February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO girls’ track and field wins Spartan Classic, prep for postseason

Winning meets on their own track has become a consistent theme for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School girls’ track and field team through the years.


The Spartans kept up the tradition this past Friday night, winning the 15-team Spartan Classic that SJO hosted.


SJO compiled 133.5 points to top runner-up Monticello (120). Paxton-Buckley-Loda (67), Uni High (61) and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (41) rounded out the top five schools in SJO’s final meet of the regular season.


A trio of SJO individuals and one relay team all won their respective events, leading the way for the Spartans.


Maclayne Taylor
blazed to a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.93 seconds, while Jillian Plotner won the 800 with a time of 2:26.69. Atleigh Hamilton added a win in a field event for SJO with a leap of 16 feet, 10 inches to take home the long jump title and the 1,600 relay of Rylee Sjuts, Ashlyn Lannert, Hope Rajlich and Danie Kelso clocked in first at 4:24.42.


But it wasn’t just those first-place finishes that propelled SJO to win its own invitational. Depth helped, too.


Taylor placed second in the 200 in 26.25, one of seven runner-up performances produced by SJO. Hannah Rajlich in the 800 (2:29.21), Olivia Klotz in the 3,200 (13:19.73), Abby Behrens in the high jump (4-8) and Jenna Albrecht in the triple jump (32-1.5) also chipped in by placing second. The 400 relay of Kelso, Taylor, Hailey Birt and Hamilton took second in 51.00 and the 3,200 relay of Lannert, Addie Allen, Ally Monk and Brianna Suits also took second in 10:50.59.


Hamilton in the 200 (26.36), Hanna Eastin in the 3,200 (13:21.73), Grace Schmitz in the pole vault (9-0) and Payton Vallee in the discus (106-8) added third-place finishes. Sjuts in the 300 hurdles (51.29) and the 800 relay team of Mimi Allen, Malorie Sarnecki, Alyssa Hamilton and Hailey Gaines (1:58.76) finished fourth, while Albrecht in the 400 (1:08.61) and Lindsey Aden in the shot put (30-7.5) contributed fifth-place finishes.


The Spartans will now spend the upcoming week prepping for their first postseason meet. SJO is slated to host a 17-team Class 1A sectional meet that begins at 4 p.m. on Friday with field events before running events are slated to start at 5:30 p.m.

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