IHSA 3A Sectional Meet, 5.12.16

Post date: May 15, 2016 1:57:43 AM

Good things happen in threes.

In a short period of time — 4 minutes and 39 seconds to be exact — Minooka had three athletes qualify for state at the IHSA 3A Sectional Track and Field Meet at Ottawa.

My head was on a swivel during that time. I was perched along the fence outside the track at the 200-meter mark. On the track was the 3200-meter run. Just southeast of the track was the pole vault. My oversized neck got a workout as I watched our two distance runners battle against the state’s best while our pole vaulter continued to climb.

For the record, Brooklyn Bachmann was the first Minooka athlete to qualify for state. She cleared the qualifying height in pole vault — 10-feet, 3-inches — for the first time ever. She would later clear 10-6, breaking her own school record. She is the first Minooka girl to qualify for state in pole vault since 2002.

Four minutes and 30 seconds after Brooklyn cleared 10-3, Emily Shelton crossed the finish line in first place in the 3200-meter run. Her state qualifying run was also a school record. Nine seconds after that, Ashley Tutt crossed the line in second place, also qualifying.

As great as those three performances were, Minooka wasn’t done yet. Mackenzie Callahan would qualify on time in the 800-meter run. Shelton would return to win the 1600-meter run and qualify, again in a school-record time.

One other performance of note: Kylie Wissel ran the second-fastest time in school history in the 300-meter hurdles. This is her first year running the event.

Certainly there were athletes disappointed they didn’t qualify for state or hit their best marks. I am ok with their disappointment. It means they cared. It means they will have more motivation to train hard next year. Everyone at the meet put forth their best efforts, and for that they can be proud.

We have five entries at the IHSA State Finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. It will be an exciting weekend.

Go Indians.

— Coach Thomas