Impressive performances by Thornton and Crete-Monee have their coaches looking ahead with confidence to sectional competition and the state meet.
Thornton won its TT Classic on Saturday that included a state-best in the 400-meter relay (41.44 seconds). Crete-Monee claimed the Southland Conference meet Wednesday over 2013 champion Bloom.
“There’s some concerns, finding a spot here or there, but the way they have formed as a team and their chemistry is going to have them in position to do things,’’ Thornton coach Vince McAuliffe said.
“We’re getting fresh legs back, ’’ Crete-Monee coach Brian O’Donnell said. “Obviously, next Thursday is where it all matters. We want to send a group to state.’’
Each team has a standout senior leader. For Crete, it’s Quinten Nash. Thornton has Tifonte Hunt.
“He goes all out every single race. That guy walks the walk,’’ McAuliffe said of Hunt.
Nash ran a challenging 400 and 200 double in the conference meet and plans to do the same next week.
“I know it’s going to be difficult, but I think I can do it,’’ Nash said.
Thornton and Crete-Monee will race Thursday in the Class 3A Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional. The 15-team field also includes Bloom, Thornwood, Lincoln-Way North and Providence, last year’s state runner-up.
Girls: Steps to state
Mother McAuley’s Briana Driver and Reavis’ Paulina Gal will be two individuals to watch Friday at the Class 3A Lyons Sectional. Driver, a junior, won the 400 and long jump at the GCAC meet and is a defending sectional champ in the long jump.
Richards’ Kyla Jimmar in the hurdles and Marist’s distance runners should contend for state qualifying berths Friday at the 3A Downers South Sectional.
In Class 2A, De La Salle freshman Jaimie Robinson is expected to be one of the top individuals Friday at the De La Salle Sectional. Robinson set a GCAC meet record last week in winning the triple jump (37-3.25).