By Kyle Daubs

In what will be the first major meet of the young track season, both Coles County girls track squads will get a chance to break some personal bests today. 

Both Mattoon and Charleston girls’ track squads will participate in a Monticello Invitational that also includes St. Joseph-Ogdon, Tolono Unity, Clinton, Mt. Zion, Salt Fork, Urbana, Warrensburgh-Latham and Mt. Pulaski. 

“I’m excited to go to an invitational and see how we stack up against other teams,” said Mattoon coach Troy Haacke. “Hopefully, it’s a nice evening where we can come back with a lot of PRs.  We are still figuring out which events are best for the girls and which are best for the team.”

Mt. Zion, which has already beaten both Charleston and Mattoon this season, brings a strong distance group that won the Apollo Conference in cross country. 

Sarah Addai enters as one of the best 400-meter runners with a clocked time of 1 minute, .48 seconds this season. Addai also headlines the 4X400 meter relay with Sofia Munoz, Ashleigh Anderson, and Lydia Trump that has run a 4:22.48. 

Morgan Pilate and Alaina Barr could sweep both hurdle events. Pilate has clocked 15.80 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles while Barr has run 51.31 in the 300-meter hurdles. Pilate also brings the best long jump mark of 5.32 meters. 

Right up with Mount Zion should be Monticello, which also brings a strong distance crew that placed second in the IHSA Cross Country State Championships two seasons ago. Leading the pack is sophomore sensation Mabre Bruhn, who has already run a 5:19.3 mile this season. Teammate Rachel Koon has also run close to state qualifying time at 5:31.2. 

In the 3,200 meters, Estrella Miller (11:48.5) has the best posted time while Bruhn, Koon, Grace Talbert, and Kyara Welter have clocked one of the best 4X800-meter relays this season with a time of 10:10.4. 

Senior Kylie Haacke will get her first attempt at running the 3,200-meter as will Charleston’s Grace Spoonhour, who has run a 12:24.58 this season. Tolono Unity’s Erica Woodard, meanwhile, has run a 12:07.68. 

Megan Garrett is a leader at 800 meters, having run 2:17.13 this season, and at, 1,600 meters where she has clocked 5:18.36. Garrett has already broken Charleston’s school record in the 400 meters at 59.4. 

Leading the sprints category will be St. Joseph Ogdon’s Atleigh Hamliton, who has clocked a 12.65 at 100 meters and 26.06 at 200. Urbana’s Elene Poulosky, Shamera Moore, Isabella Wallis, and Tiara Townsend-Cooper have run one of the better 4X100-meter relays with a time of 52.53. 

In the field events, Mattoon’s Maya Cook owns one of the better shot put marks at 10.49 meters. Senior Morgan Weaver will participate in his first meet since the end of volleyball, while Macy Overton will look to build in the triple jump. 

Troy Haacke has been pleased with the showing from the field events from his young team. 

“Our field events have been a real positive this year,” Haacke said. “Maya Cook is currently doing three field events including shot, which she has won the first two meets, she is also continuing to improve in discus and high jump.  Morgan Weaver is a senior and has returned to the team and is a great discus thrower and will give us extra depth in the shot.  Macy Overton, Ryliegh Grayson, and Madison Barnes have performed really well in long jump and Macy also has been strong in triple jump. Ryleigh Grayson, a sophomore, has great speed and is going to help us in all of the sprint events.”