The DGS girls track & field team won the IHSA Sectional meet in convincing fashion last night at Downers Grove North. The Mustangs scored 104 pts to easily outdistance runner-up Hinsdale Central’s 74 pts in the 15-team meet. This is the 2nd straight Sectional victory for the DGS and our 3rd in the last 5 years.
The team qualified 8 individual events and 2 relay teams to next week’s IHSA State Meet held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. This marks the most entries DGS has brought to State since the 2007 season when we qualified 11 events (including Coach E in both hurdle races).
Freshman, Maddie Manganiello, was the lone field event qualifier. She finished 2nd in the long jump with a leap of 17-2 to secure her entry in next week’s state championship meet.
The 4x800m relay team placed 3rd in the first running event final of the evening. The quartet of Maggie Seitz-Jr, Mary Beine-Sr, Lizbeth Alcantara-Jr, and Gillian Thomas-Fr did not advance to next week’s state meet, but ran several PR’s and scored valuable team points with their 3rd place finish.
The 4x100m relay team (Nicole Muccianti-So, Soren Umali-So, Rachel Petro-Sr, Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker-Jr) placed 4th overall. But their time of 49.15, was under the state qualifying mark of 49.44 to qualify them for another race next week at state.
Senior, Abby Kargol took 2nd place in the 3200m run with 11:01.22 to punch her ticket to state. She will be looking to improve on her 5th place finish at last year’s state finals. Our biggest heartbreak also occurred in the 3200m race when senior, Amanda Thate, missed the state qualifying mark (11:16.04) by fractions of a second with her 11:16.18 finish. Amanda concludes her high school career as one of the most accomplished distance runners in DGS school history.
The parade of Mustang qualifiers continued on in the next track event as Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker and Soren Umali returned to the track and finished 1-2 in the 100m hurdles. Shaliyah ran 15.18 and Soren ran 15.26 and they both qualified for State. Sophomore, Nicole Muccianti, represented DGS in the 100m dash finals and added to our winning team total with her 5th place finish.
Junior, Michaela Hackbarth nervously paced the infield before her 800m race, but she showed no signs of that as she stepped onto the track and ran one of the best races of her life. Michaela bested some very good competition to win the 2-lap race in 2:11.27. That time was not only a new DGS school record, but is currently the fastest 800m time in the state! Michaela will return to state next week trying to improve on her 2nd place finish from last year.
The 4x200m relay team ran a season-best time of 1:46.27 to finish 4th, but came up short of the 1:45.74 qualifying standard. Nicole Muccianti, Sonja Renowden-So, Rachel Petro, and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker all ran well to score more valuable team points.
With only the 4x200m event in between, Michaela Hackbarth returned to the track to contest the 400m dash. Michaela continued to amaze, as she ran another PR of 57.74 to finish 2nd and qualify for the state meet in a 2nd event.
The Mustangs kept on rolling as Soren Umali and junior, Lauren Wong stepped on the track for the 300m hurdle race. Soren’s time of 46.09 of good for 1st place and a ticket to state. Lauren ran a great race to finish 3rd overall, but her time of 47.76 fell just short of the 46.94 qualifying mark.
Sophomore, Katie Stapleton, was seeded 5th in the field of 1600m runners. The race started quickly but turned into a tactical affair halfway through. It became obvious that the qualifying mark was not in danger, so only the first two finishers would be moving on to State. Katie powered down the final straight-away, out-kicking her 2 closest competitors to finish in 2nd place and qualify for State with a PR time of 5:16.65.
In the final race of the night, the 4x400m relay team was looking to make a statement. The talented quartet of Lauren Wong, Rachel Petro, Mary Beine, and Michaela Hackbarth had run well, but had not quite run a complete race during the outdoor portion of the season. They certainly didn’t disappoint as they ran a season best time of 3:58.07 to take first place and put an exclamation point on the overall team victory.
The coaches are extremely proud of all of the girls and the efforts they put into last night’s meet and the season as a whole. Good luck to all of the state qualifiers!