SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Sullivan-Okaw Valley found themselves in the mix for the Class A State Girls Track title after they put seven entries into the finals.
In Thursday's preliminaries, Amanda McClain led the Redskins qualifying for finals in all four of her events, including the 4x2 relay. Emily Neuhauser qualified in two events and the relay and Mollie Bowman qualified in one of her own events and the relay. The fourth member of the relay is freshman Ashlynd Risely.
McClain leapt the second best distance in the long jump (17-10.25), a personal best. She is second only to reagining state champ Amanda Glueck of Tremont.
She had the fastest time this season in the 400 (56.63), winning her heat easily.
McClain also qualified in the 200 in a very fast field. All nine of the finalist in the 200 ran between 25.07 and 25.86.She was 3rd in the fastest heat (25.65), behind the state's fastest, Natasha Brown (Aurora Christian), and teammate Emily Neuhauser.
Neuhauser qualified with the 3rd fastest time of the preliminaries (25.48). She also qualified in the 100 (12.59) with the 9th fastest time. All ther 100 finalist ran times between 12.26 and 12.59.
Bowman went a personal best in the triple jump (35-03) to be ranked 7th going into the finals.
The 4x2 relay, SOV's signature race is their to lose in the final. SOV has the state record in the 4x2 (1:42.82), set when Amanda McClain and Emily Neuhuaser were freshmen and Paige Neuhuaser, Emily's older sister wason the squad. Mollee Decesaro was the other member.
Mollie Bowman joined the squad last year and, now, freshman Ashlyn Risley has joined the team. They had a faster time this year at the Shelby Girls Open (1:46.55) and at the conference meet (1:46.45) than last year's sectional time (1:48.69) and came in with the 4th fastest sectional time this year (1:48.06).
SOV was contending for first place after the second leg of the relay and the hand-off was not smooth. However, Bowman ran the second leg and she put it in passing gear against her counter parts.