IHSA 2A Girls State Championship Recap: Event By Event

It was a fierce battle between Kankakee and many challengers throughout the day



4x800: It was a rare occasion to see three siblings from three different grades competing on the same relay in a state championship. Senior star Colleen Zeibert was joined by her sisters Brooke Zeibert (So) and Ashley Zeibert (Fr) to form three-quarters of the Rochester quartet. Let's not leave out Natalie Nichols (Fr) who could be a cousin or at the very least a best friend. The Rockets fought hard but trailed throughout the race until anchor Colleen Z used a 2:11.22 tote to erase Tolono (Unity) and win in 9:33.45. With the victory, the Rockets complete the season as the top team in the classification in statistical terms.

4x100: Kankakee start their championship run on the track by overcoming a hot Champaign Central quartet that came into the championship with some of the fastest times in the state. However, it was the Kays who exercised their trump card Naomi Bey-Osborne (So) on anchor. Bey-Osborne is as good as any finisher in Illinois and she did just that in leading her mates to the title in 47.72.

3200: It was one for the record book for Ms. Tatum David of Olney (Richland County). She did not openly admit to wanting to chase down former Woodstock great Kayla Beattie's iconic 9:56.96 state meet record. Of course, we all know that David has an all-time best of 9:48.94 achieved earlier this year at the Herrin Invitational. 

No matter the magnitude, records are made to be broken and after dropping the 800m prelim and coasting in her 1600 prelim in 5:00.39, it was clear that Beattie's mark was in serious jeopardy. David immediately went to the accelerator on the first two laps in 69.7 and 2:19.5. This assured her a buffer just in case something would go wrong late in the contest. The first 1600m was in 4:50.45 (faster than anyone would run in the open beside herself) and on pace to run 9:40. David was still two seconds behind Beattie's pace. But David picked over the final two circuits to run a disgustingly great 9:53.96- exactly three seconds better than her predecessor. 

100H: If not for a wind reading, we would be talking about Emmi Scales (Sr., Arlington Heights St. Viator) and the sizzling 13.51 that she ran. The wind read +2.5 and the agony on Scales' grill was one for the books. A good consolation prize for the fans was Brianna Dixon's 13.71. The senior from Rantoul improved mightily in the short hurdles.

100: Kayda Austin (Jr., Cahokia) is a new name on the scene this season after running some impressive times in April. Austin led the prelims with a 11.83 clocking. It did not change much except for the wind in the final which read a robust +4.7. Austin hit 11.85 and was the only finalist under 12 seconds.

800: Becca Heitzig (Jr., Lincoln) wanted to break her class meet record and she did. It was cool to have a little assistance along the way. The opening pace was fast with Colleen Zeibert on her tail 61.5 to 62.7. Zeibert was finally able to break into the clear at the 600 mark and roar home in 2:08.48- just off of her personal best 2:08.04. The mark would be the fastest of the weekend in a merge.

4x200: Kankakee showed their depth and speed without ace Naomi Bey-Osborne. The Kays were able to use another star in the mix to close things out, senior Nevaeh Lowe led her mates to a fast 1:41.78.

400: We mentioned Bey-Osborne not running on the 4x200 just a few minutes prior. That's because is the defending champion i the one-lap affair and had to take care of some business. It was a strong finish in 56.20 followed by summer teammate Madalyn Marx (Fr., Mahomet-Seymour) with a solid 57.18.

300H: It was the complete opposite in this final vs the prelim for Emmi Scales who lost her steps on Friday and looked like a beginner despite running 44.21. She made the necessary adjustments and the confidence to the first hurdle was nearly flawless. The final result was a new state leading and personal best for Scales in 42.61. Two other girls dipped under 44.00, Kennedy Ross (Sr., Chicago Lindblom) 43.63 and Gianna Huerta (Sr., Glenbard South) 43.76.

1600: Maybe Tatum David was content after her incredible 3200m record run. Or maybe she was a bit parched and fatigued from waiting in the hot sun for her gold medal because she "only" ran 4:49.73. Remember, she hit the first mile of the first race in 4:50. Regardless, David was nearly 11 seconds better than the runner-up Becca Heitzig who clocked 5:00.44.

200: Kayda Austin took the half-lapper with ease in 24.23 (+1.7) and became the second Comanche to win the 100 and 200 since Mariya Hudson accomplished the feat in 2015.

4x400: The once-ruled dormant Kankakee quartet sprung back to life late in the season to not only be relevant but a title contender with its leader Naomi Bey-Osborne ready to save the day if need be. It was a close affair through three legs but the ace Bey-Osborne iced the competition with a solid 56.60 carry to close things out in 3:57.65. The victory also secured the team title for the Kays who go home victorious once again.

Pole Vault: the state leader Chelsea Wetzel (Jr., Dunlap) was in a dog fight with Joycelyn Crum (Sr., Lakes) and Nicole Grimes (Sr., Benet Academy). They topped out at 12-2.50 but it was Wetzel who prevailed on fewer misses and securing her first state title.

High Jump: It was an emotional time for Annie Wirth (Sr., Geneseo) who wrapped up her storybook career by defending her title with a clearance of 5-6.50. It was a far cry from the 5-10 from a year ago. Brianna Dixon is also an accomplished jumper and applied major heat before settling for second.

Long Jump: It was Wirth again wrecking shop in the field events. She slid past the competition with a leap of 18-7.

Shot Put: There was only one blemish on Sandwich senior Claire Allen's record. She lost to the favorite and state leader Madelyn Bishop (Sr., Rockford Boylan Catholic) at the Sterling Sectional. It would be all Allen who had three throws over 42 feet including the second round toss of 42-11.

Triple Jump: After fouling on two of her first three jumps, Abby Venhaus (Sr., Columbia) went to work in the fourth frame and connected on what would eventually be the winning effort of 37-11.25.

Discus: Allen closed out a great year by going undefeated and snatching the victory from Alice Mihas (Sr., Chicago Latin) who led through much of the competition. Allen overcame fouls and sub-optimal throws before hitting the winning penultimate fifth round toss of 138-9.