Girls Track and Field Sectional: Lincoln-Way West’s Neiheisel hits new heights
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media May 10, 2012 11:14PM
Kaitlyn Neiheisel, of Lincoln-Way West, attempts to clear 11 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault at Hillcrest. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 12, 2012 8:16AM
When it comes to state meets, Kaitlyn Neiheisel knows what it takes to get there in more than one sport.
The Lincoln-Way West senior won the pole vault and high jump Thursday night at the Class 2A Hillcrest Sectional to earn a second trip to the state track finals next week at Eastern Illinois.
“Ever since I was a freshman, my goal was to make it to state eight times in my three sports: diving, gymnastics and track,’’ Neiheisel said. “This will be my eighth time going down. I was initially a gymnast when I was little. Gymnastics helps me a lot with track and diving.’’
After clearing 11 feet in the pole vault Thursday, the Illinois State-bound Neiheisel went over 5-4 in the high jump.
“It feels good because I was worried about it all day,’’ Neiheisel said. “To get my goals is always really gratifying. I’m really excited about my performance today.’’
Neiheisel said she’s going to compete at ISU in diving and track, concentrating her competitive nature on the pole vault and high jump.
“I’m proud of what I did today because I did everything I wanted, but there’s always like that ‘I wish I did this better,’ ” Neiheisel said.
Teammate Abby Hedlin also qualified in the high jump (5-2).
Rich South won the sectional team title with 92 points ahead of Hillcrest (74.5), Lincoln-Way West (64) and Providence (58.5).
The top two finishers in each event and any individual or relay that equaled the event qualifying standard advances to the state meet.
Kait Eisenberg, of Providence, won the 100-meter dash (12.54), took third in the 200 and ran a leg on the Celtics’ 1,600 relay that also qualified.
“I think we all had an exceptionally awesome night,’’ Eisenberg said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to end my senior year.
“This completely exceeds my expectations. I wanted to qualify, but I never thought I’d win the 100. It’s pretty exciting.’’
Lincoln-Way West freshman Natalie Waters was a double winner, taking the 3,200 meters (11 minutes, 40.36 seconds) and the 1,600 (5:31.86).
Other winners on the track were Rich South’s Mercedes Young in the 200 (25.94), Tinley Park’s Angelica Lafemina in the 800 (2:21.06), Hillcrest’s Destini Artis in the 300 hurdles (47:56) and the Hawks’ 3,200 relay (9:52.36).
Field event winners included Bremen’s Jasmine Johnson in the long jump (16-11), Rich South’s Nina Edwards in the triple jump (36 feet) and Peotone’s Kayce Nagel in the discus (126-10).