ERIE, Ill. — Truth be told, coach Don Robinson would have just as soon waited a day to hold the Illinois Class 1A Erie Sectional girls track and field meet. But, to steal a phrase from the stage, “The show must go on.”
And so it did Thursday, and host Erie/Prophetstown captured the team title with 130 points and qualified for next week’s state meet in nine of the 18 events. Kewanee Wethersfield was a distant second place with 90 points.
“It was crazy weather,” Robinson said. “I really wanted it to be on Friday but had little say.”
There was steady rain for much of the meet, but because there was no lightning Robinson said meet officials had no choice but to run the meet.
From beginning to end, the Panthers gave their coach plenty to smile about.
“It was an unbelievable team effort tonight,” Robinson said. “When Peyton (Rus) got in the finals of the long jump and Paige (Rus) jumped well in the high jump (the team was off to a great start). Then, we got on the track and things started to steamroll.”
Erie/Prophetstown won five individual events and three of the four relays. It added in three second-place finishes. Top-two finishers in all sectional events automatically qualify for the state meet, which begins Thursday for 1A teams, at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston, Ill.
The Rus sisters accounted for four of E/P’s five individual titles. Paige, a senior, took first in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) and the triple jump (34-11.5), while Peyton, a freshman, was the champion in the long jump at 17-3.5 and the 200-meter dash in 26.33.
Courtney Cobert also was an individual winner on the track for E/P. She and Heather Strike recorded a 1-2 finish for the Panthers in the 100 meters. Cobert won in 13.14, with Strike .24 behind. Cobert’s sister Rachel, a freshman, was second in the triple jump at 34-9.
Erie/Prophetstown’s wins in relays came in the four-by-100 (50.12), the four-by-200 (1:45.74) and the four-by-400 (4:06.04). The Panthers were second in the four-by-800.
Fulton and Morrison each qualified one runner for the state meet.
Lakin Goodman of Morrison took second in the 400-meter dash. She finished in 1:03.87, taking second to Amanda Kereta of Henry-Senachwine (1:02.63).
Fulton/Fulton Unity Christian’s Averi Leitzen placed third in the 1,600, but her time of 5:33.57 was more than a second below the state-qualifying standard for the event.
There were only two other events where athletes advanced in that manner — the 300-meter low hurdles in which five individuals moved on and the four-by-400. Robinson blamed the weather for limiting the number of athletes who met the qualifying standards that exist for all 18 events.
“One coach said he thought it was a little discouraging because our sectional usually has extra qualifiers,” Robinson said. “It definitely affects extra qualifiers. I think the field events are affected more. We were on the bubble in the shot put and discus, and the weather didn’t give them quite as much opportunity.”
Still, Robinson said the Panthers would have “a shot to do some great things” at state.
The Panthers won the unofficial state indoor meet, and Robinson said they might be able to earn a team medal next week.
“We have that potential,” he said. “The girls were in good shape from basketball, had a good indoor season and right now I think we know we’re in the game, but there’s still work to be done.”
Iowa runners wait a day
CLINTON — Thursday’s rainy weather caused officials at the Iowa Class 4A state-qualifying meet in Dubuque, which included Clinton, to postpone the meet a day. The schools will meet this afternoon.
Two other meets involving area schools were suspended and will be completed today. Camanche and Northeast will return to Tipton for a Class 2A meet, while Prince of Peace, Preston and the Marquette Catholic boys will head back to Edgewood for their Class 1A meet.
ILLINOIS CLASS 1A ERIE SECTIONAL
1. Erie/Prophetstown 130; 2. Kewanee Wethersfield 90; 3. Henry-Senachwine 82; 4. Bureau Valley 52; 5. Riverdale 49; 6. Kewanee 40; 7. Rock Island Alleman 26; 8. Fulton/Fulton Unity Christian 24. Other teams competing: Amboy, Ashton-Franklin Center, DePue, Morrison, Ohio, Putnam County, Peru St. Bede, Spring Valley Hall, Sterling Newman.
Long jump — 1. Peyton Rus (EP) 17-3.5; 2. Lindsey Hoffert (BV) 17-0.5.
Pole vault — 1. Lindsey Brown (KW) 8-3; 2. Morgan Mahnesmith (KW) 8-3.
High jump — 1. Paige Rus (EP) 5-2; 2. Karissa Roman (KW) 5-0.
Shot put — 1. Freya Block (Kew) 39-9; 2. Autumn Smith (Am) 36-0.25.
Triple jump — 1. Paige Rus (EP) 34-11.5; 2. Rachel Cobert (EP) 34-9.
Discus — 1. Block (Kew) 132-7; 2. Sydney Lebahn (BV) 108-9.
3,200 relay — 1. Henry-Senachwine 10:06.97; 2. Erie/Prophetstown 10:19.61.
400 relay — 1. Erie/Prophetstown 50.12; 2. Riverdale 51.75.
3,200 — 1. Jillian Monier (HS) 11:52.94; 2. Regan Weidner (BV) 12:00.04.
100 hurdles — 1. Sara Fisher (KW) 16.71; 2. Becca Medley (KW) 17.32.
100 — 1. Courtney Cobert (EP) 13.14; 2. Heather Strike (EP) 13.38.
800 — 1. Nicole Woodall (HS) 2:27.44; 2. Olivia Draminski (KW) 2:29.18.
800 relay — 1. Erie/Prophetstown 1:45.74; 2. Riverdale 1:49.99.
400 — 1. Amanda Kereta (HS) 1:02.63; 2. Lakin Goodman (Mor) 1:03.87.
300 low hurdles — 1. Liz Oltman (Riv) 47.62; 2. Fisher (KW) 48.15; 3. Roman (KW) 48.55; 4. Melanie Yanke (HS) 48.80; 5. Paige Griffith (PC) 49.80.
1,600 — 1. Ronna Pettis (HS) 5:33.22; 2. Sallie Doak (RIA) 5:33.44; 3. Averi Leitzen (F/FU) 5:33.57.
200 — 1. Peyton Rus (EP) 26.33; 2. Lindsey Hoffert (BV) 27.55.
1,600 relay — 1. Erie/Prophetstown 4:06.04; 2. Riverdale 4:12.61; 3. Henry-Senachwine 4:13.56.