High School Sports

East St. Louis wins Belleville West sectional track championship

East St. Louis junior Rokelle Stanley scored wins in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and senior Jazzmine Poole won the discus, as the Flyerettes overcame some early difficulties Friday to win the team title at the Belleville West Class 3A sectional track meet.

The Southwestern Conference champions Flyerettes failed to qualify for the state finals in the 400-meter relay, but when Poole had a career-best throw of just over 149 feet to win the discus, East St. Louis was back on track.

Stanley nipped Belleville West sophomore Kelvi Searcy to win the 100-meter hurdles, Jariah Turner won the 400 meters and when Stanley won the 300 meter hurdles in 43.32 seconds, East St. Louis had the championship well within reach.

“I was hoping to run under 43 seconds today. I got out of the (starting) blocks well and ran a good race. Same for the 100-meter hurdles,” Stanley said after the 300-meter hurdle finals. “Next week, I’ll run faster.”

The Flyerettes, who also won the 1,600-meter relay and advanced to the Class 3A state track meet in two other relays, finished with 91 points, 22 more than O’Fallon. But even more important, coach Nino Fennoy’s squad put itself in good position heading into the Class 3A preliminaries on May 19 at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.

Finals in all three classes are May 20 in Charleston.

Second-place O’Fallon will be represented in 10 events. The Panthers were led by their sprint relay teams, which won both the 400- and 800-meter relays. O’Fallon ran season-best times of 47.09 seconds in the 400 meter and 1:39.71 in the 800 meter.

“I thought we would go under 1:40, but I thought it would come next week at the state meet,” O’Fallon coach Neil James said. “I’m very pleased at how we performed today. With a couple of exceptions, we got everybody out I thought we would.”

O’Fallon also got second-place finishes from Tamiya Houston in the 100 meters and both Abby Carney and Mya Watson-Blake in the high jump.

It was also a good day for both Belleville West and Belleville East. The Belleville city champions, West will have athletes in seven events at the state finals. Freshman Jessica Coughlin advanced in both the long jump and 400 meters, while Brittany Walker placed second in the triple jump to move on. West also qualified in three relays.

The surprise of the day came from Belleville East. Coach Brad Pfeiffer’s squad was led by a 1-2 finish in the 800 meters. Seleiya Wilson won the title and was followed by teammate Danielle Schultz.

“We had a game plan go out fast, set a real good pace and see who would we could take out in first 400 meters. The girls did a great job and stayed right with each other the entire race,” Pfeiffer said.

Also advancing for Belleville East were its 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams, Miraya Wright and Ciara Hampton in the 100-meter hurdles and Essence Winters in the 300-meter hurdles.

Edwardsville won the 3,200-meter relay and got a win from Abby Korak in the 1,600 meters, while Granite City was second in the 400-meter relay and also qualified in the 800-meter relay.