CHARLESTON — It was an extremely hot and humid day on the campus of Eastern Illinois University for the IHSA Class 1A track and field state meet, but that didn't stop the local competition from collecting medals.
Mattie Kindelsperger of Sherrard led the way with a first place finish in the 3200 with a time of 11:19.93, and her teammate Charlotte Frere placed second in the discus with a throw of 125-9, just three inches ahead of third place Maddie Boley from Beecher.
Sherrard also had another medal winner in Kelsey Hutchins, who placed seventh in the triple jump with a distance of 34 feet.
Tigers coach Todd Volkert was happy with how his whole team competed on Thursday in what was the first state meet for all three medal winners.
"I guess it just speaks to the tradition that we have with this program of girls athletics at the school," Volkert said. "They come out and work hard to get down to the big meets and then battle through the nerves once they get down here. Some years you come out on top, and this happened to be a good year for our three medal winners."
For Frere, it was a great first experience down at the state final and something that she can build upon for next season.
"Overall I'm happy with what I accomplished and I'm looking forward to next year," Frere said. "I have great support from the coaches and the community so I know I'll be back."
The lack of a 2020 season is something that Frere felt hindered overall progress.
"It sucks to not touch a disc for that long and I started out rusty at the beginning of the season," Frere said. "If we had competed last year I could have built on the year before, but it also made me want to get out and train harder. I didn't get a personal best today and I know that I can always do better and just strive for next season."
Another local thrower who found success was Cassidy Miller from Annawan-Wethersfield. The Titans junior placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 37-9, and felt similarly to Frere about the loss of a sophomore season.
"I know that I would have been here last year and likely could have been better than fifth," Miller said. "Then I would have extra experience to do better this year as well."
Miller was ranked 13th going into the heats on Thursday, and although she didn't get a personal best, she was pleased to get a medal.
"I feel good about my placement," Miller said. "I was very surprised that I actually did get it. It was a good moment."
Fellow Titan Kennady Anderson earned a medal in the 800 as the freshman finished sixth with a time of 2:25.11. She also competed in the 1600, placing tenth with a time of 5:32.37.
A-W coach Ann Heller was happy with how her freshman performed in the 800 and could see that the heat affected her in the 1600.
"You could tell that she just ran out of gas in that 1600 race," Heller said. "We had her in the 800, 1600 and 3200 events during the year but today was just so hot that it took a lot of energy out of her. She'll be ready to come back next year and do as good or better, and hopefully it won't be as hot as it was today."
Placing ninth in the 1600 was Mercer County's Eden Mueller, who just edged out Anderson for a medal with a time of 5:31.25. Other local medal winners include Cambridge's Miranda Reed in the 3200 with a seventh-place finish of 11:58.68, and the Fulton 800 relay team of Hailey VanZuiden, Grace Dykstra, Mikayla Gazo and Abbigail Thyne, who finished eighth in a time of 1:50.44.
Jordan Gallentine of Morrison was the lone local athlete from Class 1A to qualify for three individual events as she competed in the 100, 200 and 400. She placed fourth in the 400 with a time of 59.12, which was a personal best for her and broke the former school record of 59.38.
With three events on her mind all day, Gallentine was happy with what she accomplished in her senior season.
"I was just trying to keep calm and stay focused," Gallentine said. "I didn't want to check out after either of my first two races with the others on deck. This season I used the 100 as a warm up for my main event in the 400 and I was so happy to get the school record."