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Sarah Bell
Central Catholic's Sarah Bell competes in the Class A pole vault finals during the IHSA state track and field meet Saturday, May 22, 2010, at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston. (Pantagraph/Joel Fellers)

Five things to watch in the 39th girls state track meet at Charleston on Thursday through Saturday:

1. Can the Bloomington-based Flying Dragons Pole Vault Club sweep all three pole vault titles? Reigning Class 1A champion Sarah Bell of Central Catholic is seeded first as is 2009 Class 2A champion Emily Clay of University High. Normal Community West’s Taylor Kirby and Normal Community’s Brittany Hull are among four girls sharing the top seeding in Class 3A. In 2A, the No. 2 seeding is shared by Liz Composto of U High and reigning champion Emily Grove of Pontiac. Their season bests are: Grove (13-5), Clay (12-6), Bell (12-6), Composto (12-0), Kirby (12-0) and Hull (11-9).

2. Can the Pantagraph area win five or more medals in both the Class 1A 800 and 1,600? The area boasts the top five seeds in the 800 in El Paso-Gridley’s Julie James, GCMS’ Sydni Meunier, Lexington’s Kaley Ummel, Delavan’s Maddison Zimmer and Tremont’s Hannah Booker. Angel Gaesser of GCMS and Central Catholic’s Alex Van Hoof are seeded 9th and 12th. In the 1,600, the area has six of the top 11 seeds in James (1), Meunier (2), Ummel (3), Fisher’s Kristen Paris (5), Booker (7), Van Hoof (10) and Tremont’s Jamee Holmes (11).

3. Has Eureka’s Kalla Gold regained enough fitness after missing some training to turf toe to repeat as the 1A 400 champion? Gold ran 58.62 in the sectional while Kendra Pierce of Bushnell-Prairie City ran 58.13. Gold will also be burning energy in the 100 and for Eureka’s top-seeded 400 relay (49.89) and 1,600 relay (4:03.45). The Hornets, third as a team last year, figure to battle Byron, Breese Central, Walther Lutheran, Central A&M, Decatur St. Teresa and Tremont for one of the three trophies this year.

4. While Eureka tries for its fourth state title in the 1,600 relay, Mahomet-Seymour will try for its third overall and first in Class 2A. The Bulldogs, led by Murray State recruit Brittany Bohn, are seeded first at 4:01.90 while Richton Park Rich South is seeded second at 4:02.50. Bohn, the No. 4 seed in the 800, also anchors the No. 3-seeded 3,200 relay (9:44.74).

5. Other area No. 2 seeds looking to move up are Eureka’s Shelby Kupferschmid in the 1A triple jump (36-4.25) and Mahomet-Seymour’s Morgan Young in the 2A discus (122-3). While Young is just an inch behind Galesburg’s Amy Blucker, Kupferschmid faces a daunting task trying to catch Texas A&M recruit Jena Hemann of Breese Central (38-5.25), who is also the top seed in the high jump (6-0), long jump (19-1.5) and 100 (12.34).

Compiled by Randy Sharer

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