

She admits the team had some tough times at the beginning of the season after losing two of their runners and trying to fill their spots.

“It took us quite a few weeks to actually get people who could work together, but we finally got it,” Hofmann said.

Senior Kenzie Baker, who missed advancing in the 100 and 200, said she was more nervous this year as people had high hopes for her.

“I didn’t want to let them down,” she said. “I’m very excited actually and yeah, a little bit nervous (for finals) but I know if we get the baton and we’re on the track, we’ll medal and that’s pretty cool.”

May 18, 2017

One Comment

  1. Mim and Clark said:

    Congratulations… wow.. so impressive.

    May 28, 2017

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