CHARLESTON | Homewood-Flossmoor will enter today with six events in the IHSA girls track and field Class 3A finals.
The question that will be answered after 19 events and 6 1/2 hours of competition, give or take, is will it be enough to earn a state trophy. Six is the third most events qualified for, but one team, Lincoln Way East and Edwardsville each have an eye-popping 11 qualifiers and two other teams have seven.
"When we came to the state finals, I knew that we were capable of scoring 27 points," said H-F head coach Rob Assise. "I think we could score as high as 33 after today's performance."
The 800-meter relay team of Mariah Terry, Christin Salley, Chardae Greenlee and Antoinette Broughton finished in 1 minute, 41.23 seconds. The only team ahead of them is a team they are familiar with, Lincoln-Way East. The two teams, both members of the SouthWest Suburban Blue Conference, have competed against each other many times. Lincoln-Way East had a time of 1:38.83 in the prelims.
"I think we can break 1:40," said Greenlee, the third leg of the relay. "If we have some crisper handoffs, I think we can cut that time."
Greenlee has the distinction of competing in the two field events. She will enter the triple jump ranked second, having jumped a 38-11 1/2 in the prelims. She trails DeKalb senior Jasmine Brown, who finished with a leap of 39-11 3/4. In the long jump, she is ranked 10th with a 17-7.75. Last year, while competing for T.F., North, Greenlee was second in the triple jump.
"She has been a tremendous leader for us," said Assise of Greenlee. "She is one of the best competitors we have ever had. She leaves it all on the track. We are going to miss her next year. University of Memphis is getting a great competitor and an even better person."
Homewood-Flossmoor's day on the track will start with the 400-meter relay. They posted the fourth fastest time of the day, finishing in 47.87 seconds. The team, comprised of only one senior, Shayna Nwokenko, and three sophomores, Terry, Salley and Broughton, made up the 400-meter relay.
Broughton's day will not end until the 200-meter dash. She finished the race in :25.13. Her time was the seventh fastest. The top time of the day was posted by Aaliyah Brown of Lincoln Way East, who finished in :24.28.
"Watching the other heats go before me is an advantage," said Broughton. "I like knowing what is needed to make the finals."
Nwokenko also has an individual event on the track. She ran a :12.36 in the 100-meter dash to finish third on the day. The tightly packed field is led by Brown, who finished in :11.99.
Shayna has put in a ton of work this year," said Assise. "She is peaking at exactly the right time. We are eager to see what she can do tomorrow."
Marian Catholic's Imani Haynes dashed to a time of :44.60 in the 300 lowhurdles.
"My time was a personal best," said Haynes. "I felt great about my race. My game plan was to start strong, middle strong and end strong. I know I will have to bring my top game tomorrow."
Bloom Township's Angela Cates will finish her senior season as a competitor in the high jump. She jumped 5-4 to advance to the finals. Every athlete that made the finals jumped 5-4.
Thornwood's Janeah Stewart finished sixth in the shot put in the 3A prelims. She recorded a toss of 39-2 3/4. Edwardsville senior Emmonni Henderson leads the field with a toss of 49-7 3/4.