Big Sendoff: Marquette Catholic's Strong Girls Track and Field Contingency Heads To State
ALTON – Marquette Catholic’s star-studded seven had a well-attended sendoff to the IHSA Class 1A State Track and Field Meet on Wednesday morning at the high school.
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Explorers’ Head Girls Track and Field Coach Tim Turnbeaugh said it was a wonderful turnout and a great gathering with about 50 people in attendance.
“Today is a memorable day,” Turnbeaugh explained. “They gave us rosaries and we have a celebration and then they will give the kids a fine meal tonight. Marquette treats the girls like the champions they are. They won a lot of meets this year as a team. The girls won the Staunton Invitational, the conference meet, the East Alton-Wood River Relays, and tied for first at the East Alton-Wood River Invitational. We have freshmen going to state on the team which makes it addictive for everyone else.”
Senior Sammy Hentrich leads the Explorers state qualifiers and will participate in the long jump, triple jump, and 4 x 200 relay team. Hentrich was the regional champion with a leap of 16 feet, 3.75 inches in the long jump, and also qualified in the triple jump at the Carlinville Sectional with a leap of 32-5.75 inches.
Coach Turnbeaugh said he asked Sammy how she felt about her chances at state and she replied, “I’m good.” Turnbeaugh added that when Sammy says she is good, she really is good with her performance hopes.
“Sammy and Kailey have been to state every year since they were freshmen, so I am really looking forward to this with them,” the coach said. “It would be wonderful if Sammy could advance to the finals of one of the jumps or relay. I think Sammy is really confident.”
The 4 x 200 relay squad of Hentrich, Kailey Vickrey, Caroline Cain, and Karly Davenport cracked a school record and qualified for state at the sectional with a time of 1 minute, 51.35 seconds. The 4 x 200 relay was second at the Carlinville Sectional. The Explorers’ 4 x 800 Vickey, Paige Rister, Katie Johnson, and Ava Certa also qualified for state, with a second place second finish in a time of 10:40.39.
Coach Turnbeaugh said with the freshmen and other team members returning and a strong class coming from St. Mary’s and other Catholic schools, the 2023 Explorers’ girl's track edition should also continue this well-established tradition.
“We have a phenomenal girl's track and field program,” he said. “Our seniors have played a big part in developing that. We are in a really good spot and I hope we have someone qualify for the finals.”
The girls' track send-off closed with the Marquette School Song and the girls boarded the blue Marquette bus and departed for Charleston to showcase their talents.
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