State Meet Week!

4 min read

The DGS girls track & field team will travel to the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston this weekend (May 22-23) to compete in the Illinois State Championship Meet. Prelims in most events will take place on Friday afternoon and finals will be Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs will be well represented in multiple events as a result of qualifying in last week’s IHSA Sectional meet.

On Friday, Maddie Manganiello (Fr) will compete in the long jump. Maddie’s sectional jump of 17-2 was the 23rd best sectional jump out of 29 qualifiers. She will be jumping at 12:00pm on Friday. Maddie will need to have one of the 12 best jumps on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s finals.

The 4x100m relay team of Nicole Muccianti (So), Soren Umali (So), Rachel Petro (Sr), and Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Jr) will step on to the big blue oval to compete at 1:30pm on Friday. The speedy quartet qualified with the 22nd best time (49.15) out of 32 qualifiers. They will need to have one of the 9 fastest times on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Both Shaliyah Dixon-Tucker (Jr) and Soren Umali (So) will quickly return to the track for the 100m hurdle prelims at 2:00pm. Shaliyah’s sectional winning time of 15.18 leaves her with the 15th seed in the field of 26 qualifiers. Soren’s runner-up time of 15.26 places her 20th among the qualifiers. Both girls look to improve upon their seeds in order to be one of the top 9 that make Saturday’s final.

At 2:20pm, Michaela Hackbarth (Jr) will compete in the 800m run prelims. Michaela is an experienced state meet athlete, earning all-state honors in both 2013 (4x200m relay) and 2014 (800m run) and she will be trying to improve upon last year’s 2nd place finish in the 800m. Michaela is in a good position to do that after her sectional winning time of 2:11.27 leaves her with the fastest time among the 32 state qualifiers. It won’t be an easy task given that last year’s champion (Lauren Van Vlierbergen) is still in the field of competition, but we feel that Michaela is ready to move past LVV. Michaela will need to have one of the top 12 prelim times on Friday in order to advance to Saturday’s final.

Soren Umali (So) will return to the track for a 3rd time on Friday to compete in the 300m hurdle prelims at 3:10pm. She won the sectional meet with a time of 46.09 that gave her the 13th best sectional time out of 34 qualifiers. Soren will need to move up into the top 9 in order to advance to Saturday’s final.

One of the most competitive events at the state meet will be the 1600m run with 47 state qualifiers. Katie Stapleton (So) earned her way to state with her 2nd place finish at sectionals in 5:16.65. That time seeds her 40th in the extremely large field. Katie will need to run one of the 12 fastest times on Friday at 3:20pm in order to qualify on to the Saturday finals.

The 4x400m relay will be the final race on Friday at 4:00pm. The Mustang quartet of Lauren Wong (Jr), Rachel Petro (Sr), Mary Beine (Sr), and Michaela Hackbarth (Jr) will be looking to improve upon their sectional winning time of 3:58.07. The sectional time seeds DGS 7th out of the 36 qualifying relay teams. The top 9 relay times from Friday’s prelim races will advance to Saturday’s final.

Abby Kargol (Sr) is the only Mustang with a guaranteed position in the Saturday finals. Abby will be competing in the 3200m run which does not conduct prelim races. Her sectional time of 11:01.22 places her 10th among the 32 state qualifiers. Abby will be looking for a similar result as last year where she entered the state meet with the 12th fastest time and finished in 5th place earning all-state honors. This year, Abby’s season-best time of 10:45.53 ranks 5th among her competition in Saturday’s race.

State Meet History: Over the years, Downers Grove South has produced 28 individual all-state athletes including 5 state champions. Tina Stec won both the 800m run and 1600m run in 1990. Current DGS head track coach, Egle Staisiunaite, won the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles in 2007. And current Michigan State stand out, Tori Franklin, won the triple jump in 2010. DGS has also produced 10 all-state relay teams including two 2nd place relays (4x800m in 1988 and 4×400 in 2011). As a team, DGS has finished in the top 5 in the state three times (3rd in 1990, 5th in 2007, 5th in 2011). Hopefully this year’s team will be able to add to the legacy!

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