Girls Track and Field: Injury-free, H-F junior Stewart finishes runner-up in hurdles
By Tim tierney For Sun-Times Media May 24, 2014 10:34PM
Charleston, Ill., May 24 - Fenwick's Grace Cronin goes over the bar in the high jump during the 2014 IHSA Girls State Track Finals at O'brien Stadium. | Nic Summers / for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 26, 2014 6:46AM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — No one wanted to race in the Class 3A 100-meter hurdle final more than Homewood-Flossmoor’s Jayla Stewart.
“I’ve been trying to get here
for a long time,’’ Stewart said. “Freshman year I pulled my hamstring at state, can’t run in the finals. Sophomore year, I pulled my hamstring at sectional, can’t even run at state.
“I was really happy to be down here to be able to make it to the final and finish the race.’’
Stewart did more than just finish Saturday at Eastern Illinois’ O’Brien Field. The H-F junior was state runner-up to West Aurora senior Emma Spagnola, who also won the 300 hurdles, took third in the long jump and ran on the third-place 1,600 relay.
“She is a great athlete,’’ Stewart said. “I really look up to her. I’ve been racing her since my freshman year.’’
Spagnola, a Minnesota recruit, won the event in 14.10 seconds to 14.61 for Stewart.
“I was just trying to keep up with her, trying to get faster and faster,’’ Stewart said. “I’ll try and go for it next year.’’
Stewart also ran on two H-F relays that made the finals. She teamed with fellow underclassmen Christin Salley, Aliyah Mickens and Antoinette Broughton to finish third in the 400 relay (47.74).
The foursome of Mickens, Amari Windom, Stewart and Broughton placed fourth in the 800 relay (1:40.92). Broughton also contributed an eighth-place finish in the 200 (25.47) to help H-F place 10th out of 70 schools that scored in the 3A meet.
Bloom finished 11th, led by sprinter Brittany Thomas. The SIU-Edwardsville recruit was fifth in the 100 (12.20) and third in the 200 (24.83).
“I was thinking to myself before I ran it, ‘This is your last race in high school,’ ’’ Thomas said of the 200. “’You need to just pull through and run the hardest you can.’’’
Thomas also ran on Bloom’s third-place 800 relay (1:40.85) while the 1,600 relay contributed a seventh-place finish (4:01.55).
Lemont junior Vika Marmaite was runner-up in the triple jump with a leap of 39 feet, 7 inches.
“I’m not feeling really good because I’m not first, but it’s still good,’’ Marmaite said.
Teammate Jacque Desmond was sixth in the pole vault (11-0).
Reavis’ Paulina Gal, a Loyola recruit, claimed sixth in the shot put with a personal best of 43-¼.
“It’s a great way to finish the year,’’ Gal said. “This year to place is kind of like a dream of mine.’’
Mother McAuley junior Briana Driver placed seventh in the long jump (18-1¼) and ran on the 800 relay that finished eighth.
Richards sophomore Kyla Jimmar was sixth in the 300 hurdles (45.53) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (15.34). Crete-Monee junior Tineja Foy took fifth in the 300 hurdles (45.21).
In Class 2A, De La Salle freshman Jaimie Robinson was runner-up in the triple jump (37-6 ½) to Peoria-Notre Dame sophomore Vicky Gruszka (38-6½).
Rich South sophomore Dasia Evans placed sixth in the 400 (57.38) and seventh in the high jump (5-3). The Stars’ Ninaa Edwards was sixth in the 100 hurdles (15.66) and Amber Jones eighth in the 200 (25.81).
In Class 1A, Seton’s Mariah Woods finished ninth in the 100 and ran on the sixth-place 400 relay (50.51).