CHARLESTON – Crystal Lake South senior Caitlin Bruzzini made the most of her final competitive race Saturday.
Bruzzini, the area’s premier girls distance runner the past two years, took eighth place in the Class 3A 3,200 meters out of the slower heat at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field.
Bruzzini ran her career-best 10:49.96, then waited a little more than two hours for the faster heat to get her first state medal.
“It’s my last race ever, so I was giving it all I got,” said Bruzzini, who will attend McHenry County College next year. “I was keeping track of my time after (laps) 2, 4 and 6 to see where I was. There was a lot of back and forth.”
With 800 meters remaining, Bruzzini took control and was not challenged. She ran her career-best time by eight seconds.
“I really like that I got to run two races this year,” Bruzzini said. “It’s been my goal since sophomore year to run the (1,600) down here.”
Sophomore standout: Woodstock’s Kylie Hagmann finished a remarkable sophomore year with another medal Saturday, grabbing sixth place in the 2A 3,200 meters.
Hagmann went out hard with the lead group, hung tough in the middle and finished strong. She took 22nd for Class 2A All-State honors in cross country in November.
“It went pretty well,” Hagmann said. “I wanted to go out fast and then in the middle stay in the place I was. I just worked really hard at practice, and I really have great teammates who pushed me to make me better.”
Moving up: Marian Central junior Eve Meintz found the most opportune time to land her career-best high jump at 5 feet, 3 inches, which tied her for sixth place in the Class 2A. Meintz made the finals last year but missed a medal by one spot.
“It was good, a lot better than last year,” she said. “I was hoping for 5-4, but 5-3’s good. I was really excited. Coach just told me to use my natural abilities.”
New friends: Prairie Ridge senior Sam Fisher, who will compete at NCAA Division I Northern Iowa next year, tied for ninth in the 3A pole vault at 11-0.
It turned out that she tied with Quincy’s Maggie Schutte, who she met Thursday and helped through the competition. Fisher thanked former McHenry vaulter Savannah Howie for helping her last year, so she wanted to do the same for someone.
Fisher loaned Schutte a pole in Friday’s preliminary competition. They stood together and talked during the medals ceremony.