MARENGO – Richmond-Burton senior Talia Sheedlo has a good idea what has boosted her performances.
“I did a lot of tumbling as a cheerleader, and it’s really helping with my extra power,” Sheedlo said.
Sheedlo battled one of the area’s top athletes, Marengo’s Allison Rogutich, in two events at Saturday’s Marengo Ed Reeves Track and Field Invitational. Sheedlo edged Rogutich in the 100-meter high hurdles, while Rogutich won by 4 inches in the triple jump.
Sheedlo also won the 300 hurdles and led off the Rockets’ winning 4x100 relay team as R-B won the girls meet with 134 points. Marengo (120) was second and Hampshire (113) was third at Rod Poppe Fields. Sheedlo, Jordan Eisenberg, Roxanne Kelly and Tori Olker teamed up to win the 4x100.
Woodstock won the boys meet with 155 points, well ahead of Harvard (107) and R-B (77). The meet also awards a co-ed trophy for highest combined scores, which Woodstock won with 242 points, ahead of R-B (211) and Marengo (175).
Sheedlo already has run the state-qualifying time in the high hurdles and also has made the state-qualifying distance in triple jump this season.
“I love racing against [Rogutich],” said Sheedlo, whose win in the high hurdles was almost a dead heat. “We’re right there with each other all the time.”
That performance should bode well for Sheedlo since Rogutich took fourth in the Class 2A 100 high hurdles at last year’s IHSA Girls State Meet.
“We’ve always had a friendly competition,” Rogutich said. “She’s really breaking through and is going to be great. It’s exciting to have competition with her at meets like this.”
Marengo’s Allie Sprague was one of Saturday’s stars as she set meet records in the 800 (2:17.49) and 1,600 (5:12.69). She defeated Hampshire’s Cassie Kruse in the 800 and Woodstock’s Maura Beattie in the 1,600.
“That makes me really excited,” Sprague said. “I hope I can keep this up through the season and do this at state.”
Sheedlo, Sprague, Rogutich (triple and long jumps) and Hampshire’s Ashley Fouch (100, 200) were double winners on the girls’ side. R-B’s Elizabeth Kaht set the meet record at 10-0 in the pole vault.
Woodstock’s boys showed their strength in the relays, winning the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. Tyler Parson won the 100 high hurdles and was second in the 300 intermediate hurdles for the Blue Streaks, who also got firsts from Donte Arnold (triple jump) and Kyle Oleson (high jump).
“The only thing I’m disappointed in is Donte false starting in the 300s,” Parsons said. “He would have won that. I feel pretty good in the highs. I’ve beaten my [personal record] in almost every single meet. I want to qualify for state on time this year and not just because I won my [sectional] race.”
The Streaks’ junior ran 15.14 to win Saturday, edging closer to the 14.94 qualifying time.
Marengo’s Torben Hoffmeyer won the 1,600 and finished second in the 3,200 to Johnsburg’s Dan Fox. Marengo’s Mike Zaranski cleared 13-9 to win the pole vault, which was 1 inch from the meet record.