Your NUIC Track Preview
By Al Zipsie
The NUIC hopes to bring home some Individual state champions this year in boys and girls track.
Some outstanding track careers are in their encore senior season on both the boys and girls side.
As far as teams go the Forreston/Polo Coop is coming off a third-place state finish in the boys 1A State meet. They are heavy favorites to win the crown NUIC meet again. Forreston/Polo topped Rockford Christian for the Sectional title last year. Those same two teams will battle again this season at the Sectionals.
On the girl's side, Milledgeville led by senior standout Rebecca Waite are hoping to better their fifth-place finish in 1A girls. They also beat the Galena/East Dubuque/River Ridge Coop for the NUIC crown. Those same two teams will battle it out again this year.
BOYS-Forreston/Polo is not only hoping for a team state title, they have many Individuals who will be looking for a state championship. Senior A.J Christensen was the state runner-up in both the 110 meter high hurdles and 300 low hurdles last season. He looks to get the title in one or not both of the hurdle events this year. Junior Brady Webb leaped 21'10.75 last year to finish fifth in the state long jump.
Forreston/Polo will also be solid in the field events besides Webb. Senior Reid Taylor in the triple jump 41'05 will look to fill the gap left by the graduated triple jump state champion Mason Wright who leaped 47'0. Garrett Baderstcher in the shot put. Christian Groenwold in the high jump. The relay teams will all be solid with Evan Kelsey, Taylor, Christensen and sprinter Gavin Fuchs among others leading the way. Hunter Daws also is helping Christensen by pushing him in the hurdles and hopes to also medal at state.
Lena-Winslow will have a solid team led by senior Rahveon Valentine. After being all-state in football for the state champion, he was a state runner-up in wrestling and now hopes to cap it off with a record-breaking senior track season. He will be playing football at NIU. Valentine will compete in the 100 and 200 where he was eighth in the state (:22.93). Valentine was part of the states fifth-place 400-meter relay 43.83 which could also include other football players fin Ty Chrisman, Gaige Schwartz and Isaiah Bruce. The big man Bruce will also compete in the throws, shot put and discus. Christian Sutter is a threat in the high jump. Sean Ormiston is also back as a sprinter.
Galena has Alex Anger in the shot put and discus and Sam Mickelson distance. Other sprinters are West Carroll's Jacob Foltz and Stockton's Brian Booth. Pearl City set a record in the 400 meters last year and have back Jarod and Jayden Kempel, Andrew Lorig and Seth Palmer. is hoping to put together a good sprint relay with Jarod and Jayden Kempel along with Andrew Lorig. Max Sager Pecatonica/Durand is solid in the 400 meters.
Several state champions are possible from the NUIC. They all had high state finishes in the past and are now hoping to win the title in their encore senior season.
Rebecca Waite of Milledgeville who will run track at Illinois State is coming off second in the 400 and 200 and sixth in the 100 after a second as a sophomore. Her fourth event is the long jump. Milledgeville's 800-meter relay team finished third in the state and all return. They did it without Waite with the team of Lydia Coatney, Sage Walrath, Olivia Woodard and Olivia Sturrup. Katie Krogman in the discus.
Senior Carmen DeVries of Lena-Winslow will be in the same event with Waite in the 400 and long jump. DeVries was second in the 400 as a sophomore and last year was third in the state in the triple jump 36'10.35.
Stockton's Emily Offenheiser has placed in the state in both the shot put and discus. Last year was fourth in both and will go for the state title this season as a senior. In 2A in the Galena/East Dubuque/River Ridge Coop senior Paige Christopher was seventh in the 100 hurdles and is off to a school record already and hoping for a state medal in that event as well. Paige could also team with Lizzy Eaton, Mayson Marty and Anna Ana Hulscher in the sprint relays. Paige's sister, Breya Christopher a junior was ninth in the high jump at state last year.
Dakota's Ellie Packer looks to place at state in the pole vault as a senior. Pearl City has talent in the high jump in Brooke Hass and the throws Gwen Heimerdinger.
Grace Bidlingmaier is a solid hurdler for Lena-Winslow. Jessica Barr of West Carroll and Sydney Schuler of Gal/ED/RR will do battle in the 800.