Girls Track Begins Outdoor Season


Group of juniors pose for a picture after the Prospect Relays meet on Friday, April 5.

Anna Hulstedt, Features Editor

      The Belvidere North girls track and field team has moved outdoors for the remaining weeks of the season. After a successful indoor season, it is important for the team to continue working on times outdoors to attempt to qualify individuals and relay teams for the state finals in May. Typically, outdoor season brings about better times and records compared to indoor season, and North’s team has the goal to win the outdoor conference meet in a few weeks.

      The first outdoor meet was a quad meet at Hononegah High School. North took third, behind Hononegah and Boylan, topping Auburn by 42 points.

      On April 5, the following Friday, North traveled to Arlington Heights to compete in the Prospect Relays invitational. This meet is different from most others in the fact that all of the running events are relays. For example, the meet included the typical 4×100 m, 4×200 m, 4×400 m, and 4×800 m relays, but also included a distance medley relay and a sprint medley relay, as well as a variety of other relay combinations. The times from four 1600 meter runners from each team were added to make it a “team race”. The same process was done for the 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles. Field events were still individual competitions, but all of the running event individual awards were based on the relay teams. North faced some tough competition at this meet, taking sixth place out of nine teams.

      The next day, on April 6, North went to Oregon HS for the Gebhardt-Worley Invite. Since it was the same date as Belvidere North’s prom, several athletes were unable to attend, and the team took sixth place of ten teams at the meet. Some top finishers from the meet included Caitlin Corso (‘20) in the 800 meter run (fourth place), Gloria Oteng-Bediako (‘22) in the 400 meter dash (first place) and triple jump (first place), Paige Lambright (‘20) in the shot put (second place) and discus (second place), and Isabel Limones (‘21) in the shot put (sixth place). The 4×100 meter relay team of Madolyn Taskey (‘22), Crystal Sotelo (‘22), Oteng-Bediako, and Butter Lundquist (‘22) placed third and the 4×200 meter relay team of Kylee Johnson (‘21), Crystal Sotelo (‘22), Butter Lundquist (‘22), and Madolyn Taskey (‘22) placed fifth.

      New to the schedule this season was the Ritter Invitational at Downers Grove North High School on Friday, April 12. North faced several tough 3A teams, and took fifth place out of 16 teams. Top finishers from the meet included Haley Dahl (‘19) in the 100 meter hurdles (sixth place) and second place in the 300 meter hurdles, Sarah Hulstedt (‘20) in second place for shot put, Lambright in shot put (third place) and second in discus, Jada Garza (‘20) in fifth place for discus, Madison Diercks (‘20) in the 1600 meter run (third place), high jump (sixth place), BrookeLynn Messenger (‘19) in high jump, and Oteng-Bediako in triple jump (fourth place). The 4×400 meter relay team of Oteng-Bediako, Katie Luna (‘20), Dahl (‘19), and Messenger (‘19) took sixth place as well.

      Dahl, who is committing to University of Illinois at Chicago to run track, is looking forward to rest of another successful track season. She says, “Regarding my goals for the rest of this season, I would like to continue to PR and break records, specifically the 300 hurdles record. I also aim to qualify for state in the 100 hurdles and place at state in the 300 hurdles.”

Oteng-Bediako says, “My personal goals for the season are to cut two seconds from my 400 meter time and jump 40 feet in triple jump.” Currently, she is ranked first in the state for freshman in triple jump and is excited to see what the rest of the season will bring.

      The next meet for the Blue Thunder will be at Belvidere High School on Wednesday, April 17 against Belvidere and Hononegah. Following that meet, North will travel to Antioch High School on Thursday, April 18. After one more week of the regular season, the NIC-10 conference meet will be at the beginning of May, followed by Sectionals and the State Finals at Eastern Illinois University.