DU QUOIN — Winning championships is getting to be a regular occurrence for the Du Quoin girls track team.
Just six days after wrapping up the SIRR Mississippi crown, the Indians tacked on their second straight Class 1A sectional title. And, it wasn’t close. Du Quoin doubled up on conference rival Pinckneyville 168-83. Christopher was third in the 12-team field with 81 points.
The Indians won six events and will send competitors to state in 13 of 18 events.
“We knew we were coming in pretty strong,” said Du Quoin coach Shane Boyett. “You always get people that win events, but when you get people that win and people that get seconds, thirds and fourths and we double up in a lot of events, you score well. We were able to do that today. Again, it’s another team effort today.”
The Indians picked up wins in the pole vault (Delainie Dearmond), 3200 and 1600 meters (Andrea Lopez), the 100 meters (Madison Davis), 800 meters (Gabby Alongi) and the 3200 meter relay.
In addition, Du Quoin will be sending Elizabeth Bird in the high jump, Aubrey Barwick in the shot put and discus, Bailey Harsy in the 100 meter hurdles, Davis in the 200 meters, Alongi in the 400, Madeline Robison in the pole vault, and Jacqueline Crain in the 800 meters.
“It’s always fun to take girls up to state,” Boyett said. “We’ll go up there and have a good time. We’ll try to compete. I think we have a chance to hopefully place, or make it to Saturday in a few events. That’s our goal. We’re going to get ready for it. We have another week. We’re looking forward to it.”
And, while several competitors qualified in a couple events – Alongi in the 400 and 800, Davis in the 100 and 200, Barwick in the shot put and discus and Lopez in the 1600 and 3200, Boyett probably won’t be faced with the task of asking athletes to choose between events.
“No, there might be one or two, but the way they’re falling, we’re going to try Gabby (Alongi) in the 400 and the 800,” he said. “If we run our best time ever in the 3200 meter relay we have a shot. We’re going to try and hopefully we’ll get a few more medals this year.”
Four freshmen are among the Du Quoin contingent going to state.
“We have at least four freshmen that made it up there and get a chance to compete,” Boyett said. “That’s always encouraging. It’s a different world when you get up there at state. It’s a bigger world than they’re used to in junior high.
“Other than the freshmen, several of them have been there before and they’ll know what to expect. Hopefully, they’ll perform well. They’ve performed well all year, so I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
In the meantime, there were three other athletes to qualify in two events.
Pinckneyville’s Dakota Krone won both the long and triple jumps. Sesser-Valier’s Paige Tucker won the high jump and finished second in the triple jump. Cairo’s Ashanti Tucker took first in the 200 meters and second in the 100.
Only one athlete, Du Quoin’s Bird in the high jump, qualified by reaching state standards.
The Class 1A girls state preliminaries will be next Thursday at Eastern Illinois University.