SJO sets the pace in opening day at state track

Spartans send eight events to Saturday's finals at EIU

CHARLESTON -- Fresh off their 2nd place finish last season, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls' track team got out of the blocks quick on Thursday, showing their once again contenders to win it all.

The Spartans won heats in the 4x100 meter relay, 4x800 and the 4x200 relay.  Parker Francisco won her heat of the 100 meter hurdles and qualified in the 300 low.  Overall, the Spartans have nine finals berths in eight different events.

"Prelims is the hard day, that's when we have to put in a lot of the work," St. Joseph-Ogden junior Zea Maroon said.  "That's when we have to let all that we've done this season propel us into finals and then we go and work really hard during prelims so we can have fun on finals day."

Fisher's Alayna Stalter came into the 100-meter high hurdles with high expectations.  Stalter won her heat clocking 15.17 seconds but still wants more from herself on Saturday.

"It was definitely the goal, my biggest goal is to get back down in the 14's for sure," Stalter said.

St. Thomas More had a big day as well, edging out Tremont in the 4x800 meter relay, anchored by Marguerite Hendrickson.  Then Hendrickson won her own heat of the 800.

"Our team has worked so hard for this and all the hard work is paying off right now," Hendrickson said.  "Our coaches have done so much for us so I'm just really grateful and thankful for what we've done today."

And no shocker, Effiingham St. Anthony superstar Anna Sophia Keller made it look easy in the mile, posting under a sub-five minute time, almost 15 seconds faster than 2nd place.

"Yeah, I was pretty happy," the Notre Dame signee said.  "Especially with the way conditions were today.  It was a lot hotter than usual when we run and it was pretty windy.  Although you kind of had the stands to block it but it didn't block it that much but it was a good race."

The 1A girls get a day off before returning Saturday for the finals.  Class 2A and 3A prelims are Friday, then they will join 1A on Saturday for the finals at O'Brien Field. 


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