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Girls Track and Field: Lincoln-Way East storms to sectional crown

Lincoln-Way East's Aaliyah Brown left younger sister Asicongratulate one another after finishing 1-2 100m dash. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Lincoln-Way East's Aaliyah Brown, left, and younger sister Asia congratulate one another after finishing 1-2 in the 100m dash. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 11, 2013 6:34AM



Lincoln-Way East won 11 events at the SouthWest Suburban Blue meet, a plan for can’t-miss success Thursday at the soggy Class 3A Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional.

“If we do that again out here, I’m going to bring all those downstate and we can make it to the finals in all of those,’’ East’s Aaliyah Brown said shortly after she anchored the 400-meter relay to a sectional title.

Brown went on to win the 100-meter dash (11.83 seconds), the 200 (24.57) and in between led off the first-place 800 relay (1 minute, 42.51 seconds) as East rolled to the sectional championship with 153½ points ahead of runner-up Danville (75½) and third-place H-F (75).

East won nine events, including all four relays, and took second in six events that also qualified to the state finals next week at Eastern Illinois.

“We got everything accomplished plus more,’’ East coach Caroline Gerritsen said. “We qualified everyone we wanted. We also got a nice surprise with Courtney Grever getting second in shot put to qualify her senior year after working very, very hard.’’

Besides Brown in the 100 and 200, East’s sectional champions were the 3,200 relay (9 minutes, 55.73 seconds), 400 relay (46.62), 800 relay, 1,600 relay (3:57.52), Julia Junkroski in the pole vault (11 feet), Alyssa Vogt in the 800 (2:20.66) and Dana O’Grady in the 400 (57.84).

“We really came together, individually and as a team, and we were able to once again overcome the weather and cheer each other on,’’ O’Grady said.

Running on the 400 relay with Brown were Alexis Hyshaw, Alexis Pierre-Antoine and Brown’s sister, Asia. The same foursome took first in the 800 relay. The winning 3,200 relay was Kyndall Wallace, Kendall Nepote, Vogt and Emily Karl.

East individuals who qualified as runners-up were Junkroski in the high jump (5-2), Pierre-Antoine in the 100 hurdles (15.07), Hyshaw in the 100 (12.16) and 200 (25.14), Grever in the shot put (35-3) and Kaley McLawhorn in the 1,600 (5:25.12).

Lincoln-Way Central’s Alena Pacheco won the 1,600 (5:20.42) to lead the Knights to fourth place.

East’s Pierre-Antoine also made it downstate in the 300 hurdles (45.91), beating the qualifying standard of 46.94. Marian Catholic’s Imani Haynes (45.76) and Crete-Monee’s Tineja Foy (45.88) also advanced in that event.

Field event champions included H-F’s Chardae Greenlee in the triple jump (38-2), Rich Central’s Aliyah Harmon in the long jump (18-3¼), Thornwood’s Janeah Stewart in the shot put (37-7) and Bloom’s Angela Cates in the high jump (5-3).

“Oh, my gosh, it’s like a dream,’’ Cates said. “I can’t believe it, I’m so happy. I was not giving up until I got qualifying height or I took first.’’



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