GRAYSLAKE – Losing a star athlete who likely would account for 36 points might put a major dent in most teams’ chances for a conference title.
When Cary-Grove junior standout Morgan Schulz grew ill after running her 200 meters semifinal heat, and left to go home, the Trojans forged remarkably ahead.
C-G’s margin of victory for its sixth consecutive Fox Valley Conference Track and Field Meet championship still was significant – 120 points to second-place Huntley’s 82 – on Thursday night at Grayslake North’s stadium.
Because of a scoring error in the final event, the triple jump, the team results were not final, but C-G was uncatchable at that point and had two girls score in the triple jump.
“It says a lot,” Trojans coach Mark Anderson said. “This has to be the most monster performance I’ve seen from our girls in 15 years as coach. They proved to themselves they’re a complete and balanced team. Not having Morgan score a single point, you wonder if it’s possible.”
Anderson said Schulz felt sick after running the 200 and thought she was dehydrated. He said she was not injured and figured she would recover for next week’s DeKalb Class 4A Sectional Meet. Schulz was the favorite in the 300 low hurdles and the No. 2 seed in the 800. She also would have ran the 200 and anchored C-G’s top-seeded 4x200 relay team.
C-G only had two FVC champions – Nikki Freeman in the discus and Erika Sternard in the high jump – but the Trojans scored so many points, often placing two in an event, to win by a wide margin.
“We have a deep team,” said C-G sophomore Nicole Robins, who placed in four events. “We have a lot of love and support each other and cheer each other on to do the best we can. We had a little adversity, but we picked up the slack and knew we could push through.”
Huntley’s Macy Tramblay set a meet record with her personal-best time of 14.86 in the 100 high hurdles. She also won the triple jump and ran a leg on the winning 4x400 relay team and was sixth in the high jump.
“We had the wind toward us, so I wasn’t expecting to get in the 14s,” Tramblay said. “I could not believe it when I heard it was the record.”
McHenry’s 4x800 team of Katie Purich, Rachel Irwin, Ellie Gioia and Lauren Opatrny ran 9:29.98 to break the meet record set last year by a Jacobs team at 9:33.07.
“Our goal is to get all four girls to state, not just a couple,” Purich said. “We knocked 15 seconds off our best time. It’s all positive now, run our hardest and we have nothing to lose.”
Jacobs’ Lauren Van Vlierbergen ran 2:17.81 in the 800 and 4:59.34 in the 1,600, winning both races and missing two meet records by a combined 1.3 seconds.
“I wanted to go 4:55 [in the 1,600],” Van Vlierbergen said. “It was a little windy on the last stretch. I ran a pretty good 800 and had fresh legs to come back in the 1,600.”
Crystal Lake South’s Kianna Clark won the shot put and ran a leg on the Gators’ winning 4x100 relay with Gaby DeJesus, Kathleen Pencak and Taylor Schau. Schau also won the 300 hurdles with a personal-best time of 45.99.
“I surprised myself, I just wanted the best I could do,” Schau said. “I was kind of mad when I found out Morgan wasn’t running, I wanted to be pushed. I usually overthink the race, but I just ran with my heart and didn’t think about it too much.”
Crystal Lake Central’s Celeste Madda won the 100 and 200, and Woodstock’s Maura Beattie, the defending Class 2A state champion, won the 3,200.