CHARLESTON – Woodstock’s Maura Beattie utilized a different strategy against Marengo’s Katie Adams, her rival, for their fourth meeting in the 3,200 meters this season.
Beattie unleashed everything she had, pressing the pace hard from the outset in an effort to break the other competitors’ spirits. The ploy worked just as Beattie and her coaches had hoped. By the sixth lap, it was obvious she was going to win the Class 2A 3,200 in the IHSA girls track and field state meet Saturday.
“I just kept thinking, ‘Keep pushing,’ so they couldn’t get any closer,” Beattie said. “I could hear my sister (Elise) on the backstretch yelling. I just wanted to go out hard and keep going.”
The Blue Streaks junior won in 10 minutes, 55.77 seconds, with Peoria Notre Dame’s Maryjeanne Gilbert (11:00.31) in second and Adams (11:10.77) in third. She joins her sister Kayla as a Class 2A state champion; Kayla won the race in 2010 and 2011.
Adams looked tired in that race, but collected herself and came back to win the 1,600 in her career-best time of 5:00.84. Her teammate Allie Sprague was second in 5:07.19. Those two managed to score 31 points, which tied the Indians for fifth place as a team.
“It was really tough mentally coming back,” Adams said. “I was really tired after the 3,200. I had to bounce back mentally for the 1,600. I had to calm myself down and tell myself I could do it. I definitely ran that race with my heart, I wasn’t going to let up.”
Adams was not challenged in the 1,600. She and Sprague separated themselves in the first two laps and kept going.
“I was really surprised,” said Sprague, who took fourth earlier in the 800. “I was not expecting this (in the 1,600) at all. My goal was to just place here.”
Hampshire’s Ashley Fouch also had a big day in Saturday’s finals at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium, where she will run next year. Fouch was runner-up in the Class 2A 400 and anchored the Whip-Purs’ third-place 4x400 relay team that ran 3:58.05. Elizabeth Evans, Nikki Dumoulin and Elizabeth Pagan ran the first three legs.
Class 2A state recordholder Shamier Little of Chicago Lindblom ran 54.37 to win the 400. Fouch was in Lane 3, with Little in Lane 4 ahead of her the entire race.
“I just chased her and not only got a [personal record], but second,” Fouch said. “I’m happy. My times have been up and down and I didn’t know how I’d finish here, but you just come out and run your best.”
Hampshire’s Jenny Dumoulin also took a medal with ninth in the shot put.
Beattie was content with second place in last week’s Grayslake Central Sectional for a reason.
“Our goal since indoor state was to beat Katie,” Woodstock assistant coach Matt McCulley said. “We let Maura sit behind Katie last week and evaluated how Katie ran. Today, we wanted Maura to take it out from the gun and take away Katie’s kick.”
Beattie took seventh in the 1,600 last year when she did not qualify for the 3,200.
“She did exactly what we talked about to push the pace and try to break anybody hanging on,” Woodstock coach Steve Erwin said. “She’s healthy, stronger and more mature this year. She’s very dedicated and very focused. The difference this year is she’s stronger, she runs with more spring in her legs.”