CLASS 2A ROCHESTER SECTIONAL — Haley Kerpan of East Alton-Wood River High landed a state slot in a big way Friday night.
The senior won the 800-meters in 2 minutes, 24.71 seconds during the weather-delayed competition. Kerpan, the AdVantage News’ Female Cross Country Runner of the Year the past fall, will compete next weekend in the finals at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
"She got out in front fast, had a big lead and then held on at the end," EA-WR coach Russ Colona said. "Her time is a school record and I think Haley has a chance to do something at state."
Kerpan was the only Greater Alton state qualifier in the 15-school competition that also included Civic Memorial and Roxana. Rain and lightning caused the meet to go on late into the night.
"We left the track about 1 a.m. and got home about 2:30 in the morning," Colona said. "It was a mess."
Springfield Southeast scored 142.5 points to corral the team title. Host Rochester finished second with 117 points. Taylorville took third with 59 points. Jamari Drake paced Southeast by winning the 100-meters in 12:59 and the 200-meters in 25.94. Overall, the Spartans won nine events.
EA-WR scored 14 points to place 11th. CM had 13 points to take 13th and Roxana had 6 points to place 14th.
CLASS 1A SPARTA SECTIONAL — Senior Jaria Hardaway paced Metro East Lutheran of Edwardsville in the 15-team competition Friday.
She finished second in the 200-meters at 27.2 and took third in the 100-meters at 12.94. Hardaway thus qualified for state in both events. Janiya Collins of Madison won the 100-meters in 12.71 and Epiphany Smith of Belleville Althoff was second in 12.94. Sophie Keith of Pinckneyville was first in the 200-meters at 26.52.
MELHS’ Lydia Flaherty, a junior, went 4 feet, 11 inches in the high jump to snare second and also snag a state berth. Taylor Padak of Breese Mater Dei won the event with a leap of 5-0.
Overall, MELHS tallied 46 points to finish eighth in the field. Nashville scored 128 points to snare team honors. Chester finished second with 88 points and Okawville placed third with 71 points.