It’s been an odd year for high school sports in general and track is no exception. Even with no offseason lifting sessions, limited practice time and a long layoff due to last year’s cancellation, the Litchfield High School girls track team showed on Wednesday that things don’t have to be perfect to be special.
Competing in the North Mac Sectional on June 2, the Panthers qualified for state in seven events, including all three relays in which they entered. Two of the four individual qualifiers did so with personal records, showing that the layoff, while inconvenient, was hardly insurmountable for the Lady Panthers.
Senior Kate Komor and junior Carly Guinn are part of all three relay teams headed to state, including the 4x400 squad that was seeded first and won the sectional title by 8.37 seconds over New Berlin. Emma Dively and Kendall Stewart were the other two legs of the 4x400 and helped the Panthers run a 4:30.76 to punch their ticket to the state finals in Charleston on June 10.
The other two relays would both finish second to New Berlin, who also won the sectional title with 118.5 points, while Litchfield was second with 73.
The 4x100 meter squad of Guinn, Komor, Stewart and Carson Lemon ran a 53.89 to finish 2.06 seconds behind the Pretzels, while the 4x200 team of Guinn, Komor, Lemon and Lily Braasch ran a 1:58.02, finishing second by 6.19 seconds.
Lemon, Guinn and Stewart would also advance to state as individuals, with Lemon earning two spots. The senior cleared 2.59 meters to win the pole vault for the Panthers and was second in the hurdles by one thousandth of a second. Lemon was behind Aleese Trimmingham of Auburn by a full step going into the second to last hurdle, but closed the gap quickly and nearly picked off the Trojan hurdler at the line, taking second with a 17.11 to Trimmingham’s 17.10.
Lemon’s hurdle time was a personal best, as was Stewart’s time in the 400, which she won by 3.29 seconds. The Panther freshman ran a season-best 1:01.71 to beat Riverton’s Brandy Petitt, who ran a 1:05.03.
Guinn would finish second in the high jump with a mark of 1.57 meters, slightly better than her state qualifying mark in 2019 of 1.52 meters. She set her personal best as a freshman at 1.575 meters, during the Carlinville Triangular and at the South Central Conference meet.
Tentatively, Guinn and Lemon will compete in the field events at state between noon and 2 p.m., with the first running events starting at 2 p.m. with the 4x800 relay.
The 4x100 relay will be after the 4x800, with the hurdles starting at 3:45 p.m. The 4x200 will begin at 4:35, followed by the 400 at 4:51. The last race of the day is the last race for the Panthers as the 4x400 closes things out at 5:57 p.m. (all times are tentative).
June 2 at Virden Class 1A Sectional
Girls Team Results: 1. New Berlin 118.5; 2. Litchfield 73; 3. Pawnee 63; 4. Jacksonville Routt 55; 5. Gillespie 49; 6. Riverton 41; 7. Auburn 36; 8. Carlinville 31; 9. North Mac 29.5; 10. South County 13; 11. Springfield Lutheran 12; 11. Carrollton 12; 13. Greenfield 8; 14. Bunker Hill 5; 14. North Greene 5.
Litchfield Girls Results
100: 4. Kendall Stewart 13.38; 13. Lily Braasch 14.39
200: 7. Lily Braasch 29.92; 15. Briley Kester 32.25
400: 1. Kendall Stewart 1:01.71
800: 5. Emma Dively 2:46.55; 17. Emma Hughes 3:45.68
1600: 6. Kylee Eiting 6:41.31
3200: 4. Kylee Eiting 14:10.06
100HH: 2. Carson Lemon 17.11
4x100: 2. Carson Lemon/Kendall Stewart/Kate Komor/Carly Guinn 53.89
4x200: 2. Kate Komor/Carly Guinn/Lily Braasch/Carson Lemon 1:58.02
4x400: 1. Kate Komor/Carly Guinn/Emma Dively/Kendall Stewart 4:30.76
Shot Put: 16. Emma Hughes 6.31m
Discus: 16. Emma Hughes 17.47m
High Jump: 2. Carly Guinn 1.57m; 10. Lily Braasch 1.27m
Pole Vault: 1. Caron Lemon 2.59m
Long Jump: 13. Kate Komor 3.59m; 15. Madison Alvarado 3.55m