It was a classic finish for Marianne Mihas and the 800m cast
NCC Rec Center; Naperville IL-
A house built around the legacy of the legendary Al Carius of North Central College produced a flurry of great marks Thursday evening. Right away everyone in attendance knew there was one event that was hyped to the core: 800m... and things played out to almost perfection for one athlete: Marianne Mihas (Jr., Chicago Latin).
Mihas, already the state leader, did not mess around with a very dangerous field that featured among others her teammate Ava Parekh (So.), Olivia Schmitt (Sr., Lakes), record holder Erin Reidy (Sr., Downers Grove South), and of course Katelynne Hart (Sr., Glenbard West). The pace went out in a brisk 30.6 knowing that Hart already had a "warm-up" 4x800 leg in her system. Mihas slowed slightly on the next turn but confidently led the group through 400m in 1:04.0. The next circuit was telling because this is where the players begin to race. But no, it was still Mihas chugging along and controlling things at the 600m mark in 1:38.5. A slight gap on the gun lap could not be breached even though Reidy tried to go around Hart on the backstretch- neither one could close down Mihas who brought the thunder home in 2:11.48.
The team scores produced the top three: #7 Bloom 84 points, Lincoln-Way East 75, Glenbard West 74.5
Best of the rest-
3200: Not as hyped up as the 800m, this race was still loaded to the core. Sam Poglitsch (Jr., Wheaton -Warrenville South) could have very well go in on the sweepstakes on the other channel, but the 3A state xc runner up rarely runs in a 16-lapper. As it turned out it, the process to glory had a grinded it out feeling. Brenna Cohoon (Sr., Downers South) led the first half in 5:31.5 followed by Poglitsch, Maggie Gamboa (Jr., Naperville North), and McKenna Revord (Sr., Hinsdale Central). Gamboa would take over the chore of leading for the second half. She and Poglitsch detached from Cohoon and Revord with about 600 remaining. Knowing that Poglitsch has speedy legs, Gamboa's friendly vibe also disappeared as she surged to get away. But with 120 to go, Poglitsch was able to seamlessly glide around Gamboa for the win in 10:56.43 (IL#3 PB). Gamboa's consolation prize was bad- 10:57.96.
4x800: This event usually produces a flurry of state leading marks and that was the case once again. Led by KK Hart's 2:21.0 anchor, Glenbard West grabbed the state lead in 9:43.72- three other squads followed to populate inside the state's top 10.
55HH: It was a virtual dead heat between the state leader Sophia Barnard (So., Lincoln-Way East) and Bria Armstrong (Jr., Bloom Twp.)- both equaling Barnard's state-best 8.47. However, it was Barnard getting the gold medal by .004.
55: It was a not a surprise or even close as Mariam Azeez (So., Lincoln-Way East) continues to build her brand with a new state leading 7.24.
400: Surprise, surprise or was it? Sariyah Watson of Dekalb is a promising freshman that most people don't know much about. While the hype was surrounding Azeez, Watson and teammate Michiah Kirkwood (Sr.) went out and ran their races. It was a dash to the finish as the Barbs duo finish 1-2 in respectable 59.51 and 59.55 clockings.
4x200: It was all she wrote as Bloom stacked the relay with several of its big dogs (Alyssa Fryer, Janea Gardner, Armstrong, Alexas Hall) en route to a season-best and IL#3 1:46.06; Lyons 1:47.66 (IL#5), Glenbard West 1:49.10 (IL#10) joined in on the stats fun.
1600: In what appeared to be the breakout race of the even was between Campbell Petersen (Jr., Naperville Central) and Audrey Allman (So., Glenbard West). Petersen, who mended most of the cross country season, busted out her debut with 73.6, 2:28.3, and 3:46.3 checkpoints. Allman's bread and butter race is the 800m and when there wasn't enough separation with 200 to go, it was the perfect scenario for a last-second kick to provide drama. On the home stretch, Allman pulled even with Petersen and later leaned with a clear margin of victory 4:59.64-4:59.74.
4x400: Lyons held off Glenbard West and the hard-charging anchor Katelynne Hart to win in IL#5 4:08.84. The Hilltoppers ran 4:08.90.
LJ: It was a meet record-setting performance for Marmian Azeez who jumped 18'6.5" on her final attempt. Azeez had fouled on her previous two attempts.
HJ: Maeve Conneely (Jr., Naperville North) grabbed the state lead with a clearance of 5'6.50".
TJ: Ashley Samuta (Sr., Glenbard West) led the competition with all three jumps ahead in control. But it was the first one, IL#7 37'2.5" that won it in a meet record.