CHARLESTON — The Pantagraph area didn’t land a title in the Class 1A finals of the 43rd annual girls state track meet on Saturday, but four runner-up showings, including two by Tessa Holland, softened the blow.
The Illinois State recruit from Fieldcrest High School took second in the high jump at 5 feet, 6 inches and second in the long jump thanks to Friday’s school-record leap of 18-6¾. She also ran fifth in the 400-meter dash in a school-record 58.58 seconds to earn 11th in the team standings with 21 points.
Trophy-hopeful Eureka wound up tied for ninth with 22 points as Carthage Illini West won with 52. ISU recruit Amanda McClain helped Sullivan take third with 40 points as she won the long jump (18-8½), 200 (25.32) and set a meet record in the 400 (55.18).
The high jump went to defending champion Karissa Roman of Kewanee Wethersfield, who needed one try at 5-6 while Holland needed two.
“I’m not disappointed with second,” she said. “It’s better than I’ve ever done before. My legs were tired and I wasn’t jumping the best, but I still managed to get 5-6.”
Holland, who finished with eight career state medals, took three high jump attempts after anchoring her 12th-place 3,200 relay (10:09.41).
“I chose to do the four-by-800 so I’m definitely not going to say I wish I hadn’t done it,” she said.
With 100 meters to go in the 3,200 relay, Eureka and defending champion Deer Creek-Mackinaw were neck-and-neck. As the rivals dug deep, Tolono Unity snuck past to win in 9:40.68.
The Chiefs hung on for second in 9:41.48 while Eureka faded to fourth in a season best of 9:43.62. Running for Dee-Mack were Taylor Mohr (2:29.4), Mysteree Bottorff (2:25.3), Calan Johnson (2:27.6) and Chelsea Pawlak (2:19.3), who later took seventh in the 1,600 (5:15.70).
“There was a lot of pressure from the other teams and from our own town because everyone’s like ‘oh, you’re state champions, it will just be easy,’ but it’s really not,” Johnson said. “You don’t just walk out and win. It takes a lot of effort, especially when you have such great competition.
“But it was fun all the same. I am very satisfied with how we did today.”
Pawlak got the baton in first and ran her first lap in 65, but was passed by Eureka anchor Quincy McSweeney, who ran 61 en route to a 2:17.8. Joining her were Mercer Mack (2:27.5), Natalie Bardwell (2:28.6) and Valerie Knapp (2:28.7).
A McKendree recruit, McSweeney later anchored her third-place 1,600 relay (4:03.51) with a career-best 58.2 split. Setting her up were Micaela Wiegand (62.9), Larae Schumacher (62.0) and Amber Sanders (60.5).
“We competed our hearts out today,” McSweeney said.
Joining McSweeney in the ninth-place 800 relay (1:47.09) were Carraghan Charlton, Schumacher and Meghan Mathews. The Hornets also ran eighth in the 400 relay (50.47) with Charlton, Schumacher, Mathews and Kendahl Evans.
Dwight sophomore Daly Galloway took second in the 3,200 in a school-record 10:46.97, which ranks fourth in Pantagraph area history. Ahead of her was Effingham St. Anthony sophomore Anna Sophia Keller (10:42.93), who also won the 1,600 (5:03.19) as Galloway ran fourth (5:09.28).
Galloway was with Keller in the 3,200 until a sixth-lap surge.
“I just didn’t react fast enough,” Galloway said. “I tried to get back up there. I think I’ll be ready for that next year.”
Eureka’s Kylie Davis finished sixth in the discus (125-0) and eighth in the shot put (39-4) after not improving on her Thursday marks.
“My shoulder has been bugging me a little today,” said the school record- holder in both throws.
Tri-Valley had a pair of pole vault placers as Jenna Ring took seventh (10-9) and Cassie Wilson ninth (10-6). Also placing was PBL’s Aleeka Gentzler in the high jump (8th, 5-2).