The Chester High School Girl's Track and Field Team has begun competition for the 2019 season. For several weeks, Head Coach Jenny Cartwright and several girls got a head start on the spring season.
"Most of our spring squad has been busy with basketball, dance team and cheerleading," Cartwright said. She said the girls who were not involved in winter activities joined her starting in December for winter workouts in the gym and weight room.
On Feb. 21, eight members of the winter squad competed at the 2019 Joe Elliot Girl's Indoor Track and Field Invitational in Marion. They are Josie Kattenbraker, Lauren Soellner, Avery Runge, Taylor Hennrich, Avery Miers, Alex Hennrich, Hannah Blechle and Samantha Eggemeyer.
The event drew 15 teams from southern Illinois high schools, and gave the girls an opportunity to jump start the competitive season. With just eight competitors, the Lady Jackets did not compete in a full slate of running events.
"We are a very young team with great potential ahead of us for the outdoor season," Cartwright said. "I am pleased with how our meet went. These girls are willing to do new events and work to make themselves better."
The brightest spot for the Yellow Jackets was the high jump, where Lauren Soellner and Josie Kattenbraker won team points. Soellner finished 3rd overall with a leap of 4-10.00 -- winning a medal and earning six points for CHS. Josie Kattenbraker jumped 4-08.00 to place 6th and earn three points for the team.
Kattenbraker ran the 60-meter hurdles and finished 4th with a time of 10:33, to earn the team five points.
Three Yellow Jackets competed in the 60-meter dash prelims. Lauren Soellner finished 29th with a time of 9.17, Alex Hennrich finished 32nd with her time of 9:58 and Avery Miers finished 35th with a time of 11:35. None advanced to the finals.
Hannah Blechle and Alex Hennrich competed in the 200-meter dash. Blechle finished 28th in this event with a time of 32.69. Hennrich finished 30th with a time of 34.63.
Avery Runge finished 24th in the 800-meter run, with a time of 3:08.65.
The Lady Jacket 4 X 200 meter relay team of Lauren Soellner, Hannah Blechle, Alex Hennrich and Josie Kattenbraker, finished 13th and had a time of 2:06.58.
The truncated Chester squad finished 12th overall, with the 14 points won by Soellner and Kattenbraker.
The winner of the team competition was Du Quoin with 102 points. Other finishers included O'Fallon (2nd, 99); Triad (3rd, 74); Mascoutah (4th, 71.5); Centralia (5th, 61.5); Carbondale (6th, 36); Marion (7th, 24); Marshall County (8th, 22); Benton (9th, 20); Herrin (10th, 19); Mt. Vernon (11th, 15); Anna-Jonesboro (13th, 10); Murphysboro (14th, 8); and Salem (15th 6).