By Lenny Sementi
This is a tail of two headlines, the one above and another ‘Sterkel Needs A Bigger Bus’. It would be easy for everyone to simply look in the direction of super senior Alyssa Williams but girls track coach Drew Sterkel is taking more than a few others that can do some damage at IHSA State Meet on the Big Blue Oval at Eastern Illinois University this weekend.
The Lady Warriors will be in the hunt for a team trophy and might just win it all after a strong second place showing at the eighteen team Sullivan Sectional last Thursday, May 12. Sterkel will travel south with eleven of the black and gold in tow featuring two of the state’s best in Williams and freshman phenom Lia Patterson.
Williams left Charleston with four medals a year ago collecting three state championships winning the 100 and 200 meter dash and the long jump. And also found her way on to the podium as part of the sixth place 4×200 meter relay. Junior Mia Hausmann was part of the relay and will return to EIU as part of the large Tuscola contingent.
Williams won 100 and the 200 while taking third in the long jump at the sectional qualifying for the state meet in all three for the second straight season. She’s the number one seed in both sprints and enters with the eighth best leap in the long jump out of the sectionals. Patterson is the two seed in the 200 entering state, finishing behind just Williams at Sullivan last Thursday. The first year runner enters the 100 meter high hurdles as one of the favorites with the third fastest time in the state and will be the fifth seed in the 300 high hurdles after winning both hurdle events at the sectional.
The duo will be at the front and the rear of the 4×200 relay. Williams set the tone as the lead off for a first place finish at the sectional. She handed off the Hausmann, who passed the baton to Jillian Alexander who gave it to Patterson for the anchor leg. The foursome crossed the line in one minute 47 seconds good enough for the three seed at EIU less than a second off the top.
Hausmann ran the first leg in the 4×100 relay that secured qualification by taking second at the sectional. Joining her in for a season best finish of 52.93 were Harley Woodard, Kenna Clodfelder, and Alexander. Also on the list of entries as alternates in the relays for coach Sterkel are Bella Notaro, Addisyn Pettry, Alondra Tapia and Rylie Vanausdol.
Clodfelder added to the point total at the sectional with a fourth place finish in the triple jump. Natalie Hastings secured fourth place points as well 32-foot plus toss in the shot put.