Maroons settle for second at Lady Knights Track Invitational

News-DemocratApril 12, 2014 

— The Belleville West Maroons turned in some strong performances, but it wasn't enough to earn them a title Friday night at the Triad Lady Knights Invitational.

Suburban power Naperville Central got individual championships from Ellie Marcet in the 3,200 meters and Mary Beth Blank in the 200 as it scored a 36-point win at the third annual event at Triad High School.

Entering the competition with just four full outdoor practices because of poor weather conditions this spring in the Chicago, Central used its depth to offset the brilliance of West standouts Jasmine Berry and Abrea Hopson.

Headed to the University of Illinois on a track scholarship, Berry set meet records in the 100 meter hurdles (15.08 seconds) and 300 hurdles (44.84 seconds) while Hopson won the long jump and 100 for the Maroons.

"We haven't been able to get outside much because of the weather, but we've competed in eight indoor meets and have run a full indoor schedule," said Central coach Mike Stine. "Plus we've got a few girls back who did well at the state meet a year ago. We've got some experienced kids in several events.

"Looking at the results, we were able to cover in almost all of the events. We've got good depth.''

Central finished with 182.5 points, while West totaled 146.

Junior Claire Buck won the pole vault for third-place Triad (116 points). Mahomet-Seymour (101) and Highland (76) rounded out the top five.

Berry showed the form which has made her one of the top hurdlers in the state.

After winning the 100 hurdles, Berry defeated Elise Hocking of Mahomet-Seymour by more than two seconds in the 300 hurdles.

Berry finished with a time of 44.8 seconds, while Hocking ran a 47.2.

"This was the first really nice night we've had to compete and that's why I think you saw all the good performances and why there were so many records broken,'' Maroons coach Paul James said. "Jasmine was sensational, but that's nothing new.

"She (Berry) had a great night as did Abrea in the long jump and 100 meters."

Berry also ran on winning 400 and 1,600 relays for the Maroons, while Hopson placed second in the 200 and also was a member of a 400 relay which finished in 48.76.

West also got wins from Ni'Jia McNamee in the 400 and Kelsey Shannon in the high jump.

Other local winners included Highland's Allison Zobrist in the 1,600 and Freeburg senior Abby Lealaimatafao in the shot put.

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