September 26, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Baker, Carter lead SJ-O girls’ track and field contingent to state

The St. Joseph-Ogden High School girls’ track and field team seemingly has ample representation each spring at the IHSA state meet.


This year is no different.


The Spartans, fresh off a second-place finish at last Thursday’s Class 1A Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional, will have eight athletes competing this Thursday in the 1A state preliminaries at O’Brien Stadium on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston.


Senior Kaytlyn Baker and junior Payton Carter each won individual sectional titles to spark the Spartans in Paxton.


Baker won the 300-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line first in 49.54 seconds, and Carter won the pole vault by clearing 12 feet.


Baker will also compete in the 100 hurdles at state after she placed second in Paxton with a time of 17.91, while Carter will run in the 100 after she took second at the sectional meet in 13.14.


Baker will also run on a state-qualifying relay in Charleston. Sophomore Savanna Franzen, sophomore Madison Clampitt, junior Helene Jones and Baker placed second in the 1,600 relay at the sectional meet with a time of 4:18.17.


Franzen will also run in the 800 in Charleston after placing second in 2:23.39 in Paxton, while the Spartans’ 3,200 relay of freshman Sophia Kasper, freshman Hannah Mock, Jones and Clampitt teamed up to finish second at the sectional meet in 10:30.20.


Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin won the sectional meet with 93.5 points, just ahead of the 89 points SJO compiled.


Milford/Cissna Park (56), Salt Fork (52) and PBL (46) rounded out the top five schools at the sectional meet.

Franzen wins title at Spartan Classic
In its final regular-season action, SJO placed fifth at its own 21-team Spartan Classic on May 5.
The Spartans compiled 48 points. Teutopolis won the meet with 78 points, followed by Newton (63), Olympia (58), Rantoul (53) and SJO in the top five schools.


Franzen led the way for SJO, winning the 800 in 2:27.64. It was the lone first-place finish for the Spartans.


Baker added a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles (49.34) and the 1,600 relay of Baker, Franzen, Clampitt and Jones finished second (4:17.45) as well.


SJO’s 3,200 relay of Jones, Kasper, Mock and Clampitt also took second in 10:39.09, and Carter contributed a third-place finish in the pole vault (10-7).

Baker, Carter win Illini Prairie titles
Two SJO athletes won conference titles as the Spartans finished fifth at the Illini Prairie Conference Meet on May 2 in Paxton.


SJO compiled 61 points. Unity won the league championship with 186 points as Pontiac (88), Monticello (78) and Rantoul (78) claimed the top four spots ahead of SJO.


Baker placed first in the 300 hurdles in a time of 50.92, while Carter won the pole vault by exceeding the height of 10-6.


Baker also supplied a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles (16.6) and the quartet of Franzen, Kasper, freshman Sydney Steinbach and Mock took second in the 3,200 relay (10:53.23).

Spartans seventh at Monticello Invitational
SJO finished seventh at the 17-team Monticello Invitational on April 28, recording 25 points.
Seneca won the meet with 120 points as Unity (97), Normal U-High (82), Tuscola (77) and Shelbyville (42) rounded out the top five schools.


The Spartans did not register a first-place finish in any of the events, but had top-five finishes in five different events.


Carter and Baker led the way as Carter tied for second in the pole vault (10-0 and Baker finished third in the 300 hurdles (48.75).


SJO’s 1,600 relay of Baker, Franzen, Clampitt and Jones placed fourth in 4:19.29 and the Spartans’ 3,200 relay of Kasper, Mock, Clampitt and Franzen finished fourth in 10:39.29.
Junior Macy Reed-Thompson also contributed by tying for fourth in the high jump (4-7 3/4).

Baker, Franzen and Carter shine in Gibson City
Three SJO athletes and one relay unit won their respective events at the Falcon Invitational in Gibson City on April 21, propelling the Spartans to a third-place team finish at the 18-team meet.
SJO produced 69.33 points. Bismarck-Henning/Rossviille-Alvin won with 107 points, followed by runner-up Pontiac accumulating 73 points.


St. Thomas More (56.33) and Paxton-Buckley-Loda (39) joined SJO among the top five schools.
Franzen won the 1,600 in 5:41.82, Baker won the 300 hurdles in 50.84 and Carter won the pole vault by clearing 10-11 3/4, giving the Spartans their trio of individual first-place finishes. The Spartans’ 1,600 relay of Carter, Kasper, Clampitt and Jones also placed first in 4:28.06.


Baker in the 100 hurdles (17.23) and Jones in the 400 (1:03.52) added second-place finishes for SJO.

Carter soars in Tolono
SJO finished eighth in the 15-team Unity Invitational with 23 points on April 14 in Tolono. Tuscola won the meet with 109 points. Unity (101), Monticello (58), Olympia (57) and Maroa-Forsyth (51) rounded out the top five schools.


Carter had the best individual finish for SJO, tying for second in the pole vault after she cleared 10-0.
SJO recorded three third-place finishes by Baker in the 300 hurdles (50.56), Reed-Thompson in the high jump (4-6) and Baker, Kasper, Mock and Jones in the 3,200 relay (10:47.01).

Carter wins two events in Rantoul
The Spartans racked up three-first place finishes and a handful of top-three finishes during a triangular meet with Rantoul and Charleston on April 11 in Rantoul.


In the team standings, SJO was third with 140 points. Rantoul (184) and Charleston (167) occupied the top two spots.


Carter won both the 100 (13.46) and the pole vault (11-6 1/4) to pace the Spartans, while Jones had the other first-place finish in the 400 (1:05.54).


Jones also chipped in with a second-place finish in the 800 (2:37.87). Other SJO athletes to place second included Baker in the 100 hurdles (17.58), freshman Allison Ochs in the discus (73-11), sophomore Lyla Frerichs in the high jump (4-6 1/4) and pole vault (6-0) and senior Emily Elsbernd in the long jump (14-5 1/4).


Clampitt in the 200 (30.61) and pole vault (5-6), Mock in the 400 (1:09.57) and junior Addison Ross in the discus (71-2) finished third for SJO.

Four top-three finishes at Champaign County Meet
In an unscored, 10-team Champaign County Meet at Urbana on April 8, the Spartans had four individuals post top-three finishes in their individual events.


Carter claimed the lone win for SJO by clearing 10-11 3/4 in the pole vault. Jones took second in the 400 (1:06.60), Frerichs placed third in the 100 hurdles (18.94) and Elsbernd took third in the long jump (16-1).

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