Lady Panthers thrive at sectional

Bryan Veginski
Washington freshman Hailey Tranchitella qualified for the Illinois High School Association Class 2A girls track and field state finals with a second-place showing in the 400-meter dash Thursday at the Macomb Sectional.

There will be a plethora of Washington athletes in Charleston this week.

The Lady Panthers qualified for four Illinois High School Association Class 2A state finals events after the completion of the Macomb Sectional Thursday.

The 4x800 Washington relay was the sectional champion in a school-record time of 9:38.21.

Senior Ashlee Knott, freshmen Hailey Tranchitella and Kassidy Dexheimer and senior Haley Willis were the winning quartet.

Tranchitella also advanced to state in the 400 dash after taking the runner-up slot in 1:00.22.

Hailey Widder, a junior, earned an automatic berth in the 300-meter low hurdles in 47.65 seconds.

The Lady Panthers’ 4x400 — consisting of Knott, Tranchitella, Widder and Dexheimer — was third, but met the state-qualifying standard with a 4:09.97.

Knott was third in the 800 run, missing the state benchmark by just 0.22 seconds.

Widder added a fourth-place  result in the 100 high hurdles in :16.81.

Savanah Weston generated the lone Washington field points with a sixth place triple jump of 32-feet-7 1/2-inches.

Washington, led by head coach Tom Smith, was seventh in the 17-team field with 43 points. It was third among the seven Mid-Illini Conference squads present.

Normal University was the sectional champion with 108 points.

State: Action begins Friday with the semifinals and continues Saturday with the finals at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.