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Marathon Class A State Track Meet Produces Great Performances

EAST PEORIA -- Ryan Pearce of Villa Grove won three events for the second straight year, Sarah Bell of Normal Epiphany set the all-time IESA record in the girls pole vault, and Mt. Pulaski's Jessica Awe fell just short of winning three events for the second straight year in the marathon Class A State Final Track and Field Meet Saturday at the EastSide Centre.

Torrential rains washed out everything Friday except the girls high jump and the two-day meet was reduced to conducting all 194 races in the running events and 40 flights in the field events Saturday. Competition began at 9:00 a.m. and concluded at 10:40 p.m.

Pearce set Class A eighth grade records in the shot put and discus and won the 200-meter dash. He won those same events as a seventh grader last year. In the shot put Saturday Pearce won with a toss of 55-9.5 and in the discus he won with a throw of 175-2. His winning time in the 200 was 24.71.

Sarah Bell soared 10-4 on her first attempt to better the then all-time mark of 10-3 set by Emily Clay of Bloomington Cornerstone in 2007. She then had the bar raised to 10-9.25 and cleared it to set the new standard by 6.25 inches.

Awe won the eighth grade long jump and 200-meter dash after winning those events in seventh grade, and she finished third in the 100-meter dash after taking it in the seventh grade. Awe won the long jump with a mark of 16-6.25 and the 200 in a time of 27.11. She was third in the 100 in 13.05.

Erie won the 7A girls team title with 45 points. Carthage was second at 39, Springfield Christ The King was third at 36 and Champaign Judah Christian was fourth with 32.

Carthage won the 7A boys team title with 38 points. Carrollton GS was second at 29, Normal Epiphany was third with 27 and Heyworth and Kewanee Wethersfield tied for fourth with 23.

Assumption Central A&M won the 8A girls team title with 43 points, followed by Normal Epiphany at 42, Mt. Pulaski at 29 and Champaign St. Matthew at 20.5.

Madison won the 8A boys team title with 31 points. Second was Villa Grove at 30. Kewanee Wethersfield was third at 24 and Greenfield was fourth at 22.

In 7A girls competition, Molly McGraw of Bloomington Holy Trinity set the 7A girls record in the high jump with a mark of 5-3 Friday. Then Saturday: Sarah Sepanski of Springfield Christ The King won both the 100 and 200, posting a winning time of 13.38 in the 100 and a winning time of 27.96 in the 200. Dani Aurit of Marseilles ES won the 800 in 2:26.31 and the 1600 in 5:24.21.

In 7A boys competition, Tyler Barnas of Walnut Bureau Valley North set the 7A record in the 110-meter hurdles winning the final in 16.07. Jesse Douglas of Alorton Neely won the long jump and 400-meter dash, taking the long jump with a leap of 17-4.75, and the 400 in 57.03. Jason Fry of Stewardson-Strasburg won the shot put with a heave of 41-1.5 and the discus in 140-2. Braxton Phelps of Carthage also was a double winner taking the 100 in 12.23 and the 200 in 26.01.

Also in the 7A boys meet, Heyworth's Brian King was the fourth double winner, winning the 800 and 1600. King ran the 800 in 2:18.14 and nipped Dominique Reynolds of East St. Louis Jackson. Reynolds was timed in 2:18.44. Earlier in the day King beat Reynolds in the 1600 by more than three seconds. King was timed in 5:06.19 and runner-up Reynolds ran 5:09.53.

In 8A girls, Madison Zimmer of Delavan won the 1600 in 5:24.94 and was nipped at the finish in the 800 to finish second in 2:28.42. Maureen Lawless of Peoria St. Philomena won the 800 in 2:28.19. In addition to her record performance in the pole vault, Normal Epiphany's Sarah Bell finished fourth in the 200-meter dash in 28.26. The 200 winner was Mt. Pulaski's Awe.

There were no other double winners in 8A boys besides Villa Grove's Ryan Pearce, who scored all 30 of his team's points for the second straight year. Last year those points were good enough to win the team title.

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