CHARLESTON (WCIA) — Heading into the Class 2A girls’ track and field state championships Friday, Brianna Dixon has her sights set on a personal record. Little did she know she was about to become Rantoul’s very first girls’ gold medal winner in the sport.
“I’m really excited,” Dixon said. “Even though I didn’t PR, had a little rough start, I’m glad I made it through.”
A state title medal in the 100-meter hurdles was her second medallion of the day. In the high jump, the sophomore cleared just over 5-foot-3 inches to finish third, a new career best mark.
“I always knew I could do it, my mom my coaches were always telling me I could do it, but I never really had the confidence to do it myself,” she said. “But today I could feel myself getting up there and I was like, ‘I just got to do it, stop being scared and just do it.'”
Dixon was the lone state qualifier for Rantoul, but other viewing area teams like Mt. Zion came to Charleston with more than a dozen state qualifiers. That helped the Braves reach fourth place overall as a team.
“It’s just so amazing the feeling of companionship and teamwork,” Mt. Zion senior Morgan Pilate said. “It’s just like the feeling of togetherness just brings you warmth to your soul it really does.”
Pilate finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles, but the Braves were led by senior Sara Addai, who set a school record in the 200-meter dash, while winning the state title in the 400.
“I feel so good about it,” Addai said. “And I’m really proud of my relay and just my team in general and I feel like we did so good today even in like all the heat and everything.”
This is the highest finish in program history for the Braves, who improved after placing seventh in 2019. The Class 3A girls’ state track and field championships are Saturday, followed by the boys meets next Thursday-Saturday in Charleston.