Girls track and field: Johnson sisters lead Huntley to 4th at state
CHARLESTON -- Among the many intriguing storylines on the final day of the girls track and field season, the Johnson siblings were part of a most unusual sister act.
After Whitney Young senior twins Rachel and Sydney Robinson swept the 100-meter dash for the Dolphins at O'Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University Saturday afternoon, the Huntley jump standouts duplicated the feat.
Alex Johnson, the Raiders' defending Class 3A long-jump champion, not only added a second title in as many years in the event, but the junior -- despite forgoing any of her three possible attempts -- added a triple-jump state championship.
Dominique Johnson was runner-up to her older sister.
"I think the entire thing is very surprising," said Alex Johnson, on the sisters' 1-2 finish in the triple jump.
Alex Johnson never even attempted the discipline until the season ended last year.
"When (Dominique) was training for it as an eighth-grader, I started doing it as well," Alex said.
Alex, whose Friday marks of 19 feet, 7 inches and 40-2 in the triple jump ultimately produced her twin state championships, was also ninth in the 100 meters.
"I didn't even expect to be in the finals of the dash," Alex said.
With the aid of Dominique placing runner-up in the triple jump with her 39-10 mark, the Raiders scored 33 points to place fourth overall.
"We are still happy with the way things ended," Alex Johnson said of Huntley missing out on a trophy.
For the first time all season Batavia ended a major team competition without a championship plaque.
Senior stars Katrina Schlenker and Essie Newburn powered the way for a final time.
Schlenker toured the 3,200 run in a personal-best time of 10 minutes, 26.96 seconds to place fourth.
The Liberty-bound senior was ninth in the metric mile and capped her afternoon by anchoring the Bulldogs' 1,600 relay to a sixth-place verdict in 4:00.55.
"The 2-mile definitely takes a lot out of your legs," Schlenker said of her arduous weekend. "Running three events at state is hard on your body and mind. I had to focus
on my faith."
Newburn was a principal actor in the Bulldogs also placing sixth in the 400 and 800 relays.
"We were sixth across the board," Newburn said. "Six was our lucky number. It was a great experience."
Izzy Taylor also contributed to all three sprint relays for Batavia.
Naomi Ruff, Lianna Surtz and Isa Orozco all had two all-state individual performances.
Ruff, a South Elgin senior, was fifth in the 800 and eighth at 1,600 meters.
In Class 2A, Surtz ended her storied days with Rosary by placing fifth in the 1,600 and sixth in the metric 2-mile,
Orozco wrapped up consecutive third-place results for Aurora Central Catholic in the 400 and 800 runs.
"I knew it was going to go out fast over the first (lap)," Orozco said of the 800. "It's better than running the 16 (hundred)."
Burlington Central junior Paige Greenhagel was fourth in the Class 2A high jump and later anchored the Rockets' 800 relay to eighth place.
The following local individuals and relays were all-state Saturday: in Class 3A -- Natalie Buratczuk, St. Charles North, high jump, t-fourth; Katie Kempff, St. Charles East, high jump, ninth; St. Charles East, 3,200 relay, fifth; Huntley, 800 relay, seventh.
Class 2A: pole vault: Jessica Phillipp, Kaneland, third; Libby Saloga, Rosary, fourth.
Class 1A: Harvest Christian, 3,200 relay, ninth; Emma Leslie, Harvest Christian, eighth.