CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Thirteen state titles call central Illinois home following the final day of the girls track and field season. Six in 1A and seven in 2A. Four teams finished on the podium after Saturday.
Kenli Nettles expected to walk away with at least one state championship, but for the A-L-A-H junior, she kept winning one after another. She won a first place title in the high jump, the 100-meter hurdles,and the 300-meter hurdles. But getting on the medal stand wasn’t the only thing on her mind.
“My grandma, she passed away a few years ago of lung cancer, and she was always at every single one of my track meets, and I’m just really doing this for her,” Nettles said. “I am so amazed with myself and the way I performed today.”
Although, it was nothing short of a heated battle for the title. A top competitor of Nettles’ was St. Tersea Senior Daelin Switzer. Switzer finished on the podium in all of her events, while leading the Bulldogs to their third place finish in the 1A class, they shared the overall team title with St. Joe-Ogden, who earned back-to-back championships in the 4×200 relay.
“We came in seeded first and we knew we had a big target on our backs, but being our senior year, I just really wanted to finish it strong and get the win for us,” SJO senior MacClayne Taylor said.
While Taylor, and other seniors ended their careers on the podium, it was actually the juniors that stole the show. Diomonasia Taylor of Urbana, set a new IHSA record clearing 5-foot-11, she even attempted to clear 6-feet on the high jump. Monticello also made a mark in their own record books, winning the third place team title, their best finish in school history, with Emelia Ness leading the way on the hurdles.
“I was just standing at the blocks, and just ‘300 left, let’s just give it your all you had a long weekend.’ and to get second was just a great accomplishment for me,” Ness said.
The boys will be in action next weekend, with the 1A prelims starting on Thursday.