Looking to put the finishing touch on her high school career, Cahokia senior Mariya Hudson has the Comanches in position for a fourth-straight class 2A girls state track and field championship.
Competing in the preliminary round of the Class 2A state finals Friday at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston, Hudson recorded the top time in the 100-meter (11.64 seconds) and 200-meter (24.42), as she led a strong performance by the Comanches on the second day of competition.
A five-time individual state champion, Hudson also has the third-best time in the 400-meter (55.53) and is third in the long jump, leaping 18 feet, 6 3/4 inches, heading into the final three attempts Saturday.
That performance, along with sophomore LaQwasia Stepney advancing into the finals in the long jump and 100- and 300-meter hurdles, led the way for Cahokia, which will have 10 entries in the finals Saturday at Eastern Illinois University.
Cahokia also is in the finals of the 400- and 800-meter relays, while junior Jayla Crosby is in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles.
Other local athletes advancing into the final round Saturday included Stephanie Jacobs, of Freeburg, who went 11 feet in the pole vault to advance. Freeburg also has the fourth-best time in the 3,200-meter relay (9:46.77) heading into the finals.
Mackenzie Dixon, of Mascoutah, ran 2:20.36 in the 800-meter Friday. Dixon’s time was the sixth best of the day.
Seeded first in the 400- and 800-meter relay events after impressive wins at the Belleville West Sectional, the O’Fallon Panthers moved closer to state championships Friday by qualifying first in both during the preliminary round of the class 3A state track and field meet.
The Panthers posted a time of 47.40 in the 400-meter relay, then came back later in the day to run a time of 1:40.29 in the 800-meter relay.
Coupled with an effort of 11.89 by Tamya Houston — the second best time of the day in the 100-meter — the Panthers are in position for a top-10 finish in the team competition.
East St. Louis advanced six entries into the finals. Junior Rokelle Stanley posted the best time of the day in the 300-meter hurdles at 43.91 and has the fifth-best time in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.91.
The Flyerettes qualified in the 800-meter relay and have the second best time in the 1,600-meter relay at 3:56.06. Senior Jazzmine Poole is second in the discus with three throws left. Poole’s top throw of the day was 130-8.
East St. Louis teammate Evangeline Harris is seventh in the discus.
Edwardsville is in the final of the 3,200-meter relay, while Belleville West, Granite City and Alton are in the finals of the 400-meter relay.