SW Conference Girls Lit Track On Fire At Belleville West

The Southwestern Girls Conference Championship opened with some tremendous efforts


Belleville West HS; Belleville IL

There was fire on the track at the Girls Southwestern Conference Wednesday afternoon with the weather playing along as a good host. 

There was a lot of movement in the 4x800 meter relay, but by the end of the race, Belleville East showed why they were seeded with the top mark. The Lancers won in 9:40.38 and was followed by East St. Louis in 9:55.10.  

Belleville West improved their mark in the 4x100 meter relay running 47.46. It was a close race going into the anchor legs, but East St. Louis who had a tough exchange gave the Maroons a much bigger advantage. Belleville East Lancers had a strong finish to run 48.46 but were not quite able to beat the Flyerettes in 48.38.

It was another less than perfect exchange for East St. Louis in the 4x200 meter relay. At the final exchange, the baton was not received at the initial contact, causing the anchor leg to come to a complete stop and turn around to grab the baton. Taking advantage of such was Belleville East with a clean exchange and who now saw an opening for the win.  The Flyerettes did not give up though and surged with a little more incentive, winning in a stout time of 1:41.76. It was a new meet record despite the mishap. The Lancers finished in 1:42.14 and the Maroons in 1:45.27 to place third.

East St. Louis later capped things off with an electrifying 4x400 meter win. There was hardly any doubt that they wouldn't be the first team to cross the finish line; already at the first exchange, being already two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.  Their lead only began to widen with each leg by an impressive amount. The Flyerettes were without a doubt running all alone and came up with the Illinois top time in the event in a major win of 3:50.54. The next team to come in was Belleville East in 4:03.61, and Belleville West in 4:11.09.

Jessica Coughlin (Jr), who anchored Belleville West's 4x100 meter relay had a busy day of her own.  She later came back for the 100, 400, and 200, placing second in each.

Jeanea Epps (Sr) of Alton won the 100 in 12.19, and Jariah Turner (Sr) of East St. Louis won the 400 in 57.04. Coughlin's 57.13 was a very close second place finish. Belleville West teammate Makayla Melvin (Sr) captured the 200-meter win in 25.01; another close finish to Coughlin's 25.24 who made up a lot of ground in the final 100 meters of the race.

The 800-meter run was an exciting race from beginning to end, as Belleville East's Danielle Schultz (Sr), East St. Louis' Shonjahnea Griggs (Sr), and Edwardsville's Maddie Miller (Sr) stayed connected almost the entire race.  Only in the last 50 meters did Schultz and Griggs drop Miller slightly as they leaned at the finish line for the win.

Schultz got the win in 2:22.83 while Griggs finished in 2:22.95, and Miller in 2:24.17. In the 1600, the O'Fallon freshman duo of Peyton Schieppe and Julia Monson were dominant. They ran alongside Belleville East runner Hannah Eastman (Sr), who set the pace for the first two laps. Schieppe made her move coming off the first turn of the third lap, and Monson was quick to follow her lead as they headed for the bell lap. Schieppe won in 5:22.01 and Monson second in 5:27.94.  Eastman placed third in 5:38.49.

Veronica Sherrod (Jr) of East St. Louis ran an Illinois #2 mark in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 43.88.

LaQwasia Stepney (Sr) of Belleville West won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.30 and was followed by freshman teammate Macee Rivers in 14.85.  Stepney also won the long jump with a leap of 18-05.50.

Britney Mosby (Sr) of Belleville West won the triple jump in 37-06.50. Lauren Weiner (Jr) of Alton had a vault of 9-08.00 to win the pole vault.  The next best was 8-06.00 by Ahmia Dorsey (Sr) of Belleville East.

East St. Louis made their mark as a team and took home the conference win.  Belleville West was not far behind the Flyerettes 161 team score, earning 156 points of their own to secure second place.  Belleville East placed third with a final score of 98.5. The remaining team standings for the day were O'Fallon, Alton, Edwardsville, then Collinsville.