The Highland Middle School girls and boys track and field teams combined to qualify four athletes for the upcoming Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association Class L State Meet from the Mascoutah Regional held Tuesday, May 1.
State qualifiers make the cut by finishing in the top two positions to automatically qualify in their respective event or by meeting the qualifying standard on the time or distance of the event.
The Lady Bullpups had three state qualifiers. The trio who made the cut to state were eighth grader Krista Rittenhouse, who was the regional champion in the 1,600-meter run after posting an impressive four-lap time of 5:43.93; eighth grader Josie Hapack, who finished second in the discus with a throw of 77 feet, 7 inches; and seventh grader Krista Eads, who met the state-qualifying standard in the pole vault after clearing the bar at 7-0.
For the HMS boys, eighth grader James Beard was the lone state qualifier but he advances to state in two events. He finished second in the 400-meter dash with a quick one-lap time of 56.85 seconds. Beard also made the cut with a second-place finish in the long jump with a best leap of 17-11.50.
The HMS girls 4 x 400-meter relay team had a tough go after finishing third (top two auto qualify) to Triad by 0.51 of a second. The quartet of Krista Eads, Krista Rittenhouse, Britin Machuca and Britney Janiszewski gave a great effort and posted a noteworthy team time, missing he 4:37.24 qualifying time by 0.06 of a second. Earlier in the day in the open 400-meter dash, Janiszewski earlier ran a 1:06.69 and Eads posted a 1:08.94.
The SIJHSAA Class L State Meet will be held this Saturday, May 12 at Tri-C Elementary School in Carterville.