CHARLESTON - Father McGivney Catholic Head Girls Track Coach Jim Helton said the Lady Griffins Track and Field team did an excellent job navigating the high stakes "lose and go home" IHSA State preliminaries at Eastern Illinois University on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Charleston.

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The Griffins' Elena Rybak and Lilly Gilbertson led the squad on Thursday as they have all season advancing in two individual events and are also relay participants.

In the field events, Mia Range only needed two jumps to clear the State Finals qualification, advancing with a height of 5' .25" (1.53m); she's one of 15 jumpers left in the 1A State Championships with finals on Saturday, 5/18/24. Morgan Gestes jumped a strong long jump series, with a length of 15' 3.5" (4.66m) to finish in the Top 25 in 1A State. The 4 x 800m relay team of: Kaitlyn Hatley, Jane Cummins, Caroline Rakers, and Elena Rybak finished first in their heat with 9:51.25 (2nd best time in prelims).

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Rakers did an excellent job of subbing in for Lilly Gilbertson as we tried to maximize our team's efforts. Lilly qualified in the 400m (57.18; 2nd ranked time) and 200m (25.09; 2nd ranked time and school record).

Rybak qualified in the 800m (2:15.1; top-ranked time) and 1600m (5:05; 3rd best time). Hatley raced to the 6th overall time in the 400m (58.95) to advance to finals. The 4 x 400m relay of Gilbertson, Hatley, Cummins, and Rybak won their heat in 4:06.9, qualifying with the 2nd best time. The 4 x 200m relay of Range, Gestes, Rakers, and Elsa Biermann 1:52,1, finishing 25th in 1A State and barely missing the school record.

On Saturday, May 18, 2024, the Lady Griffins race in the IHSA State Championships where McKenzie Jones joins them in the 3200m; 7 individual events, and 2 relays.

"We are looking forward to what the Finals bring! Coach Helton said.

More like this:

Jun 4, 2024 - McGivney Girls Dominate to Win State Title, Team Rate As Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb Female Athletes of the Month

May 20, 2024 - Lady Griffins Secure State Title With "Team Effort" and Record Times

Apr 22, 2024 - McGivney Girls Stand Out At Edwardsville Girls Invite, Girls and Boys Have Strong Murphysboro Invite Performances

May 14, 2024 - 12 Lady Griffins Qualify for IHSA State Championships

Apr 15, 2024 - Lilly Gilbertson Posts Three School Records: Griffins Girls Capture Sam Bennett Invite Title, Boys Are Third At Staunton Meet