CHARLESTON – For her birthday, Daniella Bunch didn't want a car, or a new cell phone.
Those gifts would have been fine, but Bunch, who turned 17 on Friday, wanted something money couldn't buy – a state record.
CHARLESTON – Cara Feeney is preparing for a strong and spirited finish.
The St. Thomas More athlete burst onto the track and field scene as a freshman in 2005, with a 5-minute, 14.1-second clocking in the 1,600 meters.
GIBSON CITY – Considering he had just won the 3,200-meter run at the Class 1A sectional to qualify for next week's state meet in Charleson, Paxton-Buckley-Loda senior Nick Brehm did not react with joy, but rather, disappointment. Even sadness.
Brehm won the race with a time of 10 minutes, 19.00 seconds and almost immediately sought out his dad, Mike, for encouraging words.
CATLIN – Seven schools competed in Tuesday's Vermilion Valley Conference boys' track and field meet. Four schools can stake a claim to having had the most success in some capacity.
Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman led the point parade (132) with its total equally distributed between the running and field events (66-66).
CHAMPAIGN – On a day of Honor Roll excellence, Mahomet-Seymour senior Hanna Query was one of the brightest stars.
In the meet-ending 1,600-meter relay at the 27th News-Gazette Honor Roll track and field meet, Query took the baton for her team's third leg trailing Danville by approximately 35 meters.
CHAMPAIGN – When Centennial's Davin Dollison pulled out of the 300-meter hurdles a few minutes before the event, meet officials asked if anyone wanted to take his place. Danville coach Steve Luke volunteered David Groves.
Smart move. Groves ran away with the title and set a personal record in the process.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Central's James Carter and Tuscola's Tyler Carter insist they're not a part of the same family.
Still, the two track stars did their surname proud Monday at the 27th annual News-Gazette Honor Roll meet on the University of Illinois campus.
CHAMPAIGN – The expectation for athletes who have done well all season is that they will continue to excel in The News-Gazette Honor Roll track and field meet.
Stephanie Denius, an Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac athlete who has qualified for state in three events, has had a banner senior season, but she wasn't brimming with confidence entering Monday meet.
MAHOMET – Success stories abound in high school track and field.
Performances by Mahomet-Seymour senior Blake Sorensen, Fisher senior Jared Hayden and Urbana University High junior Malcolm Taylor in Saturday's Bulldog Invitational are proof of that.
PAXTON – After a disappointing 2007 girls' track and field season, St. Joseph-Ogden wanted to prove it would again belong among the state's best.
The Spartans did just that with a come-from-behind Class 1A sectional title, edging Monticello by 10 points, on the night's final race with a meet record in the 1,600-meter relay.