Steamers run away as champions at IHSA Class 1A Sectional

May 8—MANLIUS, Ill. — It was a dominant and memorable night for the Fulton Steamers girls track and field team on Wednesday as they were in complete control at the IHSA Class 1A Sectionals at Bureau Valley High School.

The Steamers won the meet as a team by a large margin, earning 126 points followed by Bureau Valley with 88.5. Riverdale was in third with 81 and Erie-Prophetstown was fourth with 76.5.

With a handful of state qualifiers, the Steamers got to business early in the field events. Paige Cramer broke her own school record in the long jump, taking first with a jump of 5.33 meters. She was followed by Miraya Pessman who took second with a 5.26 to qualify as well.

Emery Wherry worked quickly in the triple jump, qualifying on her first attempt before jumping 10.47 meters on her second go. That mark easily earned her first place.

Finishing things up in the field events, Kylie Smither qualified in both the discus and the shot put. Her throw of 10.97 meters in the shot put got her third place on the day but reached the IHSA's state qualifying standards. She later took second in the discus with a 31.39 meter throw.

Fulton picked things right back up out on the track, starting with a second place finish in the 4x800 meter relay. Nelly Preston, Madison Bolton, Peighton Stretton and Jessa Read ran a 10:31.67 to qualify.

Even when mistakes were made, the Steamers were still sharp enough to pull through. They were steaming through the 4x100 meter relay before a bad final exchange made things interesting. However, Cramer, Brooklyn Thoms, Haley Smither and Pessman were still able to take second place and qualify with a time of 51.05 seconds.

Wherry was able to qualify two more times, both in the hurdles. First in the 100 meter hurdles, she took second place with a 16.05 run. She also took second in the 300 meter hurdles with a 48.51.

Thoms ran extremely well in the 100 meter dash, taking third but running fast enough to beat the qualifying standard with a 12.72.

The relays stayed strong with Thoms, Annaka Hackett, Grace Dysktra and Miraya Pessman able to take a first place victory with a 1:47.53. Hackett and Dykstra are the two senior leaders on a young team with a bright future ahead.

Finally the Steamers ended the night off with one final qualifier, this one in the 4x400 meter relay. Thoms, Stretton, Dykstra and Pessman took second place with a 4:14.99 to cap off a remarkable night.

Fulton will compete out at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois for the IHSA Girls State Track & Field Meet next Thursday through Saturday.