Girls track and field: News and notes from Friday's state meet preliminaries

Kyra Cabusao
Kyra Cabusao

CHARLESTON – Jacobs’ Kyra Cabusao did not make the finals in the Class 3A shot put, but that hardly matters.

Cabusao had a pair of 38-foot throws, including her career-best 38-6.5 and was the lone freshman in the Class 3A field at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet.

“It was really fun. I didn’t expect to be here this year,” Cabusao said. “I just wanted to get better. (Assistant) Coach (Brian) Zimmerman was pushing me to be my best. I really want to break the school record (38-11). I was happy that I PR’d, but at the same time I was upset, I could have pushed a little harder for 39.”

Zimmerman is thrilled about the future for Cabusao, who also started for the Golden Eagles’ varsity girls basketball team.

“She has so much power for as young as she is,” Zimmerman said. “She’s consistently made strides throughout the season, which is really impressive. She’s easily coachable, she listens and she’s a competitor. She really turns it on when it’s time for competition.”

Cabusao was one of the smaller 3A throwers as well. She may have been the only one in the field who regularly ran on her team’s sprint relays.

“I don’t know (where the power comes from). I guess it’s natural,” she said. “One day (in middle school) I picked it up and I was good. I kind of stuck with it.”

After the big finish to her first high school season, Cabusao is excited about her future.

“It makes me really want to push myself to be a finalist next year, and maybe medal,” she said. “I’m going to keep working out. I want to make sure I hit 40.”

Paying it forward: Prairie Ridge pole vaulter Sam Fisher could not say enough kind words about McHenry vaulter Savannah Howie last year at the state meet. With both their vault coaches with the boys teams the day of preliminaries, Howie offered Fisher advice and support.

Fisher made the finals thanks to Howie’s help and was happy to offer her own support to another competitor on Friday. Quincy junior Maggie Schutte does not have a pole vault coach and relies on watching YouTube videos and camps to help her thrive.

The two met at practice at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field on Thursday and Fisher was eager to offer some pointers.

“Coach (Rich) Larsen (a pole vault judge from Bloomingdale) said she needed a bigger pole, I lent her one of mine,” Fisher said.

Fisher and Schutte both made 11-0 and will be jumping in Saturday’s finals.

So close: Crystal Lake South’s Caitlin Bruzzini knocked six seconds off her previous best time in the 1,600 meters at last week’s 3A Antioch Sectional and almost matched that on Friday with a 5:01.77 in her preliminary heat. She came up just short of the 12-competitor field for the finals, finishing 15th.

Bruzzini will have her final high school race in the first section of the 3,200 meters on Saturday, the slower section of the two heats.

“(The 1,600) was really good,” Bruzzini said. “It was a very tight pack and good competition. I’m very happy. I was hoping to get a little under and maybe break 5 minutes.”

Great outlook: Woodstock sophomore Syd Heidtke was the area’s best hurdler this year and finished her season by running in the 2A prelims for the 100 high hurdles and the 300 low hurdles, although she did not make the finals in either race.

Heidtke had qualified for state last year in the 300s, but was unable to run because she suffered a broken bone in her left (trail) foot in practice a few days before state. She hit the foot on a hurdle to cause the injury.

“These weren’t my best races,” Heidtke said. “I was definitely expecting more from myself, but it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I was really hoping to make the (300) finals, but putting in perspective with last year, I’m just happy I could be here.”

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