La Salle-Peru noses past Kaneland, Sycamore for I-8 Conference title – Shaw Local

LA SALLE – During Friday’s Interstate 8 Conference girls track and field meet, La Salle-Peru, Kaneland and Sycamore took turns taking the overall lead at the LP Sports Complex.

Ultimately, the host Cavaliers won the championship with 126 points, just one point ahead of the second-place Knights (125) and five ahead of the third-place Spartans (121). Morris (86) was fourth, Ottawa (62) fifth and Rochelle (30) sixth.

La Salle-Peru junior Elli Sines helped her team lead the way by winning both the 100 meters (12.83 seconds) and 100 hurdles (15.76).

“My mentality for both events is relatively the same,” Sines said. “In the (100) hurdles I’m more concerned about keeping good form and rhythm, whereas in the 100 I’m, I don’t know, just running. I just feel like I need to be mentally sharper in the obstacles. Those two events always happen back to back, but I’ve been doing them since freshman year, so I’m used to it. I always hope that there is a little time to recover in between.

“I don’t think I set a PR today either, but I was happy with how I ran in both races. I think I’m pretty ready going into the section next week, but I still feel like my form in the hurdles could be better.

LP freshman Aubrey Duttlinger also had a strong performance, placing first in both the long jump (5.28 meters) and triple jump (10.81). The Cavaliers team of Anya De La Luz, Kiely Domyancich, Delani Duggan and Ashlee Lord crossed the finish line in a winning time of 10:44.46 in the 4×800 relay.

Kaneland's Brooke Pfeiffer and Elizabeth Eberhardt run in the 4x200 relay during the Interstate 8 conference track on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the LP Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Kaneland sophomore Danielle Bower had a win in the 3,200 (12:47.45) and finished second in the 1,600 (5:57.20).

“I go into every race trying to ride the same every lap and really take it lap by lap,” Bower said. “I have my coach call out my times every lap so I know if I’m staying consistent. I feel like in both the 1,600 and 3,200 the key for me is consistency. I was where I wanted to be time-wise every lap in the 1600 and felt like I had a pretty good race.

“These were good races for me heading into sectionals next week.”

Also for the Knights, senior Olivia Pastovich (50.50) won the 300 hurdles and was part of the winning 4×400 relay team (4:26.08) along with Lilia Fleshman, Zoe Kraus and Abbie Mederich. Kaneland senior Cora Heller also placed first in the pole vault with a winning height of 10 feet 11 inches.

Sycamore's Layla Janisch competes in the 800-meter run during the Interstate 8 conference track meet on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the LP Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Sycamore sophomore Layla Janisch earned wins in both the 800 (2:26.09) and 1600 (5:38.61).

“(The 800) was a new PR for me and under the state qualifying time, so if I can repeat that next week, I’ll qualify for state, which would be so exciting,” Janisch said. “I feel like the weather was a big factor. We haven’t had many meetings this year that weren’t cold, damp, windy or all three, so it helped me a lot to be able to come out here today with good temperatures and very little wind.

“My game plan (in the 800) was to pace myself at the start with one of the other runners who I know are running a solid 400. But I kind of gave up after the first 100 meters when her pace was just too slow. From then on I just ran my pace and tried to stay strong until the finish. I was very happy with my last 200 meters, I work on that a lot and I felt like I was super strong throughout the stretch.

The Spartans also posted wins over Alyssa Stacy in the 200 (:27.58), Kennah Butler in the shot put (10.05) and Krista Cobb in the discus (30.86).

Ottawa's Shaylen Quinn and LP's Ashlee Lord run in the 800 meter race during the Interstate 8 conference track on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the LP Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Ottawa junior Shaylen Quinn described the final seconds of her 400 victory (1:02.35) in one word. Panic.

“I thought I had a little more distance (Morris’ Ava Conley) than I had and with a few steps to go I saw her out of the corner of my eye,” said Quinn, who won the event last season. “I was straight up scared, straight up panicked and said to myself, ‘Oh, I have to go.’ I was really taken aback. I was a little tired after running the 800 and stopped a bit. I learned my lesson and it won’t happen again.

“To be honest, I really didn’t know I had that higher gear in me, so I think in the future I will know I have it. I’m just happy that I was able to win the race I came here for.”

The Pirates also had the 4×200 relay team of Ava Weatherford, Ashlynn Gainere, Payton Nodland and Ella Schmitz run to first place in a time of 1:53.83.

Morris's Hannah Linn reaches for the baton as teammate Makenzie Enger hands it to her in the 4x100 relay during the Interstate 8 conference track meet on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the LP Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Conley was part of the winning 4×100 relay (52.53) with Gisselle Reyes, Mackenzie and Hannah Linn, while finishing second in both the 200 and 400, as well as third in the 100.

“I feel like my day as a whole was pretty good,” Conley said. “I was physically and mentally ready to run today. I just wanted to give it my all in all my events and hopefully get a PR in one of them. I’m really happy that I PR’d almost a half second in the 100, with a full second in the 400 and feel like I ran a pretty strong 200, but I’m even more excited that we got the 2×100 won.

“Gisselle had a very strong start for us, and I just wanted to take over from her and keep things going. We haven’t had the best handoffs this season, but today it clicked. Then Mackenzie did her thing and Hannah finished strong. Hannah filled in for Ella McDonnell, who also plays football, so it’s great to have her step in and be part of our winning team.”

Rochelle junior Dempsey Atkinson captured the high jump with a leap of 1.5.

(From left) Kaneland's Chloe Parker and teammate Ellie Olp, Sycamore's Alyssa Stacy, LP's Elli Sines, Morris's Gisselle Reyes and teammate Ava Conley, and Ottawa's Ashlynn Gainere all compete in the 100-meter run during the Interstate 8 conference track meet on Friday, May 3 August 2024 at the LP Athletic Complex in La Salle.