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Three Records Set in Eighth Grade State Track Meet

EAST PEORIA - Three records were set and a sizzling eighth grade boys 1600-meter race highlighted the first day of competition in the IESA Class AA State Final Track and Field Meet Friday at the EastSide Centre.

Emmonnie Henderson of Cahokia Wirth obliterated the 7AA girls shot put record when she threw it 35-4.50 on her last throw in the finals. The old record was 34-4 set in 1997 by Matika Fisher of Jerseyville Illini. Henderson won the event by 2 feet 11 inches and bettered the old record by 12.5 inches.

Austin Semplowski of Gillespie won the 8AA boys 400-meter dash in a time of :51.41 to better the old mark of :52.03 set by Timothy Allen of East St. Louis Lincoln in 2001.

Megan Paul of Mundelein Fremont and Dacia Gardner of East St. Louis Lincoln both ran times better than the 8AA girls 400-meter dash mark. Gardner finished second in a time of :58.96 and Paul won the race and set the record with a time of :58.14. The old record was :59.32 by Jen Guy of Normal Parkside, set in 2005.

Lukas Verzbickas of New Lenox Liberty fell 27 hundredths of a second short of setting the all-time 1600-meter record when he won a battle in the 8AA boys race with Garrett Sweatt of Edwardsville Lincoln in a time of 4:32.01. Sweatt finished second at 4:33.06. Verzbickas took the lead from the gun and began to pull away in the third lap as the crowd roared for him to get the record. Into the wind going into turn three, he slowed momentarily and Sweatt began to close ground. In the final lap, Verzbickas pulled away around turns one and two and then Sweatt put on his kick. In the middle of turns three and four. Sweatt closed briefly, but Verzbickas held him off with a strong kick the last 100 meters. They will go against one another again Saturday in the 800-meter run.

Jeremy Nicholson of East St. Louis Lincoln won the 8AA boys long jump with a leap of 21-5.25 and was a qualifier for the finals in the 100-meter dash. Nicholson won his 100 semifinal going away by nearly 10 meters.



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