Girls Track: Perez wins, Hardies drops out in conference 1600
Lauren Paul of Hinsdale Central finished fifth in the 200-meter dash. | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2012 8:26AM
With four of the top 10 runners in the state, the marquee event at Friday night’s West Suburban Silver meet was easily the 1600-meter run.
The race featured four runners from the same conference with some of the best times in the state, according to dyestat.com. But the race couldn’t quite live up the billing when one of the favorites, Hinsdale Central junior Jill Hardies, dropped out after 1200 meters. Hardies was running in third behind Glenbard West’s Madeline Perez and Lyons Township’s Lisa Gordon when she decided that she could no longer continue.
Hardies was running the 1600 for only the third time this outdoor season after suffering an injury to her left foot in the preseason. It was that injury that may have flared up again when Hardies left the race. Her next scheduled race is the Class 3A Downers Grove North Sectional Thursday.
“Tonight she said it was bothering her a little,” said Mark McCabe, Hardies’ distance coach. “It got worse as the race went on. It’s hard to know (about the sectional). We certainly hope so. She’s managed it well.”
Perez won with a season-best 4:59.04 to beat Gordon (5:06.33). Glenbard West freshman Lisa Luczak, who owns a previous time to reach the state’s top 10, finished fourth (5:08.87) behind York’s Sharise Lund (5;08.70). Luczak placed second in the 3200 earlier.
“This was pretty amazing. This was one of my better 1600s. I felt strong,” said Perez, who led from beginning to end. Perez said she knew Hardies was no longer in the race when her coach yelled, “It’s just you and Lisa Gordon.”
Gordon, who placed third in the 3200, did not even know Hardies left the race.
“I didn’t realize it. She’s such a strong runner whenever she’s in the race,” Gordon said. “We all have our good and bad days. Some days it comes down to a little bit of luck.”
LT (120.5 points) won its first conference title since 2002. The 1600 relay of Sarah Kreikemeier, Julie Dambra, Melissa Hoo and Olivia Cabanban (3:57.96) set a conference record, beating the 3:59.1 time of Colleen Caplice, Patrice Agnant, Tristan Rackow and Amanda Radochonski of LT from 2003. The same combination of LT’s Gabby Pavletic, Kreikemeier, Hoo and Cabanaban won both the 400 and 800 relays.
“We’re a very deep team. This is probably the most complete team I remember us over here having. This year, we’re strong in distance, field and sprints,” LT coach Greg Frandsen said.