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Alton Athletics

Alton High School

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Alton High School

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4 months ago

GIRLS TRACK: A sure shot - AdVantage News - 5/19/2019

GIRLS TRACK: A sure shot

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Photo by Theo Tate

East Alton-Wood River sophomore Jayden Ulrich competes in the shot put in the Class 2A girls state track meet on Saturday in Charleston. Ulrich won the shot put and placed second in the discus.

CHARLESTON — Two years ago, Jayden Ulrich won a state championship in the shot put while she was in eighth grade at East Alton Middle School.

On Saturday, the East Alton-Wood River sophomore celebrated another state title in the shot put, this time at the high school level. Ulrich won the Class 2A shot put championship after throwing 46 feet, 9.5 inches at the state meet in Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Stadium.

Ulrich also placed second in the discus in 139-11, making her the first EA-WR girl to place in two events in the same year. She now has three all-state medals in her two-year career. She came in fourth in the shot put last year.

Ulrich also became the first EA-WR athlete to win a state track title since Travis Williams did in the Class A boys triple jump in 2002.

“It means a lot,” Ulrich said. “It means that we have a lot more talent in our school than most people think.”

Four other Riverbend athletes earned all-state honors.

Ulrich's teammate, sophomore Hannah Sechrest, placed eighth in the high jump in a personal-best 5-4, making her the second EA-WR girl to earn all-state honors.

Ulrich and Sechrest helped the Oilers place 11th in the team standings with 20 points.

Alton, which won its first Madison County large-school division title this season, had a pair of all-state medalists in seniors Bria Thurman and Jeanea Epps in the Class 3A division. Thurman finished seventh in the shot put in 41-3.5 to pick up her first all-state medal, while Epps placed ninth in the 100 in 12.25 seconds for her second all-state medal. Epps was a member of the 400-meter relay team that came in eighth in her sophomore year.

It's the sixth year in a row the Redbirds have had at least one all-state medalist.

Civic Memorial freshman Maura Niemeier finished seventh in 36-7.75 in the Class 2A triple jump, making her first athlete in CM girls track history to earn all-state honors.

Marquette Catholic junior Riley Vickrey competed in two events on Saturday in the Class 1A division and came up short of a medal in both of them, placing 10th in the 1,600 in 5:23.39 and 11th in the 3,200 in 12:14.56. She qualified for the 1,600 finals after placing seventh with a 5:22.87 in the preliminaries on Thursday.

The top nine finishers in each event earn medals.

The Riverbend area had a total of 13 individuals and five relay teams compete at the three-day state meet. Out of the area’s five all-state medalists, Sechrest, Niemeier and Thurman competed at Charleston for the first time.

With the victory in the shot put, Ulrich became the area’s first state champion since Alton’s LaJarvia Brown in 2016. Brown, who is now competing at Texas A&M University, won four state titles between ‘14 and ‘16.

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Photo by Theo Tate

Alton senior Bria Thurman competes in the shot put at the Class 3A girls state track meet on Saturday in Charleston. Thurman placed seventh.

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Photo by Theo Tate

Civic Memorial freshman Maura Niemeier competes in the triple jump at the Class 2A girls state track meet on Saturday. Niemeyer placed seventh.

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Photo by Theo Tate

East Alton-Wood River sophomore Hannah Sechrest competes in the high jump in the Class 2A girls state track meet on Saturday. Sechrest came in eighth.

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Photo by Theo Tate

Alton's Jeanea Epps races in the 100-meter dash at the Class 3A girls state track meet on Saturday. Epps finished ninth to earn a medal.


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