Girls Varsity Track
Game Summaries & Headlines.
photos by Bill Roseberry
Ulrich and Mans
Alton senior Katie Mans and East Alton-Wood River freshman Jayden Ulrich accomplished history on May 19 at the IHSA state girls track meet in Charleston.
Mans became the first Alton athlete to earn all-state honors all four years after finishing fifth in the high jump in Class 3A, while Ulrich became the first EA-WR athlete to receive all-state notice after placing fourth in the shot put in Class 2A. They were the only athletes from the Riverbend to place at state.
Mans tied Hersey’s Alessia Olhava for fifth with a leap of 5 feet, 5 inches in the high jump. She said she was thrilled to end her high school career with an all-state medal.
“It’s always good to get a medal,” Mans said. “I don’t know how I felt. I didn’t have words to describe it.”
Ulrich finished with a personal-best throw of 41 feet, 4.75 inches to become the only freshman to place in the shot put.
“It was really cool and it was kind of amazing,” Ulrich said. “It was fun and I’m glad I went to state and placed as high as I did.”
Mans, who plans to continue her track career at the University of Illinois next year, had five first-place finishes in the high jump this spring. She qualified for state by placing second in the Class 3A Danville Sectional.
Before joining the AHS track program in her freshman year, Mans won an IESA state championship in her eighth-grade year at Alton Middle School, placing first in the high jump.
Mans enjoyed an outstanding four-year track career at Alton High, winning the high jump 23 times and earning four all-state medals in the event.
Mans became the first Alton athlete to place at state in the high jump after finishing eighth as a freshman. She placed seventh as a sophomore and third as a junior.
The Alton senior said she enjoyed competing at state all four years.
“Going out there was fun,” she said. “I love going to Charleston because that’s when I actually have competition. Just competing with a lot of girls is fun.”
Like Mans, Ulrich also won an IESA state championship. She placed first in the shot put in her eighth-grade year at East Alton Middle School last spring. The EA-WR freshman said the title gave her a boost of confidence for her first season with the Oilers.
“It made me think that I can actually do something,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich had four first-place finishes in the shot put this spring. She won the shot put, discus, 100 and 200 at the Prairie State Conference championship meet and she qualified for state by placing second in the Class 2A Lanphier Sectional.
“I credit a lot of people, mainly my coach (Russ Colona) because he’s always keeping me positive, especially going into state,” Ulrich said. “I was really nervous and I was doubting myself, but he has helped me.”