Morton vaults to girls track championship

Bryan Veginski
Morton sophomore Cris Sheehan placed fifth in the discus and sixth in the shot put to contribute to the girls track and field team’s Mid-Illini Conference championship May 1. The Potters easily outscored second-place Dunlap at Canton to win their third consecutive title. Morton participates Thursday in the Class 2A Dunlap Sectional.

The Morton girls track and field team again is the cream of the crop in the Mid-Illini Conference.

The Potters won their third consecutive championship by accumulating points in all 18 events at the May 1 meet hosted by Canton.

Morton had 147.5 points to outscore runner-up Dunlap by 42.5. It is the program’s 12th M-I title in the league’s 31-year history.

“Our depth and competitive heart really rocked the meet,” MHS head coach Lynn Rudin said. “I am so proud of this team.”

The Potters outscored the other conference members on the track and in the field.

Senior Brittany Stamm was a two-event champion. She won the 100 hurdles in 16 seconds, good for a 0.72-second margin, and the triple jump with a mark of 32-feet-7-inches.

Stamm repeated her conference hurdles victory.

Chelsea Gilles, also a senior, rose from her No. 7 seed to sprint to the title in the 100 dash in a career-best time of 12.78 seconds, 0.12 faster than the second-place contestant from Dunlap.

All event champions are automatic first-team all-conference selections.

Additionally, senior Bridget Carius was one of the three athletes named to the first team as an at-large pick.

Morton was second seven times and had double scoring on eight occasions, which was what gave it separation since Washington, Metamora, Dunlap and Canton all matched or exceeded the Potters’ three first-place finishes.

“I told the girls going into the meet that we most likely would not take many firsts, but we could double up in many events to gain points,” said Rudin. “I also told the girls we would score points where we weren’t seeded and we did.”

Carius and Gilles were runners-up twice apiece individually.

Carius was second in the 3200 and 1600 runs. Gilles shared that spot in the 200 and 400 after also racing to career-fastest marks.

Savina Fischer was second-best in the long jump with a career-best 15-9 1/2.

The Morton 4x100 and 4x200 relays both were runners-up as well.

Bethany Bremer, Taylor Wright, Ashley Gilles and Chelsea Gilles clocked a :51.46 in the 400 relay.

In the 800 relay, Potters Stamm, Olivia Williams, Ashley Gilles and Hannah Goddard recorded a 1:50.56.

Morton delivered double points on a warm day in the 100 hurdles, 100, 800, 400, 1600, long jump, pole vault and shot put.

Brooke Goodyear (800), Fischer (400), Wright (300 hurdles), Stamm (long jump), Bremer (pole vault) and Logan Namanny (shot put) all placed third for the Potters.

The 4x400, featuring the quartet of Bremer, Madi Glatz, Wright and Ashley Gilles, also was in the No. 3 league position.

Madi Day (100 hurdles) and Lizzie McMurtrey (shot put) of Morton were fourth-place recipients.

Namanny and McMurtrey both had career-best throws of 32-plus feet in the shot. Bremer also had her best performance ever in the pole vault at 7-6.

Athletes in fifth included: Fischer (100), Hannah Behle (800), Goodyear (1600), Niya Wells (high jump) and Cris Sheehan (discus).

Sheehan also was sixth in the pole vault, along with the Potter foursome of Katie Saunders, Chloe Williams, Erika Gordon and Behle in the 3200 relay.

The teams in second through fourth places overall — Dunlap, Metamora and Pekin, respectively —were identical to last season.

Frosh/soph: Morton was fourth in the underclass meet with 66 points.

Potters Cheyanna Michael (long jump, 400 dash) and Chloe Williams (800) placed second.

Dunlap was the frosh/soph champion by 101 points.

Postseason: Morton is part of the 15-team Dunlap Sectional, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

First- and second-place winners, plus anyone meeting the qualifying standard, in all sectional events will advance to the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state final May 17-18  at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.