It was sophomore Brenna Noon highlighting the Oregon girls track and field team, as they took on the best in the state at the 1A meet at Eastern Illinois University last weekend.
Noon captured fifth place in the shot put with a personal best of 40-feet-9 ¾ inch. It was a mark she hit during Thursday’s preliminaries that carried over into the finals on Saturday.
“Brenna was very consistent on all her throws and lived up to her seed (No. 5),” Oregon coach Nick Schneiderman said. “She’s worked hard all year for this and it was nice to have her bring a medal back for Oregon.”
Defending champ and Wisconsin recruit Chloe Lindeman of Fulton won at 47-9. It was the best effort in all three classes.
Noon was the only the only underclassmen to medal, as the other eight places were taken by either juniors or seniors. Her medal makes it No. 11 all-time among throwers at Oregon, with Allison Kereven with 4, Tabitha Smith 3 and Shannon Cullen 3.
In other field event prelims, Jenae Bothe was five spots away from the finals in the shot put with a 35-11. She also competed in the discus and measured 105-2, with 120 feet or better moving onto the finals.
“As a freshman, Jenae did a good job in both throws,” Schneiderman said. “It was a good experience for her and bodes well for the future.”
Cyndey Nyderek (34-4) and Abi Hopkins (32-11 ½) competed in the triple jump, but were short of the 35-6 needed for the finals.
“The triple jump didn’t finish until late in the meet and I think they were both hurt by jumping after the 300 hurdles were run,” Schneiderman said.
Of 41 long jumpers, Lydia Cermak was 20th with a 16-6, just a couple inches off here PR.
Cermak also teamed up with Jadyn Bothe, Elizza Easley and Erin Schmidt in the 400 (51.3) and 800 (1:51.12) relays. The grouping of one freshman and three sophomores has the chance to improve on that for at least two more years.
“Physically, we were fine, but I thought we put too much pressure on ourselves from expectations,” Schneiderman said. “Instead of running free, our bodies were tight. We have to feel we belong down there.”
Another factor was both relays having to sit in the clerk’s tent for up to 20 minutes, as No. 3 and 4 heats.
In the 100 hurdles, Hopkins closed out a stellar career with a time of 16.43. Nyderek ran the 300 hurdles and finished with a 50.69 clocking.
“It may not have lived up to Abi’s expectations, but making it downstate three out of four years is a great accomplishment,” Schneiderman said.
In the pole vault, sophomore Lyndi Kenney matched her PR of 9-0 and nearly had a make at 9-6. To make finals, 10-0 was needed.
“Lyndi had a good meet and will only get better,” Schneiderman said.
Locally, Byron medaled in the sprint relays and Grace Baldwin placed in the pole vault for Winnebago.
Catlin Salt Fork won the team title with 52 points, followed by St. Joe-Ogden in second with 42. Interestingly the top seven teams were all from the east-central part of the state.
“Maybe next year, we’ll find another meet outside of this area to get more competition,” Schneiderman said.