CHARLESTON — Peoria Heights sophomore Seven Hicks set a high bar in the sprints on Thursday at the Class 1A girls state track and field preliminaries at O’Brien Stadium.
She posted the top times in both the 100- and 200-meter dash preliminaries, and is looking to improve on a pair of top-five finishes from last year.
Hicks earned the top seed in the 100 with a time of :12.42, and in the 200 at :25.58. Neither time is a season best, so Patriots coach John Smith was not surprised at her performances.
"She was ready today, and we were expecting it," he said. "She’s been working hard and getting better. She’s very meticulous in her planning, running hard in practice and being ready, and she has unbelievable focus.
"She went out and performed just like she wanted to, and I’m really excited to see what happens on Saturday. Her expectation is nothing but finishing first in both races. She’ll get a good day’s rest on Friday, and we’ll be ready to go on Saturday."
Farmington qualified finalists in five different events, including three relays.
Senior Jordan Peckham had the second fastest qualifying time in the 100 (:12.52), and anchored the Farmers’ 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays into the finals.
Peckham and teammates Haley Huls, Payton Peckham, Sarah Liltchfield posted the second fastest time in the 4x400, winning their heat in 4:04.49. The same quartet had the third-fastest time in the 4x200 (1:45.64) and fourth best in the 4x100 (:50.21).
Farmington junior Sarah Litchfield was one of nine pole vaulters to clear 10 feet and advance to the finals. Kirsten Hager of Annawan/Wethersfield also advanced with a vault of 9-9.
Deer Creek-Mackinaw, which won the state 4x800 relay title last year, qualified for the finals with a time of 10:11.96. The relay squad included returnees Mikayla Moore and Emily Embry, and newcomers Cauri Johnson and Paige Witte.
Also advancing to the finals in the race were the Tremont team of Lizzy Freidinger, Stephanie Buck, Tressa Schuermann and Abby Scott (9:57.17) and the Stark Country squad of Brooke Rennick, Trinity Shimmin, Olivia Frail and Josie Price (10:21.94).
Tremont also had the fourth fastest qualifying time in the 4x400 at 4:06.93, with runners Schuermann, Scott, MacKenzie Rumbold and Bethany Wagenbach. Wagenbach also advanced in the 400, with a season-best time of :59.27.
Also qualifying for the Turks was Renee Hartman in the shot put with a heave of 37-3.
Knoxville’s team of Mackenzie Pruett, Anna Larson, Olivia Hall and Breena Shreeves qualified in the 4x400 at 4:09.67. Shreeves qualified individually in the 800 in 2:19.85.
Katie Springer of Delavan advanced in two events, posting the fourth best time in the 300 hurdles in :46.44 and grabbing the final spot in the 800 in 2:20.79.
Bureau Valley freshman Kamryn Kolb qualified in two individual events and two relays for the Storm. She had the seventh best long jump at 16-10 3/4 and the fifth best time in the 200 at :26.14.
Kolb also anchored the Bureau Valley 4x100 (:50.21) and the 4x200 (1:46.31). Her teammates were Marissa Endress, Carly Konneck and Molly Bohm in both races.
Also qualifying for the finals for the Storm were Jade Aber in the triple jump (34-6); Saige Barnett in the shot put (38-2); and Haley Weidner in the 1600 (5:26.32).
OTHER AREA QUALIFIERS
Lewistown runners Mackenzie Goldring (5.26.40) and Anna Heffren (5:23.45) also qualified for the finals in the 1600, along with Cate Atkins (5:27.95) of El Paso-Gridley.
Elmwood/Brimfield junior Zofia Lehew was one of 22 high jumpers to clear 5-1 to advance to the finals.
St. Bede’s Hallie McGuie, Antona Cattani, Anna Postula and Kaelyn Concon had the seventh fastest 4x100 qualifying time in :50.81.
Kaelyn Hamalle of Hall made the finals in the triple jump with a 35-0 effort, while Ellie Lamb of Rushville-Industry advanced in the discus with a toss of 120-8.