May 24, 2016

Knights Take A Share Of Girls State Track Title

Coming in fifth in the 2015 team standings, Kaneland placed in the top five or better spots in all four relays at this year's Illinois High School Association's State Track and Field Finals to find themselves in a duel for the team champion trophy. After the cinders had settled and the finally tally set, the Knights and two-time champions Cahokia were deadlocked with 53 points splitting this season's 2016 team title.

Carly Elliott and Becca Richtman

Carly Elliott and Becca Richtman mug for the camera while waiting outside the gate to return to the field for the team title announcement and awards ceremony after the final race of the day. The Knights won a share of this year's state title tying with defending champions Cahokia on Saturday. See photos from Friday's preliminary competition here and Saturday's championship finals here.

With a share of the crown to take back to Maple Park High School, Saturday's win was the first state championship for the school since the spring of 1987 and 1988 when the ladies' track team earned back-to-back Class A titles.

The quartet composed of Nicole Sreenan, Carly Bartholomew, Sarah Daley, and sophomore Jamie Martens brought home the only single event state title winning the 4x400m relay. The victory in the final event of the day gave Kaneland 10 points for the tie with the Lady Comanches.

At one point Springfield Southeast threatened to move into first but with Martens on anchor maintaining the cushion built earlier, the squad shaved more than four seconds off their qualifying time of 4:00.37 a day earlier, clocking in at 3:56.15.

Both Bartholomew and Martens ran in the 2015 title race that brought home a second place finished.

Noelle Espino runs strong at State

Noelle Espino runs a strong pace in her race during the Class 2A 4x800-Meter Relay prelims on Friday. Espino and her relay squad advanced to Saturday's finals after placing first in their heat with a time of 9:43.16.

Carly Elliott and Lizzie Rupkey

Carly Elliott gives her all to beat Monticello's Lizzie Rupkey across the finish line in the championship 2A 4x200-Meter Relay on Saturday. The relay squad placed 4th in the championship race with a time of 1:43.42. Monticello finished 5th in the race at 1:43.57.

The lightning fast Sreenan, a junior who won runner-up titles in the 400m Dash and the 100m Dash adding 16 points toward the team title, also ran anchor for the 4x100m Relay squad. She finished the race with a burst the last 50 yards after sophomore teammate Shanya Hurston, Allie Heinzer and junior Carly Elliott kept the Knights' in position for a second place finish at 48.30.

Heinzer added another individual award to her collection. Last year she finished third running twice the distance in the 400m Run finals. Clocking at 24.88, the senior placed fourth in the shorter 200m Dash.

Finishing a mere two seconds behind the championship squad from Rich South, Heinzer, Bartholomew, Martens and Elliott teamed up to finish fourth in the 4x200m relay. Concluding their race with a time 1:43.42, the foursome was just three seconds shy of the Class 2A record set by Springfield Southeast in 2013.

In the first relay race of the day Daley teamed up with fellow junior Becca Richtman along with seniors Noelle Espino and Brianna Bower to run a 9:46 in the 4x800m Relay. Their combined effort beat out teams from Dunlap (6th), Mattoon (7th), Rochester, Freeburg in ninth, Mahomet-Seymour, 11th place Charleston and Metamora (12th).

With junior Maddie Keifer eliminated from both the high jump and triple jump on the first day, Lexie Guerra and Sydney Davidson were the only two members of the Knight's state qualifiers to advance to the finals in the field events. Guerra finished 8th with her best vault of 10'9" inches and Davidson placed 12th overall at 10'3".

Allie Heinzer

Allie Heinzer explodes with a burst of speed as she rounds the turn in the Class 2A 200-Meter Dash prelims on Friday. She advanced to Saturday's finals after placing second in her heat with a time of 25.01.

Kaneland pole vaulter Lexie Guerra

Kaneland's Lexie Guerra attempts to clear the bar at 10'3" in the Class 2A Pole Vault. She went on to finish 8th in this year's finals. See more photos of the Kaneland Knights competing a state here...

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