BENTON — With no less than three big-name, talented runners in the field of the 17th annual Don Webb Invitational, it was five Du Quoin freshmen that not only led the Lady Indians to an easy victory, but were key members of the two relay teams that shattered meet records.
“We ran well,” said Du Quoin coach Shane Boyett. “We won almost every running event because we’ve got some good girls. They are not only talented, but they work hard and it shows in meets.”
Du Quoin won 10 of the 12 running events, with the only losses coming to the celebrated McLain twins of the host team. In the 3200-meter run Mia McLain — who shattered her own record set as a freshman by 22.18 seconds with a new record time of 11:28.99 — and Madi, who won her signature event (300-meter hurdles) with a time of 48.92. The Indians beat second place Marion by 75 points.
Du Quoin got off to a big splash with the freshman-dominated 4x800 relay team breaking the event record for the meet by over 26 seconds, in a time of 10:04.20. Freshmen Olivia Phillips and Grace Alongi ran the second and third legs, with sophomore Jacqueline Crain leading off and junior Gabby Alongi closing out.
“Our best time was a 9:52, so we were expecting to break the record today and were really happy when we did,” Grace Alongi said.
The 4x100 was up next, and with freshmen Jalynn Wood and Ayanna Dunklin running the first and third legs with sophomore Cyerrah Harris and senior Madison Davis running two and anchor, respectively, Du Quoin won the race, missing the record by just .64 seconds.
‘We had a good class coming in and we’ve been really happy with how we all have been running,” Grace Alongi said. “It’s been great because the upperclassmen have been so supportive.”
Two events later, Wood — who had earlier won the pole vault by clearing 8-6 — beat Madi McLain in the 100-meter hurdles by .72 seconds with a time of 16.64. Later, Wood would finish second to McLain in the 300-meter hurdles by .56 seconds, with a time of 49.48.
It was Phillips' turn two events later, and she won the 800-meter run by 9.53 seconds over Herrin junior Charli Elliott.
Grace Alongi won the 400-meter dash by three seconds over Marion sophomore Heaven Edwards with a personal best time of 1:01.56.
After Gabby Alongi won the 1600-meter run (5.28.93) and Davis the 200-meter dash (27.26), Phillips and Grace Alongi joined Crain and Gabby Alongi shattered the 4x400 relay record by 7.19 seconds with a time of 4:11.52.
“Our best time in the 4x400 was 4:07, so we expected to break that record too,” Grace Alongi said. “We were hoping to run under 4:10, so we were right around there.”
Fellow freshman Maddie Decker ran a good race against Mia McLain finishing third less than 10 seconds off the record pace.
The other first place finishers were Marion freshman Maryiah Menicucci in the shot put (34-4), Herrin junior Bianca Hudson in the long jump (15-5.50) and the triple jump (35-0), Carterville junior Megan Barton in the high jump (5-3) and Carterville junior Jeniah Thompson in the discus (102-1).