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Du Quoin track & field teams look to go deep into postseason

  • The girls track team after a great showing at Mascoutah.

    The girls track team after a great showing at Mascoutah.
    Courtesy of Du Quoin High School Athletics

By Geary Deniston
Contributing writer
updated: 5/20/2021 9:19 PM

Both the Du Quoin girls and boys track and field teams are having great seasons with the conference meet next up for the girls and one meet left in the regular season for the boys.

Next week the girls host the River-to-River Mississippi Division championship meet on Wednesday with field events starting at 11 a.m. The boys travel to Benton on Monday for the final meet before hosting the conference championships June 3.

The girls opened the season with five straight wins beating conference rival Nashville four times and Herrin three times, including winning the Centralia Annies Invitational, which was mainly against 2A teams.

"Distance and middle distance are our strength," said girls coach Shane Boyett. "All are great athletes and we have a lot of interchangeable parts and a lot of versatility."

This week the girls opened at the Carterville Invitational Monday and finished second to Marion by 12 points, a team they beat at the Annies Invite by 62.5 points.

"We were preparing for Mascoutah, so we wanted to save the team up and ran light, leaving after the 300 hurdles," Boyett said.

In the remaining 15 events the Lady Indians won six with junior Grace Alongi winning the triple jump with a personal record distance of 33-06.50 and the 400-meter dash (1:02.60).

"Grace has really been stepping up," Boyett said. "Today was the best she's run all year."

Junior Olivia Phillips won the 3200-meter run with a personal best time of 11:50.52, junior Jalynn Wood cleared a personal record 10-07.00 to win the pole vault and junior Jacqueline Crain took first at the 800 (2:30.65). Alongi, Crain and Phillips teamed with freshman Kallie Oestreicher to win the 4x800 relay (10:58.30).

"Olivia is one of the top runners in the 800 and the 400 and the relays and she can run sprints as well," Boyett said. "Our cross country team (Phillips, Crain, Alongi, Oestreicher, Lauren Heape, Alexis George, Maddie Decker, Lainey Miller and Maddie Robison) is the core of our team. Crain's times are the best she's ever ran. Heape might be the best athlete in school. Whatever we ask her to do run sprints or the mile she can do it."

At the Mascoutah Carol Schneider Invite on Wednesday, the 4x800 relay team won again with Heape joining Alongi, Crain and Phillips to run 9:52.60. The foursome made it two for two with a win in the 4x400 relay (4:08.78). Phillips won her third event taking first in the 800 (2:24.88).

"We lost to Mascoutah, which is a very good 2A team, and beat Nashville again, which was the only 1A school there," Boyett said. "The bigger schools were there Columbia, O'Fallon, Highland, Carbondale and Marion. We went to this meet to get some competition and proved we can hold our own this year."

Alongi finished second in the 400 (1:01.14), Jalynn Wood second in the 300 hurdles (50.70) and Delaynie Dearmond second in the triple jump (33-05.75).

"Dearmond also ran the 100 hurdles finishing fifth," Boyett said. "She does whatever you want her to. Wherever she's at she performs. She's been very instrumental this year. Wood in the pole vault and the hurdles has been solid. Sophie Hill is a top performer in the high jump and Adriana Stewart has been pretty solid in the shot put."

Boys head to Benton on winning streak

The Du Quoin boys, who won their first meet and finished fourth and third in the next two, go into the Benton meet on a streak. They won the Nashville Jared Morris Invitational on Monday over second-place Herrin, 136-123; and took first at the Pinckneyville Boys Glen Hamilton Invitational -- edging Herrin again, 135-131, on Wednesday afternoon.

"We have a lot of depth," said Du Quoin boys Coach Derek Beard. "We've been fortunate over the last 10 years it seems we've always had one guy we knew would finish in the top two and score some major points. We don't really have that guy, but we have a bunch of guys who are getting second, thirds and fourths, so the points even out there."

"We don't win a lot of events ... but we just have a good team effort in every meet. We have some seniors that are contributing and I think that's a recipe for success."

At Nashville the Indians had only four first-place finishes in the 18 events. They were led by senior Gavin Fisher, who won his two events in personal record times -- winning the 110-meter hurdles by .22 seconds with a time of 16.50; and then ran 43.19 to win the 300 hurdles by 1.23 seconds.

Junior Jaden Smith won the long jump with a personal best leap of 19-09.50 and senior Trae Horn won the shot put with a heave of 42-10.50. The Indians took six second-places, three thirds and five fourths.

"Every event we have one or two guys place in the top five," Beard said. "We placed well in the shot put, long jumps, pole vault and high jumps. Our relays have been in the top three all year."

Senior Jon Gomes finished second in the 800-meter (2:07.50) and ran anchor for the second-place 4x400 relay and the second leg of the second-place 4x800 relay. Freshman Trelin Smith finished third in both high jump and the long jump.

"Gomes is running really well for us," Beard said. "He runs on our 4x800 relay and has placed in the top three in every meet in the 800."

"Fisher has run real well for us in the hurdles," the coach added. "Horn has been consistent in the shot put. Smith has been consistent in the jumps. He's got 6-feet in the high jump and has long jumped well."

At Pinckneyville the Indians didn't compete in the long jump, high jump, triple jump and the 4x200 varsity relay. They still won the meet with five first places, 4 seconds, 5 thirds and 3 fourths.

Gomes won the 800 with a personal best time of 2:04.84. Horn won the discus with a personal best throw of 114-04 and won the shot put with a toss of 41-04.25. Sophomore Jakob Eaton won the pole vault by clearing a personal best 10 feet.

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