BELVIDERE – Kelsey Schrader could sense her form breaking down in the last few laps of the 3,200-meter race in the Class 3A Belvidere North Sectional on Thursday.
The DeKalb junior felt her hips giving her issues, a problem that also arose two weeks ago. But at that point in the race her form mattered little as Schrader was 50 meters clear of the rest of the field and cruised to a first-place finish, securing a berth at next week’s IHSA state meet in Charleston.
“It’s kind of like I’m running pigeon-toed almost,” said Schrader, who finished 10th in the Class 3A cross country state race. “I just can’t speed up. That happened in the two-mile towards the end.”
Schrader went out quickly, completing the first mile in about 5:32. She ran without anyone pushing her for all eight laps before finishing in 11:24.
As a sophomore, Schrader qualified for the state meet in the 3,200 and 1,600, but her hip injuries forced her to scratch out of the 1,600 on Thursday.
“It’s kind of hard right now to look at it in a good way because I really wanted to run the mile,” said Schrader, who finished 15th at state last year in the 3,200. “I think it will be nice because I’ll be able to focus mainly on the two-mile and I won’t be tired out from having to run prelims on Friday, so I’ll be fresh.”
Senior Jasmine Brown was the Barbs’ other state qualifier as she took first in the long jump (18 feet, 11.5 inches) and triple jump (39-3.25).
Her mark in the long jump was a personal best. Brown also won the long jump at sectionals as a junior while taking second in the triple jump. She’ll enter next week’s state meet as one of the favorites in both events.
“I’m pretty confident,” Brown said. “As long as I get two [personal records] in the long and triple, I’m good.”
Freshman Brittney Patrick finished fourth in the long jump at 16-9.25, six inches shy of the state-qualifying mark. Her jump was six inches better than her previous personal best.
“My goal is to be like Jasmine,” Patrick said. “It’s great to know that I’m getting to where she was her freshman year. I’m really proud of that.”
As a team, DeKalb finished fifth with 39 points. Hononegah won the meet with 85 points.
Sophomore Kara Alvarez took sixth in the high jump with a mark of 4-9. Stephanie Milroy finished ninth in the discus with a mark of 107-5, and freshman Savannah Long was eighth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 50 seconds flat.
DeKalb’s 4x100 relay of Alvarez, Brown, Alex Sommer and Patrick finished fifth in 51.7. The 4x200 relay of Alvarez, Sommer, Courtney Patrick and Diaja Robinson also took fifth in 1:51.46.