CHARLESTON – Everything came together for Marian Central senior Eve Meintz at the most ideal time.
Meintz was confident and had been jumping well. The warm weather was conducive to strong jumping, and there was a little fuel from her pole vault disappointment.
“I just brought all that energy into the high jump and was determined to do well,” Meintz said. “I was hoping for first, but I got a (personal record) today, so I feel pretty good about that.”
Meintz, whose previous best jump was 5-3, cleared 5-6 to finish as Class 2A high jump runner-up Saturday at the IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Meintz and Urbana sophomore Diamonasia Taylor were tied after both missing their three attempts at 5-7. Since neither had missed, there was a jump-off. Meintz missed again at 5-7 and Taylor made it for the state title.
McHenry’s Jenna Pauly made 5-6 to take fourth in the Class 3A high jump. Pauly also took seventh in the pole vault at 11-0. Other local medalists were Marengo’s Bailey Bertrand (fourth in 2A discus, 126-6), Woodstock’s Kylie Hagmann (eighth in 2A 3,200 meters, 11:22.78) and Cary-Grove’s Tabor Gleason (tie for ninth in 3A high jump, 5-3).
Meintz looked more confident with each jump. She bounced off the pit, high-fived one of the officials working the event and jogged back to her resting spot, smiling as she knew each make improved her medal standing.
“I just felt good,” said Meintz, who tied for sixth in high jump last year at 5-3. “I really wanted to do well, my steps felt like right on, so I had a good day.”
The runner-up finish was Marian’s highest since Catie LaBracke won her second Class 1A 1,600 state title in 1999.
Pauly’s fourth-place medal was more dramatic. She needed her third attempt at 5-3 and at 5-5 to advance. She made 5-6 on her second jump to secure fourth place.
“I was really nervous, I guess, and running back and forth (between high jump and pole vault),” Pauly said. “I’ve gotten used to it, but today was different. It wasn’t my ‘on’ day, but I started pulling it together toward the end.”
Pauly vaulted twice at 11-3, then had to check out to warm up for the high jump. She returned and missed her third vault at 11-3, then went back to concentrate on the high jump.
“It was a good day for me,” Pauly said. “I didn’t get my (personal records), but I was able to do the best I could. It’s good.”
Bertrand felt she could improve from her 112-3 throw in the 2A discus and she was right. On her final throw, she unleashed her career-best throw, which moved her up three spots from Friday’s prelminary throws.
“As I said yesterday, I was shooting for top five, got there, pretty happy,” Bertrand said. “My form wasn’t very good, but I kept telling myself, ‘You don’t need to focus on the whole thing, focus on keeping your feet straight and whipping it.’ So I did.”
Hagmann turned in her fourth consecutive All-State performance. She has twice been Class 2A All-State cross country and now twice in track.
“I’m really proud of it,” Hagmann said. “I wouldn’t be able to doit without my coaches and my teammates. I’m really happy to have such a great team.”
Gleason finished her career as a repeat medalist in the 3A high jump.
“It was an OK day, the heat got the best of me in the end,” Gleason said. “I was feeling really tired and drained. I don’t mind, it was fun.”
IHSA Girls Track and Field State Meet
Here are the results for local athletes in Saturday's finals.
3,200 meters: 8. Hagmann (Woodstock) 11:22.78, 21. Wisniewski (Richmond-Burton) 12:57.24.
Discus: 4. Bertrand (Marengo) 126-6.
High jump: 2. Meintz (Marian Central) 5-6.
Pole vault: 10. Meintz (Marian Central) 10-6.
Discus: 10. Tarazi (Prairie Ridge) 124-3.
High jump: 4. Pauly (McHenry) 5-6, 9 (tie). Gleason (Cary-Grove) 5-3, 15. Krich (Huntley) 5-1.
Triple jump: 12. Davis (Huntley) 36-9.75.
Pole vault: 7 (tie). Pauly (McHenry) 11-0.