After a strong showing at the Mid-Illini Conference meet, the Morton girls track and field team is primed for more fun in the postseason with top-flight individuals.

The Potters took two-time state champion Dunlap to the final event of the league meet last week. Now, they enter Thursday’s Class 2A Metamora Sectional with plenty of momentum from seven individuals who already own 11 performances better than state qualifying standards.

And this time, they won’t have to worry about Dunlap grabbing the bulk of the state meet spots. The Eagles are now in 3A.

Senior Aspen Gordon owns the second-best 2A time in the state in the 3200 meters (10 minutes, 54.52 seconds) and the fourth-best 1600 at 5:12.45. She’s coming off a Mid-Illini meet for the ages, where she won all three of the longest individual races in the distance-rich conference.

“That was a blast to watch and I think that provided a lot of confidence for her, too,” said Morton coach Joe Zeller. “The Mid-Illini Conference for distance running is no slouch.”

That field also includes a pair of Gordon’s teammates, in senior Meagan Moreno (owner of the state’s seventh-best 3200 time) and freshman Emma Skinner (ninth in the 1600 at 5:18.20).

“All three of them can do some damage down at the state meet,” Zeller said of next weekend’s IHSA finals at Eastern Illinois University.

Then there’s sophomore Lauren Doerr, who has surpassed the state qualifying standards in three events — the 100 (:12.70), the 200 (:26.09) and the long jump (18-0). She’s also just two-tenths of a second away in the 400 at 1:00.45, an event she’s only run three times this season.

The Potters have the field events covered too, with returning state qualifier Haven Lyons in the high jump (5 feet, 3 inches), Addison Cox in the shot put (37-6) and Lauren Wong in the triple jump (35-4).

Normal U-High, though, looks like to team to beat Thursday as the Pioneers enter fourth ranked in 2A by Milesplit.

The absence of Dunlap frees up more state opportunities for other area teams.

"It just changes everything up,” Zeller said. “It was almost a guarantee that you had at least one, if not two qualifiers from Dunlap in pretty much every single event. It’s open ended to see other teams in the area (qualify events to state).”

Stan Morris can be reached at 686-3214 or smorris@pjstar.com. Follow him on twitter @stanmorrispjs