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Mixed emotions in Plainfield : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Mixed emotions in Plainfield
Oswego East girls' track places second at SPC meet, Oswego takes third

by Kristin Sharp


It was a day of mixed emotions for the Oswego and Oswego East girls' track and field teams at last Thursday's Southwest Prairie Conference meet in Plainfield.

Minooka distanced itself from the other six teams to win the SPC championship with 175 points, but Oswego East surprised the field with a runner-up finish and 98 points.

"On paper, we were seeded fifth. I told the girls we were down, but I didn't tell them by how much or how many places. We knew there were several teams that were seeded ahead of us," Oswego East head coach Lisa Cook said. "We talked about exceeding their expectations and seed times. Everybody had to deal with the fact that it was 85 and windy, which is a different kind of complication than we're used to, but our team did a fantastic job of competing and out-seeding what we were expecting. There were only one or two events that we didn't score at least one point in, and that wasn't an expectation. The girls did a great job stepping up."

Oswego East bettered its seed 18 times in the conference lineup.

Oswego finished 25 points behind the Wolves, tallying 73 points to take third, while Plainfield South and Plainfield North tied for fourth with 57 points.

"We actually finished third behind Oswego East by 25 points, so that's disappointing for the team," Oswego head coach Jamie Bechina said.

Oswego East enjoyed conference championship finishes in two events, with the 4x100-meter relay team of senior Nicole Buado, sophomore Sade Akinfe, senior Brooke Marshall and freshman Morgan Harris clocking in a full second ahead of Plainfield South, crossing the finish line in 49.69 seconds for the win.

"Our 4x1 was a bit of a surprise and we haven't had a conference championship relay, so that was very exciting, and our 4x2 was second," Cook said. "To have two relays in the top two was definitely huge for us as well."

The 4x200-meter relay - comprised of Buado, Akinfe, senior Sajela Harlow and Harris - finished second in 1:47.55.

In the field events, junior Morganne Jones faced a challenge in defending her conference championship in the high jump as three other competitors were tied at 5-1, but Jones won the jump-off to add 10 points for Oswego East.

"It wasn't the tie she wanted at 5-1, but she still came away with the title and the 10 points, which was huge," Cook said.

Oswego junior Natajah Simmons finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.73 seconds behind Minooka's Janile Rogers, but later in the day traded places with Rogers, taking first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.80 seconds to earn a conference title for the Panthers.

"Natajah is also looking very good in both sprint races. We shall see if Rogers from Minooka will be sprinting as well as jumping at sectional," Bechina said. "She was running state qualifying times last season and just missed so it would be very exciting to see her make it this year. She's had a fantastic season so far."

Junior Princess Shodipo also earned herself an SPC title in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking in at 15.90 seconds to edge Jones from Oswego East by just eight-hundredths of a second. Jones finished in 15.98 seconds.

Shodipo also won the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.84 seconds.

"Princess ran well as the conference champ in both hurdle events, and it was good for her to get some competition in the 100s," Bechina said.

"Her times have been consistent too even though she pulled away from the field in the 300s. Sectionals should be even more competitive in that I'm supposing Maya Neal from Neuqua Valley will run both hurdle races as well. She's also been absent from school the last couple days so hopefully she'll be healthy enough to compete well on Thursday at sectional."

Akinfe placed fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.27 seconds, and Harris was third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.41 seconds while Buado was sixth at 28.12 to give the Wolves a pair of scoring athletes in both sprint events. Oswego East sophomore Madeline Timkin placed sixth in the 400 with a time of 1:03. Buado placed third in the 800 with a time of 2:29, while Oswego sophomore Kayla Wooten was fifth in 2:31.

Oswego freshman Abby Cain scored in the 1,600-meter run, placing sixth in 5:35. Oswego East senior Michelle Borycki was fourth in the 3,20 at 12:24, and Oswego sophomore Allyson McLaughlin placed sixth in 12:35.

Oswego East sophomore Tara Schumacher placed third in the 300 hurdles in 49.51, and sophomore teammate Rachel Roschi placed sixth in 51.12 to give the Wolves another point in the event.

Oswego's 4x100-meter relay team placed fourth in 51.18 seconds behind the efforts of junior Kyley Vicik, Shodipo, freshman Katie Manna and Simmons. The 4x200-meter relay team of Simmons, Vicik, freshman Jenna Yakesh and junior Destinee Haugabook finished third in 1:48.

Oswego finished second in the 4x800-meter relay, with Fioresi, Wooten, junior Alyson Simon and sophomore Julia Manzano clocking in at 10:08. Oswego East's relay of freshman Alexis Henz, senior Mari McDowell, Cain and Buado finishing in 10:38.

Minooka won the 4x400-meter relay to close out the night, but Oswego finished second at 4:17 and Oswego East was third at 4:19. Oswego's relay was comprised of Wooten, Yakesh, Shodipo and Manzano. Oswego East's relay consisted of Buado, Harlow, Timken and freshman Emma McCullough.

"Our relays definitely helped. We really needed that energy from the 4x4 team to finish a tough meet," Bechina said. "We have a solid lineup for Thursday."

In the field events, Oswego East freshman Tatum Butler-Hill was fifth in the high jump, clearing 4-9.

Oswego East junior Alayna Dieter scored in the pole vault, clearing 8-6 to take fifth. Akinfe scored in the long jump, placing third at 17-2 and teammate Emily Flammersfeld was sixth in the triple jump at 33-1.

Oswego East freshman Cassidy Osborne-Butler was second in the shot put with a throw of 35-8 1/2 and fourth in the discus at 105-3. Oswego senior Alexus Ramirez was sixth at 31-9, and she finished third in the discus with a mark of 107-7.

Oswego and Oswego East will now enter the Class 3A Minooka Sectional today, Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. Prelims begin at 4:30 p.m. with finals to start at 5:30 p.m.

"We're looking forward to it. The sprints were pretty good at conference, but they were going into a headwind down the stretch," Cook said. "The effort was better than the times were. Times should still come down this week."

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