High School Sports

State champions Schwartz, Stepney lead locals into IHSA sectional competition

Big hits, kicks and jumps

Baseball, softball, girls soccer and track are in action.
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Baseball, softball, girls soccer and track are in action.

Waterloo High School senior Jenna Schwartz begins her quest for a third state championship Wednesday when she competes at the Class 2A Triad Sectional Track and Field Meet.

The 2017 Class 2A state cross country champion and winner of the Class 2A 3,200-meter state title a year ago, Schwartz is one of several top area athletes hoping to qualify for the 2019 state finals with solid performances this week.

The 2019 IHSA Girls State Track and Field Meet will be held May 16-18 at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston. Perennial state title contender East St. Louis is the top team at the Triad Sectional which begins at 1 p.m. on Friday.

The Flyerettes, who won the Southwestern Conference Meet a week ago, placed second at the Class 2A state finals a year ago.

While Schwartz and East St. Louis have high hopes heading into the Triad Sectional where 17 teams will compete, Belleville West senior LaQwasia Stepney and the Maroons will compete at the Class 3A O’Fallon Sectional, set to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The defending state champion in the long jump, Stepney is also a top hope in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, but is only one of several top athletes on a Maroons squad which should be in the state trophy hunt once again after placing third in Class 3A a year ago. The O’Fallon Sectional includes 16 teams, including six Southwestern Conference schools and Granite City.

Most of the metro-east’s Class 2A teams are competing at the Triad Sectional, while teams such as Civic Memorial, Jerseyville, Wood River and Roxana compete at the Lincoln Sectional, which is set for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Class 1A Sparta and Class 1A Fairfield Sectionals are set for Wednesday. The Sparta Sectional, which features most of the local teams, begins at 4 pm. Mater Dei, Carlyle, Okawville and Nashville are at the Fairfield Sectional which begins at 2:30 p.m.

The top two place winners in each events and any others equaling IHSA standards qualify for the state track meet.