On a day when Raynesha Lewis stumbled out of the gate, Cahokia junior Mariya Hudson picked up the slack for the Comanches during the preliminary round of the Class 2A girls state track meet at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
Picking up where she left off a year ago when she won the 100, 200 and 400 meter state titles, Hudson posted the best qualifying time in all three to lead the way for the two-time defending state champion Comanches.
Hudson, who combined with Lewis to score all 61 of Cahokia’s points a year go, ran times of 12.06 seconds in the 100 meters, 24.66 in the 200 and 55.98 in the 400 meters as the Comanches advanced 10 entries into the final round on Saturday.
Headed to the University of Nebraska in August, Lewis, the defending state champion in the long jump, failed to qualify for the finals. But battling an injured foot, Lewis did manage to make the finals in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump.
The Comanches also advanced in the 400 and 800 meter relays and has three other individuals make finals that will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
Richter advances in two events
Triad senior Allison Richter advanced to the finals in the shot put and discus while senior Gabby Arbus qualified in the pole vault to lead the way for the Knights.
Headed to Western Illinois University, Richter is currently sixth in the shot put (39 feet 11, 1/2 inches) and third in the discus (128 feet, 11 inches).
Freeburg’s Stephanie Jacobs advanced to the finals in the pole vault and the Midgets also qualified for the finals in the 3,200 meter relay. Highland is also one of 12 teams in the 3,200 meters finals.
Class 3A preliminaries
Winding down a brilliant high school career, Alton senior LaJarvia Brown posted the best qualifying time of the day in the 300 meter hurdles — 43.94 seconds — and also moved on in the triple jump, long jump and 100 meter hurdles as she led the way for local athletes at the Class 3A state track meet.
Brown, a Texas A&M University recruit, is a two-time state champion in the triple jump and a two-time state place winner in the long jump.
East St. Louis also had a good preliminary round day. Junior Evangeline Harris has the second best throw in the shot put at 43 feet, 8 1/2 inches, while teammate Jazzmine Poole is third in the discus with an effort of 131 feet, 9 inches.
The Flyerettes also made the finals in the 1,600 meter relay.
Granite City and O’Fallon are in the finals in two relays. The Warriors will compete in the 400 and 800 meter relays, while the Panthers are in the finals of the 800 and 1,600 meter relays.
Belleville West is in the finals in the 400 meter relay while Belleville East senior Tamar Mosby is in the finals in the high jump.
Dean Criddle: 618--239-2661, @CriddleDean