May 23, 2018

Taets leads Orion to 7th at state track

Orion High School track star Danielle Taets

Danielle Taets tallied 27 points to lead the Orion to a seventh-place finish at this season's Illinois High School Association's State Track & Field Finals at O'Brien Stadium last weekend. In her third consecutive state appearance, the junior medaled in three events, winning Class 1A state titles in both the triple jump and the 100-meter high hurdles. She earned a third medal and top three finish in the 300-meter low hurdles.

She was also listed on last weekend's roster as an alternate for the Chargers' 4x800-Meter relay squad.

Falling seven inches short of her sectional qualifying distance, Taets easily won the TJ title by inches with her best leap of 38 feet even. Fulton's Daekota Knott finished in second place with the next best jump at 37-8.5. Lena Winslow's Carmen DeVries filled out the top three spots with a jump of 37-4.25 for the silver medal in the event.

Taets picked up second state gold medal on Saturday after running a 14.72 in the 100-meter high hurdles. She toppled her personal best of 15.12 and picked up another 10 team points besting Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond's Kenli Nettles (2nd place) and St. Teresa's Daelin Switzer (3rd) to the finish line.

The two medals were improvement on her 2017 trip to Charleston where she placed second in the triple jump and seventh in the high hurdles behind Nettles by four-hundredths of a second.

Teammate Alexandra Mack was the only other Charger to qualify for Saturday's finals. The senior's prep career ended with a ninth-place medal and one point toward the overall team score.

Taets collected her third and final medal of the weekend in the 300-meter lows. She and the other two top-three runners in the 100 lows juggled positions in the final results. The Charger medalist finished third behind Nettles (2nd) and Switzer (1st).

With 28 points to their name Orion finished seventh behind Teutopolis (6th), St. Thomas More (5th), Bureau Valley (4th), St. Teresa (3rd), Farmington (2nd) and this year's champions St. Joseph-Ogden, who took home its third consecutive top-three state team trophy.

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