CHARLESTON – Marengo senior Allison Rogutich finished her prelminary heat in the Class 2A 100-meter high hurdles and figured it was the last hurdles race of her high school career.
Then, Rogutich learned of her good fortune.
Rogutich qualified by the narrowest of margins – one-thousandth of a second – to make today’s finals at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Rogutich’s 15.732 knocked out Springfield Southeast’s Justice Collins (15.733) for the last spot in the nine-competitor finals field.
“I was fifth in my heat,” Rogutich said. “The other two heats were slower for some reason and I got lucky. I’m happy I made it. I’ll just try to do my best in the finals.”
Marengo performed well in Friday’s preliminaries, qualifying in four out of five possible events. Rogutich also made it in the triple jump (36-6), She placed fourth in the triple jump and high hurdles last year.
Allie Sprague qualified in the 800 (2:16.16) and Katie Adams won her heat of the 1,600 (5:03.06) and will also run in the 3,200 in today’s finals. The Indians’ 4x200 team did not make the finals, and Sprague scratched from the 1,600 to concentrate on the 800.
Also qualifying from the area were Richmond-Burton’s Roxanne Kelly in the triple jump (36-1), Woodstock’s Maura Beattie in the 1,600 (5:08.44) and Hampshire’s Ashley Fouch in the 200 (25.79).
Adams, last year’s 1,600 runner-up to Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie, made her move in the last 1 1/2 laps to win by 5 seconds. Maura Beattie was second in that heat.
“I’m definitely happy with my time; that’s a personal best,” Adams said. “I feel stronger and better than ever. I’m ready for it. Basically, I just wanted to qualify for the finals. The second heat put up some good times, so I wanted to go a little faster.”
Adams picked up her pace in the last two laps and cruised. Beattie also ran a personal-best time.
“I felt really good,” Beattie said. “That’s one of the better races I’ve run. I felt stronger than I have. It’s exciting to be in the finals.”
Sprague had another strong race in the 800, a race she started running regularly this year.
“I felt pretty good,” Sprague said. “I had a good seed time in the 800 so coach [Brian Tveter] decided that I’d just run that rather than spread myself too thin.”
Kelly was a surprise qualifier in the triple jump, where her teammate Talia Sheedlo had a higher seed performance.
“I’m really excited. I didn’t think I had a shot,” Kelly said. “It’s really warm out [80-plus degrees]. I think that helped a lot.”
Sheedlo competed in four events Friday but did not make the finals in any of them.
“It was an awesome experience,” Sheedlo said. “I’m so glad to be here, not many can say they qualify in four events. I’d like to have made the finals in one or two, but what can you do?”