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High school girls track and field: Seven head downstate for Downers Grove North

Westmont sends 5 to Class 1A state meet

DOWNERS GROVE – The late surge sophomore anchor Kim Brent provided for Downers Grove North’s winning 4x400-meter relay at the Class 3A Downers Grove South sectional May 11 has become the norm.

“I’ve felt the season is really good because I’m actually trying,” Brent said. “My [split] was really good compared to what I usually do.” 

The school-record 3:57.27 time of the relay, with seniors Gina Kowalewicz and Emma Moravec and junior Rachel Sprague, completed the Trojans’ seven entries for the state meet May 19 and 20 at Eastern Illinois University. The Trojans were second (80 points) to Bolingbrook (85).

Moravec also won the 800 in 2:13.64, the fastest 3A sectional performance.

Advancing with second-place finishes were junior Isabel Maletich in triple jump (37 feet, 10.5 inches) and long jump (18-6), and senior Faith La Mantia, Brent, junior Kessie Olekanma and freshman Celeste Bonga on the 4x100 relay (school-record 48.80) as well as the 4x200 relay (school-record 1:42.75).

Kowalewicz was third in the 800 (2:17.17), beating the 2:19.88 state cut for her first individual state berth. 

“I came in as a freshman and I’m like, ‘I want to go to state.’ Now it’s finally happened and I’m super excited,” Kowalewicz said.

The 4x400 is seeded second heading to state. During handoffs at the 2016 sectional, the heel of Moravec’s shoe was stepped on and the relay missed state.

“It was kind of on my foot for the first 200 and then I just kicked it off,” Moravec said. “Just seeing Kim coming down the final stretch, fighting for everything, was so cool.” 

In the 800, Moravec was second at state in 2015 (school-record 2:12.22) and fourth last year (2:13.88). The sectional was among her five fastest open 800s ever.

“It’s a season [best] and I’m hoping to do better [at state],” Moravec said.

Maletich twice has been an all-state fifth in triple jump with a mark of 38 feet. This is her first state trip in long jump.

“It’s exciting to do a new event, and to possibly medal in both,” Maletich said. “For triple jump, [I want to] improve how I’ve done the past two state meets. For long jump, I just want [a personal record], maybe 19 feet.”


Kayla Weatherly won shot put (40 feet, 1 inch) and was second in discus (111-5) to earn two of the Sentinels’ three state meet berths May 12 at the Class 1A Seneca sectional.

The 4x800-meter relay team of Halle Nash, Frankie Fabry, Morgan Fukar, and Peyton Nash finished third in 10:13.09 to also make state, which takes place May 18 through 20 at Eastern Illinois University.

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