Sharing the experience of last spring’s IHSA state girls’ track and field meet was an enjoyable time for cousins Alexandra Mack and Danielle Taets.
So much so that the Orion Charger standouts decided to do it again this season, only in as many events as possible.
Having competed together with the Chargers’ 4×800 relay last May when Mack was a sophomore and Taets a freshman, the duo will line up in three events beginning today in Charleston.
“Honestly, it’s amazing to be with Danielle,” said Mack, who finished third in the triple jump and 300 hurdles and second in the 100 hurdles at sectionals. “She’s my cousin, and my best friend. It’s really exciting for us to do this, and to push each other in every event we’re in.”
Said Taets, “We push each other, and we support each other. I’m excited to go down with her again this year, and I hope we both do really well.”
The accomplishments of the cousins continue a family line, as both of their mothers achieved state track success in the 1980s and early ’90s during their own prep careers at Orion.
Mack’s mother, the former Beth Lage, was the 1986 Class A state runner-up in the 100 high hurdles, then returned in ’87 and placed third. Beth’s younger sister Mary (Taets’ mom), took seventh in the same event in 1992, and held the school record in the 100 hurdles until her daughter broke it earlier this season.
“That makes it pretty special,” said Taets. “It was pretty cool that both of our moms went to state, and now we’re doing it together.”
“We’ve talked about advancing to the finals,” added Mack, “and hopefully place, so we can have our pictures by our moms at school. It would be cool if we could both compete like they did.”
“It was kind of surprising, but it was cool to do that,” she said. “Doing that with the relay, it was really fun.”
It also planted the seeds for this season’s shared accomplishments.
“This year, we realized we were better in our separate events, and that we could make it further in those,” Mack said. “We knew doing that would help us more in the long run.”
May 17, 2017