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MATTOON – It was good to be a sophomore at Thursday's Big 12 Conference boys' track and field meet.
Danville's Cameron Stringfellow-Ford (discus) and Centennial's Michael Neal (100 meters, 200) represented the sophomore class in fine style, capturing conference titles on a cold, blustery evening. Neither had an easy stroll, either.
WESTVILLE – The quote was an innocuous one, made by an individual while expressing the feelings of thousands of teenage athletes.
"I would love to play major league baseball. That's definitely a goal I am shooting for."
URBANA – Urbana High School has produced 20 individual state champions in track and field.
Senior high jumper Mykhail Chambers is making a bid to become No. 21.
CATLIN – When cousins Cody and Sean Nicholson first began throwing competitively, they didn't find themselves facing many track and field opponents.
"We didn't have much competition because we were kind of younger (than most of the throwers), but we were doing well for our age," Sean remembered.
Take a look at the varsity rosters making up area baseball and softball teams and you'll notice the majority of the athletes are juniors or seniors.
A handful of sophomores make the cut and even fewer freshmen. That's because the maturity and physical skill it takes to compete on the highest level of high school athletics is too daunting for most 14- and 15-year-olds.
CATLIN – It pays to be successful.
Stephanie Denius can even put a value on her record-tying high jump Tuesday in the girls' Vermilion Valley Conference track and field meet.
It was worth $100.
PAXTON – St. Thomas More's Cara Feeney found that the best way to prepare for the Sangamon Valley Conference track and field meet was to avoid running.
That's right, stay away from the track for a day.
CHAMPAIGN – Last year, Champaign Central's Ermanda Roberts was forced to pull out of the finals of the 200-meter dash at the IHSA state track meet in Charleston with an injury to her left hamstring.
A few weeks ago, the senior strained her right hamstring. But it's going to take a lot more than that to keep her from attaining h
CATLIN – Tom Kulbartz enjoys watching his Georgetown-Ridge Farm/ Chrisman track and field athletes compete individually.
Truth be known, the veteran coach prefers the aspect of track that brings the team together.
CATLIN – Susan Kentner didn't need to make up an inspirational speech for her Bismarck-Henning girls' track and field team.
The Blue Devils coach simply related the harrowing part of her week to her team. On Thursday, her mother, Sue Johnson, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery at BroMenn Hospital in Normal.