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.