ELMHURST – At various times, Wheaton Warrenville South seniors Alexis Correa and Izzy Hennage, junior Jenna Holze and sophomore Mykaila Gentry-Humphrey were injured during the girls track and field season.
Nothing could stop them May 12.
United for the first time in the 4x200-meter relay at the Class 3A York sectional, the Tigers finished third (1:45.49) and qualified for their first state meet by beating the 1:45.69 state-qualifying standard.
“It means the world,” Correa said. “Just coming back [healthy] and qualifying, it means everything. This is all I’ve been looking for my whole senior year.”
Junior Tonjalaya Yarbar won shot put with a lifetime-best 40 feet, 6 inches, 1.5 inches from the school record. Seniors Sara Atkins in the 1,600 (fourth in lifetime-best 5:05.02) and Allison McGrath in the 3,200 (fifth in 10:58.23) beat the state cuts.
“Awesome. It felt amazing,” Yarbar said. “It feels good to succeed at something that you enjoy doing.”
Correa was sidelined the entire indoor season. Holze competed for the first time since injuring her left hamstring April 7. Former soccer player Hennage is running track for the first time.
Gentry-Humphrey lost her headband and stepped on the headband before handing off to anchor Hennage, who was edged by Glenbard West at the line.
“I love her being there because she really did push me to the limit,” Hennage said of Gentry-Humphrey. “Being able to realize that I’m going to state makes it all the better and that I made the right decision.”
McGrath’s lifetime best is 10:57.50.
Atkins is chasing the 4:59 school record.
“Break five minutes – that’s been my goal since I started running in third grade,” Atkins said.
When Wheaton North senior pole vaulter Micah Brady went to her first 3A state meet in 2016, sophomore Sarah Stair accompanied her.
They qualified again at the York sectional. Brady won (11-3) and Stair cleared the 10-3 state-qualifying standard to finish first and fifth, respectively.
“I feel like I would be so nervous if I hadn’t gone last year [with Brady],” Stair said. “I just can’t wait – and Micah’s taught me a lot.”
Brady’s 11-6 on April 28 tied the all-time school record. Stair has improved from 7-6 as a freshman to 10-9 this year.
At 2016 state, 10-9 reached finals.
“There are a lot of [state] expectations I have for myself. I know I can definitely achieve all of them,” Brady said.