At the state finals, all competitors have the same goal: win a state championship in their chosen event.
But if that isn’t in the cards, their goal is to at least earn all-state status and leave Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field with some hardware signifying said finish at the Illinois High School Association State Finals. That is exactly what Eve Meintz, a Marian Central Catholic junior, Cora Uidl, a Woodstock High School senior, and Kylie Hagmann, a WHS sophomore, did.
All three entered Charleston with the goal of earning all-state status and all three left with medals May 20.
Meintz will have another shot at it next year. She finished as the sixth-best high jumper in Class 2A. She finished with a leap of 5 feet, 3 inches. The high jump was won by Urbana freshman Diamonasia Taylor, who recorded a leap of 5-8.
Meintz had plenty of underclass company in the state finals. Only one of the all-state finishers was a senior. Courtney Kruthoff from Erie took fifth with a jump of 5-3. All are slated to return for their respective teams in one year. Every competitor that advanced to the Saturday final recorded a jump of 5-1.
The Lady ’Canes junior is the first athlete from Marian Central Catholic to earn a medal since 2009. Amy Miskowicz earned a ninth-place medal in the shot put to complete the 2008-09 season.
Hagman took sixth in her event, the 3,200-meter run. The WHS sophomore, who ran in the fast heat, finished the race in 11 minutes, 26.72 seconds. The Class 2A race was won by Grace McLaughlin of Boylan Catholic, who finished in 10:40.45.
“I am really happy with how the race turned out,” said Hagmann. “I wanted to go out aggressive and try to run as well as I could after that. Next year, I would like to focus on the 3,200-meter run and keep moving up on the podium.”
Hagmann also earned all-state status in cross-country.
“I think that helped,” said the sophomore of advancing to the state finals in cross-country. “It prepared me for what the state finals would be like.”
WHS has shown its dominance in the 3,200 since the inception of the girls state track and field finals. Blue Streaks have earned a total of nine medals in the distance race, including seven in the last decade. Of those seven, three have been state championship runs.
Uidl, who finished sixth in the pole vault one year ago, earned seventh place this year. The senior finished with a leap of 11-0. The winning height of 12-9 was posted by Monticello junior Aliyah Welter. She and the second-place competitor were the only two to jump higher than 12-0.
“Technically, I was very happy with how I was jumping,” said Uidl. “But, I was not happy with the height. I was on some new poles, and it was a bit awkward.”
Uidl will have a chance to improve on her leaps in college. She will continue to pole vault for the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
“During the off-season, I want to run, lift and jump, so I am better than I am now,” said the senior. “I would have liked to have been near the 12-0 mark. I got to that height one year ago and wished I would have again.”