By Kyle Daubs

Charleston coach Chris Hawk says he has a small team, but, he acknowledges, the Trojans have many talented individuals. Megan Garrett has set three recent school records, McKenna McBride has been sweeping the sprints, and Grace Spoonhour has won several 3,200 races.

Mattoon coach Troy Haacke, meanwhile, says he is trying to prepare more for conference with his own talented group that includes sprinter Ryleigh Grayson, distance runner Kylie Haacke and both Maya Cook and Morgan Weaver in the shot and discus.

They will all compete tonight in the the Mattoon High and Charleston High girls’ track teams will travel to southern Illinois to participate in the Centralia Invitational that includes Mt. Vernon, Mattoon, Cahokia,  Salem, Belleville East, Marion, Centennial, Carbondale, Nashville, Christ Our Rock Lutheran, Webber Township, and DuQuoin. 

Pending what she runs, Charleston’s Megan Garrett should headline the event. Garrett is coming off a sensational performance at the Palatine Distance Night, where she clocked a 2:15.36 in the 800-meter dash that broke a school record that has stood for 37 years. Garrett then broke the school record in the 1,600-meter Monday with a time of 5:01.64. She is scheduled to run both events tonight. 

Garrett has also lowered the school record at 400.

“We have a small team this year but have competed well in the events that we can fill,” said Charleston track coach Chris Hawk. ”I hope to see us finish near the top of the standings, with some of our upperclassmen getting big points in the larger invite format.”

Grace Spoonhour should be a top contender at 3,200 meters. Spoonhour clocked a personal best 11 minutes, 57.02 seconds at Distance Night, while Mattoon’s Kylie Haacke clocked a 12:01.51. Spoonhour finished 13th, while Haacke was 17th at the event. Carbondale’s Anna Schurz (12:09.28) competed at the event and finished 20th in the undercard along with Spoonhour and Haacke. 

“We are excited to go to Centralia,” said Mattoon coach Troy Haacke. “It’s a very fast track with some great competition.  We are still working on some things and trying to get ready for the conference in a week.  Kylie will most likely be running the 3,200 and 1,600.” 

In the sprints, Makenna McBride is coming off victories in the 100 and 200. She should compete for a top spot. Headlining the sprints will be Cahokia freshman Keymara Hayes, who has clocked a 12.70 time in the 100 and a 26.06 time in the 200. Hayes is also a contender in the long jump with a recorded jump of 16 feet, 6 inches, 

“Realistically, we have a hard time beating a team that can fill every event with larger numbers of athletes,” said Hawk. “Our goals are just to do what we can with what we have and put ourselves in position to finish as close to the top of our conference and sectional meet as possible. In the meantime, we have a few that are focused on this year’s state meet after not getting a chance last year.”

Mattoon’s Ryleigh Grayson should contend at 200 after finishing with a time of 27.72 last week. Grayson will look to help the 4×100 finish top-5, but there will be some tough competition. 

Nashville, Cahokia, and Mount Vernon have all ran under 53 seconds in the 4×100. As a whole, Nashville could sweep all four relays. Heading into the event, Nashville ranks top 3 in the 4×100, 4×200, and has the best 4×400 (4:24.29) and 4×800 (10:10.32) times on 

Competing in hurdles, Cahokia senior Vashanti Reynolds owns the best 100 hurdles (16.26) and 300 hurdles (50.92) times.Right beside her will be DuQuoin’s Jaylyn Wood who has a time of 16.69 in the 100-meter hurdles, and a time of 51.94 in the 300. 

In the field events, Nashville’s Emma Van Hise has jumped 4 feet, 10 inches this season. For now, no other jumper has a recorded jump of 5 feet.

Hayes owns the second best long jump mark, as the best goes to Centralia junior Kylie Gromann, who has jumped 17 feet, 11 inches.In triple jump, Cahokia freshman Maliyah Madison has jumped 32 feet, 5 inches.  

Carbondale’s Madyson Swope owns top marks in the shot put (34 feet, 2 inches) and the discus (104-1). Mattoon’s Morgan Weaver looks to place in the top five in the discus after entering with a mark of 90-9, while Maya Cook enters with a shot put throw of 30-09. 

“Maya Cook has been throwing well on shot, and we are looking forward to seeing Ryleigh Grayson compete in some individual races,” said Haacke. “Macy Overton just jumped a new season PR in triple jump. We’re always excited to go compete.”