BELVIDERE – McHenry junior Mallory Wlasiuk missed last year’s track and field season to take a job, but she hardly was inactive.
Warriors coach Kyle Owens watched attentively in his strength and conditioning physical education classes as Wlasiuk broke weight room records. When Wlasiuk was able to get her work schedule adjusted this spring, Owens and assistant coach Marlo Kerr knew she was ready to compete.
Wlasiuk recorded her third career-best performance in 10 days, clearing 5 feet, 5 inches in the high jump to win that event in the Class 3A Belvidere North Sectional on Thursday at Milt Brown Stadium.
Wlasiuk nipped Huntley’s Omo Tseumah, last year’s Class 3A state runner-up, for first. They both made 5-5, but Tseumah missed on her first attempt at that height. Wlasiuk’s victory set up a productive night for the Warriors, who qualified four competitors for next week’s state meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
“This is the greatest thing,” Wlasiuk said. “I’m just trying to listen to my coach [Kerr], she always helps me with my form. I’ve been battling against Omo all season and I was ecstatic to beat her.”
Hononegah won the team title with 85 points, ending Cary-Grove’s string of four consecutive sectional championships. The Trojans, who were battling some sickness, were second with 75 points and Huntley was third with 59.
Jacobs’ Lauren Van Vlierbergen qualified in three events as she won the 1,600 meters, anchored Jacobs’ winning 4x800 relay with Molly Barnes, Tori Tamburrino and Sam Baran, and was runner-up in the 800 to defending Class 3A state champion Courtney Clayton of Hononegah.
“I’m really happy with the 4x800 qualifying, that was the major thing we wanted to do,” Van Vlierbergen said.
Crystal Lake Central sprinter Celeste Madda was the area’s other double winner as she took the 100 and 200.
Huntley’s Macy Tramblay won the 100 high hurdles in 15.18, the fastest race of her career.
“I was hoping to [get a personal record]. I feel great, it’s my best race of the season,” said Tramblay, a sophomore making her second trip to state. “I had good form. I stayed low all the way and I usually go too high over the hurdles.”
Huntley also qualified Tseumah, Delaney Lyman (pole vault) and Anthonia Moore (400). Moore chased Clayton in the 400 and ran her best time this season (57.32).
“I was so tired at the end and didn’t think I’d have a great time,” said Moore, who is a four-year state qualifier. “I’m really happy with that one.”
C-G will send six entries to state with Nikki Freeman and Olivia Roehri both in the discus, along with Joslyn Nicholson (triple jump), Faith Furio (long jump), Erika Sternard (high jump) and the 4x200 relay team of Furio, Eva Burk, Lauren Schoepke and Morgan Schulz.
McHenry will have Laura D’Angelo (400), Lauren Opatrny (1,600) and Taylor Szamlewski (shot put) all going to state. D’Angelo was fourth in the 400 at 59.10 and qualified on time.
“I cannot tell you how happy I am,” D’Angelo said. “I love track so much and it’s a great way to end the season.”