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C-G wins 5th straight title

(Sarah Nader)
Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake Central pole vaulter Claire Dalman clears the bar during Saturday’s McHenry County Track and Field Meet at Cary-Grove High School. Dalman won the event by clearing 11 feet, 1 inch, which is a meet record. Log on to NWHerald.com for a photo gallery of Saturday’s meet.

CARY – Cary-Grove sophomore Eva Burk wasted no time in shooting off a text to her mentor and former teammate, Kathie Wollney, on Saturday evening with the news: The streak is alive.

C-G, despite graduating its biggest point-scorers and battling nagging injuries, won its fifth consecutive girls team title at the McHenry County Track and Field Meet at Al Bohrer Field.

“It’s all about tradition and passing it on,” said Burk, who did her part by winning the 100-meter high hurdles. “Our whole team came here and pulled through.”

It was tougher this time without Wollney, Sarah Ryan, Annie McGarrigle, Jenni Maki and others who graduated last year having never lost at a county or Fox Valley Conference meet.

“Kathie and I were like sisters,” Burk said. “I let them know and they were happy for us.”

C-G finished with 1401/2 points, which was seven better than Huntley, the county runner-up for the sixth straight year.

Burk was nagged by an ankle injury and ran her first 100 high hurdles outdoors in the semifinals. Sophomore Morgan Schulz also was bothered by a foot injury, but she won the 300 low hurdles and was second in the 100 meters.

Other C-G county champions were Faith Furio (long jump), Olivia Roehri (discus) and Joslyn Nicholson (triple jump).

“We have a young team, and for them to show the resiliency they did, with some of them hurting, impresses me,” Trojans coach Mark Anderson said. “They showed the kind of character and guts we want to see.”

Huntley’s Omo Tesumah won the high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches, and Crystal Lake Central’s Claire Dalman won the pole vault at 11-1, both meet records. Jacobs’ 4x800 relay team of Sam Baran, Molly Barnes, Kayla Giuliano and Lauren Van Vlierbergen set a meet record in 9:46.11.

Tseumah broke the record of former McHenry jumper Ashley Conway, 5-7, set in 2008, although she almost did not get the chance. Tseumah made 5-4 on her final attempt, then made 5-6 and 5-8 on her first jumps at each height.

“I needed that kick in the butt to get in the game,” said Tseumah, who was the Class 3A state runner-up last year. “I usually make 5-4 and 5-6 on my first attempt. I was a little worried, my goal was to get the county record. I was a little frustrated at what was going on.”

Dalman started the competition on a 12-foot pole rated at 140 pounds, then moved up to a 13-footer rated at 145 to beat Jacobs’ Sarah Ross’ record of 11-0 set in 2008.

“I’ve been working on that one in practice,” Dalman said. “I’ve been talking to (Central boys coach Brian) Seaver and he said to start on the old one and move up. This is great. I’ve been working hard in practice and it’s nice to see it pay off.”

Central junior Celeste Madda was one of the area’s top sprinters as a freshman, then missed last season with stress fractures in both femurs. Madda won the 100 and 200 on Saturday.

“I feel great. I’ve been working hard to make sure the muscles are stronger and nothing happens,” Madda said. “It’s exciting for me being my junior year. This is my first county meet, so to win two races is great.”

Madda missed the county meet as a freshman with mononucleosis.

Van Vlierbergen specialized in the 800 last season, but after taking seventh in Class 3A girls in the IHSA cross country state meet, the 1,600 is now her race.

“After cross country, I like longer races better,” she said. “I like my 4x800 team, and I really like the 1,600 now.”

Van Vlierbergen held off Central sophomore Sami Staples by 3 seconds in the 1,600.

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