The Cahokia Comanches entered the Class 2A Triad Girls Track and Field Sectional hoping that their walking wounded would be good enough to advance to the state meet next week in Charleston.
They left the meet with the look of a team which could repeat as state champs.
Sophomore sensation Mariya Hudson fought off the pain of a sore right knee to win four individual titles while teammate Raynesha Lewis also was a double winner as the Comanches romped to the team title at Triad High School.
The defending state champion in the 400, Hudson coasted to an easy win in that event with a time of 56.99 seconds and also posted wins in the 200 (25.25), 100 (12.34) and the long jump (17-feet, 8 1/2-inches), as she scored 40 of her team’s 121 points.
Lewis added wins in the 100 hurdles (14.91) and triple jump (35-7) while Takrya Buford won the 300 hurdles (47.2) for the Comanches, who also claimed the 400 and 800 relays.
But it was Hudson, one of the top sophomore sprinters in the nation, and Lewis, who paced the Comanches. The Comanches’ effort seemed to surprise even coach Roscoe Dowell, who brought plenty of supplies to help his team.
“Ice, tape, bandages ... we were prepared to try and make it through tonight and then give the kids the next three days off to rest and recover. It’s been a long year with all the injuries we’ve had, but hopefully we’re getting a little healthier now. Mariya and Raynesha had great nights for us,’’ Dowell said. “Our goals were to win the (South Seven) conference and then the sectional titles. We’ve done that.
“Now we’ll give the girls a few days off and see what we can do next week in Charleston.”
Hudson is one of the Comanches who won’t get any time off.
“I’ll be our running tomorow (Friday). My mom won’t let me take any days off,’’ Hudson said, smiling. “I felt pretty good tonight. My knee hurt me a little bit in the long jump. But not bad. I’m looking forward to state next week.’’
Mount Vernon placed second in the team competition with 66 points, while host Triad, getting wins from Claire Buck in the pole vault (10-6 ) and Allison Richter in the discus (126-1) , tied Herrin for third with 63 points each.
Richter also qualified for state in the shot put while senior Jenniba Johnson advanced in the 100 and 200. Also moving on were Abigail Richter (800), Gabby Arbas (pole vault) and Lexie Wheeler (high jump)
While Hudson, Lewis and Cahokia stole the show, the Triad Knights also enjoyed a good night led by Buck’s performance in the pole vault.
Headed to the University of Wisconsin, Buck had the top Class 2A vault in the state 12-7 entering the postseason. She won with a height of 10-6 on Thursday.
“It was all right. I won and I advanced. That’s what counts,’’ Buck said. “My goal next week is to go 13 feet.’’
Freeburg won the 3,200 and 1,600 relays, and also advanced Stephanie Jacobs in the pole vault, Emily Vahlkamp in the triple jump and Kayla Whitworth in the 1,600.
Waterloo’s Genna Bourgeois cleared 5-0 to win the high jump. The Bulldogs also advanced Hannah Finnerty in the 100 hurdles.
Mascoutah will be represented at state by its 3,200 relay.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.