Huntley’s Dubem Anikamadu turned in a memorable performance at last year’s Class 3A Boys Track and Field State Meet by winning three sprint medals, something that had been done only one other time in area history.
It now appears that a leg injury will prevent Anikamadu from competing Friday at the Class 3A Huntley Sectional, so the Kentucky signee likely will not be running at state.
Anikamadu strained tendons just below his hamstring April 20 in the 200 meters at the McHenry County Meet and has not raced since. Red Raiders coach Jim Rolando has not seen Anikamadu run enough in practice to enter him in the sectional. The seed meeting is Tuesday night.
Huntley still won the Fox Valley Conference Meet on Friday night by 51 points without Anikamadu.
“When he’s talked to me about it, it’s more of not feeling stable,” Rolando said. “I believe he’s been to some specialists who have told him it’s fine. He hasn’t done anything to show me he could be even ready to run.”
Anikamadu took third in the Class 3A 200, eighth in the 100 and eighth with Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu, Eric Mooney and Zach Tepper in the 4x100 relay. Only Huntley’s Connor Boos (2015) had won three state sprint medals among area athletes before.
“I’m still rehabbing for my leg,” Anikamadu said. “It’s just going to be a last-minute decision with how I feel. If I run, it might be like a run-through, not going full speed, but trying to qualify and have another week for rehab and hopefully be stronger by state.”
Rolando was not optimistic that will happen.
“At this point, it’s looking out for the team and their mental kind of thing,” Rolando said. “But I’m also looking out for Dubem. I don’t want to do anything that has any impact long term. From what I’ve heard, he’s OK. He just needs to work through it. It’s my understanding, and I’m not a doctor, that he’s not going to do any damage to anything by running. It’s just not comfortable for him, and it’s just something he has to figure out. I don’t want to sound negative about him not running for us, but I also want to be cautious for his future.”
Hurricanes’ big night: The disappointment was apparent as Marian Central’s Eve Meintz leaned on the fence at Woodstock North’s stadium, lamenting what had transpired in the 4x200 relay.
Meintz, Molly Iden, Meaghan Di Pietro and Dominique Thomas had finished first but were disqualified because the first exchange, between Meintz and Iden, took place just outside the zone.
It was a blemish on an otherwise highly productive night for the Hurricanes, who qualified seven entries from the Class 2A Woodstock North Sectional on Friday to the state meet this weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
“It was good, though,” said Meintz, the only senior in the 4x200. “They have a good chance next year without me. They can find someone good enough and go to state.”
Actually, all four in that relay are going this weekend. Meintz and Thomas are in three events, as is Regan Dineen. Iden qualified with the 4x400 relay in the meet’s final event.
Meintz, who has made the 2A high jump finals the past two years, will be looking to repeat as a medalist in that event. She tied for sixth at 5-3 last year.
On her game: McHenry junior Jenna Pauly qualified in three of her four events from Thursday’s Class 3A DeKalb Sectional. Pauly won the high jump, pole vault and 100. She missed with the Warriors’ 4x100 relay, which took third.
Pauly cleared 5-5 in the high jump and a career-best 11-3 in the pole vault.
“My 5-5 jump was one of my best jumps I’ve ever done, my form going into it,” Pauly said. “I really wish the bar was at 5-7 for that one. I think I would have cleared it.”
Pauly has made 5-7 this season.
On to state again: Woodstock junior Kylie Hagmann will try to finish her fourth straight state competition as an All-Stater when she competes in the Class 2A 3,200. But Hagmann may be at a disadvantage because of Friday’s cold and windy weather.
Hagmann likely would have run faster than her 11:37.46 had it not been for the strong winds. That time may not be fast enough for the second heat of the 3,200, which is run only in Saturday’s finals at state. She may be in the first heat, where she would not be running against the best competitors.
“I was hoping for a faster time, but I’m happy with it overall because the wind was really tough,” Hagmann said. “I’m just happy to get back to state and have the teammates and coaches that helped me get there.”
Hagmann has been an All-Stater (top 25) twice in cross country and finished sixth in the 2A 3,200 last year. Sandwich’s Kayla Schiera took fourth out of the first heat of the 2A 3,200 last year.
Bringing out the best: Prairie Ridge’s Natasha Schaffer said she thought the push of her fellow competitors in the long jump finals Thursday at DeKalb helped her qualify. Several jumpers hit big efforts in the finals, qualifying for state.
Schaffer did not qualify until her final jump at 17-7.
“As soon as the competition heats up, everybody feels the pressure, and it’s always nice when everyone does well. It pushes everyone one else to do better,” she said.
Not just a swimmer: Prairie Ridge senior Valerie Tarazi again threw another career-best, 126-6, to take second in the discus at DeKalb. This has been Tarazi’s best track season and her first in which she qualified for state.
Tarazi has eight state meet swimming medals with Crystal Lake Central co-op and will swim next season at Auburn.
“I love track. It’s such a great experience,” she said. “I’ve made so many good friends. The team’s great. Being able to throw takes my mind off swimming, but it’s still competitive. That’s my nature.”
Tarazi said she had a tough swimming practice Thursday morning before school.
“I was worried I would be tired, but I was out there and relaxed and let the disc fly,” she said.