CHARLESTON, Ill. —Then there were two.
Kaitlyn Pearson, an Elgin Academy junior, and Sydney Doby, a Harvest Christian senior, both advanced to Saturday’s Class 1A girls track and field state finals.
Pearson, who qualified for the prelims in both the 100-meter and 200 dashes, advanced Thursday in the 100 by winning the third heat in 12.26 seconds. The winner of the next heat, Tremont’s Amelia Glueck, ran exactly the same time, even when stretched to the 100th of a second. Both tied for the best time of the day.
“This is going to be a good battle,” Pearson said. “I am happy that I have a day’s rest. I am happy I had a chance to see Glueck run. It is nice to focus on one event. On Friday, I am just going to relax, maybe warm up a little bit and make sure my muscles stay warmed up. I know when I get in those blocks.”
In the 200, Pearson placed second in the first heat, finishing in :25.96. She missed advancing to the finals by 12/100ths of a second as Newton junior Hannah Litzelman finished third in the second heat with a :25.84 to grab the final qualifying spot.
“She is the type of runner that rises to the challenge,” Elgin Academy coach Adian Ayala said. “She ran her best times of the year. I want to see her run her best time on Saturday. We can’t ask for any more than that. Being able to focus on one event will help her.”
Doby finished the discus prelims with a toss of 113 feet, 5 inches. She won the second flight and will enter the finals with the 10th-best effort. The top nine individuals will receive a medal.
St. Edward’s 3,200 relay — made up of freshmen and sophomores — missed advancing to the finals, but they used athletes from events other than the 800 to earn the bid to state. The Green Wave finished in 11:00.48, good for 10th in the first heat.
“I knew we could get out of our sectional, but I did not expect them to advance to the finals,” St. Edward coach Mike Olenek said. “I knew they had it in them. I think they have a chance to advance here again since they are so young.”
Megan Kremer and Dominique Washington, both freshmen, and sophomores Melissa Bedolla and Katie Kremer competed Thursday for St. Edward.
Meagan Gross, a sophomore, ran at the sectional meet to help the Green Wave advance.