EP and area track stars try to raise the bar at state

  • Written by Jeff Vorva



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Photo by Jeff Vorva

Evergreen Park sophomore Briana Parker took second in the high jump and helped her team to the only girls track sectional championship by an area team this year.



After a three-year break, Evergreen Park’s girls track and field team brought home its third sectional championship and will send 13 athletes to the Illinois High School Association state meet Friday and Saturday at O’Brien Field at Eastern Illinois in Charleston.

EP easily won the University High Class 2A Sectional title with 158 points – 72 points ahead of runnerup University High Friday at Concordia University in River Forest.

Chicago Christian finished second in the Class 1A Seneca Sectional and qualified nine athletes to state. A handful of Class 3A athletes from the area will also head to Charleston.

Evergreen Park won Class 2A sectionals in 2012 and 2013 but in those two years did not score a point at the state meet. Since the state increased the state meet from two to three classes in 2009, the Mustangs have not put an athlete into the second day of competition.

They hope that can change this year with the army of athletes they will bring, including two-time sectional champion Lily Sader, a junior who won the 100 meter high hurdles (16.33 seconds) and 300 low hurdles (:48.34).

Other sectional champs were sophomore Kayley Burke in the 1600 (5:43.56), freshman Tiera Robinson-Jones in the 200 (:25.30), senior Deanna Stewart in the shot put (37-2 ½), the 4x800 relay team of sophomore Grace Huneck, Burke, junior Lilly Gozum and sophomore Taylor Jones in 10:26.58 and the 4x400 relay team of sophomore Tyra Pickett, junior Alexus Clark, Sader and Jones (4:19.71).

Senior Meleah Tines took second in the long jump with a 16-0, sophomore Briana Parker took second in the high jump (4-10), Lizzie O’Dwyer claimed second in the discus with an 84-0, Gozum was a runnerup in the 800 (2:39.24)

Freshman Tia Walker took third in the 100 (:12.72), and the 4x200 relay team of Walker, Robinson Jones, Tines and sophomore Kayla Carpenter and also qualified for state.

Chicago Christian claimed second in the Class 1A Seneca Sectional with 132 points – 44 points behind the hosts.

Knights’ champs were senior Jill VanDyk in the high jump (5-1), junior Rylei Jackson in the 100 (:12.57) and 200 (:26.94), and the 4x800 relay team of April VanRyn, Allie Boss, Rebecca Falb and VanDyk (9:57.72).

Taking second were the 4x100 relay team of Jackson, Carissa Simon, Sara Cahill and Emily Woods (:52.70), VanRyn in the 3200 (16:47), junior Brooklyn Seiber in the 100 high hurdles (:16.47) and 300 low hurdles (:49.92), VanDyk in the 800 (2:28.29), and the 4x400 relay team of Seiber, Boss, VanRyn, VanDyk


 VanRyn was third in the 1600 (5:29.86)

In the Class 3A Reavis Secttional, the senior Ashley Bryja took third in the 800 with a 2:18.21 and the 4x400 team of Bryja, Kelly Gallagher Ciara Nelligan and Colleen Flood took third with a 4:00.05 to qualify.

Stagg junior Allyson Mussallem took third in the 400 with a :58.81 to qualify.

At Downers Grove South, Shepard’s Hayley Goebel was a sectional champion in the discus with a 113-01 while teammate Kellie Callahan was second in the 1600 with a 5:07.88. 

Sandburg’s 4x200 team of Chibueze Obia, Hannah Sullivan, Tina Siebenaler and Julia Gary took fifth with a 1:45.32 and made it to state.