FLOSSMOOR | It is probably appropriate that Chardae Greenlee's day starts in a track meet's earliest moments, in the long jump pit, and ends by running the last leg of the last race of the day, the 1,600-meter relay.
"The best part of Chardae is she brings it every day," Homewood-Flossmoor girls track coach Rob Assise said. "She's one of the few kids where you actually have to tell her to take it easy sometimes."
Fortunately for the Vikings, Greenlee didn't take it easy Saturday. She won the triple jump, finished third in the long jump, and anchored the 800 and 1,600 relays to second- and fourth-place finishes, respectively as host H-F finished second in its outdoor invitational.
Rock Island won with 102.5 points, and H-F had 90.5 to nip third-place Bolingbrook by half a point in the 20-team event. Among local squads, Thornton (20.5) finished 12th and Crete-Monee (13.5) 18th.
Call it a triumphant return to the H-F track for Greenlee, who competed as a sophomore for the Vikings and spent her freshman and junior years at T.F. North.
"Family issues," Greenlee said, prompted the movement. Friends and classmates at both schools aren't shy about suggesting she, ahem, jumps around a lot.
"Yeah," Greenlee said, laughing. "I get that a lot. People tell me all the time, 'You're a traitor, you're a flip-flopper.' It's all in fun."
Saturday's winds, which gusted to 36 mph into the runners at the finish line, impacted times. But, Greenlee jumped in a crosswind, uncorking an impressive leap of 38 feet, 5.75 inches to win the triple jump.
The Memphis-bound senior placed second in state last year with a jump of 39-?, and went 39-11 at sectionals.
"I have 40 (-foot) potential, for sure," Greenlee said.
As for the Vikings overall, she said, "I think we can get top four at state. At the Prep Times (essentially the indoor state meet), we were second."
H-F's top performers included sophomores Jayla Stewart, second in the 100 hurdles (16.06), and Rachel Wilson, second in the discus (96-4). The 800 relay squad included Ebonee Stanton, sisters Courtney and Christin Salley, and Greenlee.
The 1,600 relay foursome was Christin Salley, Courtney Cross, Stanton and Greenlee.
"I really like our depth," Assise said. "We have a pool of girls that we can put in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 and not miss a beat.
"We're a little more versatile than we've been in the past. We've got some 400 runners in the mix and we can score in the field events."