CHARLESTON | When an unexpected injury sidelined one runner, Seton Academy seniors DeJanae Terry and Jasmine Gardner plus juniors Mykel Adams and Nancy Jeanty rolled with the punches and set a Class 1A state meet record in the 400-meter relay Saturday.
They crossed crossing the finish line at 48.51 seconds at Eastern Illinois University, besting Normal U-High's 2005 mark by 5 seconds.
Jeanty— who hadn’t trained for a 400 since her sophomore year — replaced senior Hunter Guy, who strained her hamstring Thursday during the 800 relay preliminaries.
“We ran the race for her,” Jeanty said of her injured teammate. “I’m proud of my team, and I am really going to miss them next year when it’s only me and Mykel.”
Guy said she was disappointed with her inability to run in her final meet, but she was proud of the Sting’s ability to overcome adversity throughout the entire season.
Adversities like not having a track.
“I guess the school never invested in one -- we had to run on the grass, run with sticks; we ran on the baseball diamond,” Guy said. “It’s been a long season.”
Terry was also a part of the second-place 800 relay team (1:44.87), and she was sixth in the 100 (12.32) and fifth in the 200 (26.14).
“I’m proud of myself because I was hurting and my hamstrings weren’t feeling the best," Terry said, "so I just did what I had to do the best I could do it."
The other members of the 800 relay team were Gardner, Jeanty and Kyla Mays.
Seton and Sullivan tied for fourth with 30 points in Class 1A; Moweaqua Central A & M won with 59.
Thornton's LaDonna Caston was also a state champion, winning the 100 hurdles (14.18) in Class 3A.
"Actually there was a little (pressure) because I was the only one from our team in the finals," Caston said. "Once we got closer to the race, I kind of forgot about it. I just closed my eyes and pictured myself on the first-place stand."
Caston, who is entertaining offers from Illinois, Michigan State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, said she struggled a bit out of the blocks..
"I actually clipped the first few hurdles, but I didn't let that slow me down," she said. "I kept going and pushed through. I wanted to win this so badly."
T.F. North junior Chardae Greenlee was second in the Class 3A triple jump — a place she is not content with getting next year. Greenlee went 38 feet, 10 1/2 inches.
“I’m going to work harder this summer because I didn’t do summer camp last year and I think that is where I messed up,” Greenlee said. “I need to get my technique down, but I’ll be ready next year.”
Rich Central's Chaz Duson won with a jump of 40-6 1/4.
Illiana Christian's 3,200 relay team of Lauren Brink, Kristen Brink, Monica Smits and Alexa Beezhold finished 12th (10:05.5) in Class 2A.
Crete-Monee senior Tayler Whittler placed seventh and eighth in the Class 3A 100 (12.16) and 200 (25.09). Crete-Monee’s 1,600 relay team took sixth (3:58.03).
Homewood-Flossmoor 400 team of Taylor Farley, Taylor Lynch, Christin Salley and Shayna Nwokenkwo finished third (47.72).
“As far as a team, I think we did a good job,” said Farley, who ran for Seton her first three years. “We put our best foot forward…and unfortunately it wasn’t enough and sometime you just can’t win.”