1A Girls State Recap: There Were Pleasant Surprises Abound


Check out the fast 100m with a slew of top and talented athletes in the state



Eastern Illinois University; Charleston

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) hosted the state championship for the first time since 2019. Before the action that began at noon with field events, a ton of pleasantries were exchanged between new and old fields within the running community. 

The team power rankings revealed fairly falter. So it should not be a surprise when #2 Belleville Althoff walked away with the team title 50-49 over #1 Winnebago. It came down to the final 100m of the 4x400 that determined the final outcome. Salt Fork hung in there as well and topped 47.6 points.

Field events opened the action up in style-

Windsor Roberts: The Downs (Tri-Valley) HS  senior came in as the last state champion and the former all-time record holder from 2019. Battling some injuries during the outdoor season could not stop Roberts from assisting her team to all-state performances in the 4x1 and 4x2 relays. But in her specialty, Roberts got over 12-3 before attempting the class record of 13-0.75. She would not get it but instead walked away with another gold medal.

Alyssa Wiliams steals the show-

We found out about Alyssa Williams and her greatness in a very short time. A football player among boys at her Tuscola HS, Williams developed toughness and a sense of humor. The smooth candor that she displayed allowed her to excel on the track. Williams did not detect any jitters in the long jump as she took down two-time defending state champ Atleigh Hamilton of St. Joe-Ogden. Williams' 18-3.25 was a near personal best. 

Next up was the 100m and it was no contest as Williams rocked out of starting blocks and blazed 12.10- one of the fastest legal wind times in classification history. Overall, it was the sixth fastest time in the state regardless of conditions.

After leading her team to a sixth place finish in the 4x200 (1:49.67), Williams put the icing on the cake in the 200m in 25.

The best of the rest-

4x800: In the first race of the day the favorites Winnebago took control of the race and faced minimal resistance through three legs. However, on the final leg with 250m to go, Duquoin anchor Olivia Phillips pulled up on Grace Erb. Erb did not panic though and instead, she shifted into another gear and held on for the win. Erb clocked 2:25.05 for her efforts in the 9:47.54 win. Duquoin ran 9:48.32.

4x100: Nashville was one of the favorites to take the gold medals. The Hornets easily won the title and became the only team in the classification to break 50-seconds with a 49.87.

DT: Olivia Campbell (Pittsfield) maintained her stranglehold here with a 137-0; Campbell was fourth in the shot put behind winner Brenna Noon of Oregon who completed an undefeated season (40-4.25).

800: Maleigh Huston (Bushnell-Prairie City) produced one of the fastest opening splits of any runner at state (1:03.28), won in just 2:18.46.

400: Megan Becker was relatively unknown this season prior to the state meet. That all changed as the Bloomington Central Catholic standout upset two titans in Nariah Parks (Belleville Althoff) and Atleigh Hamilton. Becker's winning time of 57.93 is a personal best.

4x200: The Hornets of Nashville made it 2 for 2 in the relays gold medal count with a big win 1:45.42- nearly three seconds ahead of Maroa-Forsyth.

1600: Depth has its benefits as Natalia Martino did not compete in the 4x8 or any event prior to this one. The Portland St bound senior won by over 18-seconds in a school record 5:05.45.

300H: It turns out that freshman star Grace Nelson of Altamont was not hurt and she could compete in more than one event at a high level. Nelson toured the track in an IL#2 44.41.

4x400: Duquoin put the final touches on a solid state meet with a 4:05.07 classification best.