By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Two Macoupin County track athletes medaled at the Illinois Top Times Class 1A indoor track state championship, hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, last weekend.
Although this particular meet wasn’t for Illinois High School Association honors, elite individuals were looking to make their mark heading into a highly-anticipated spring.
Carlinville sophomore Hannah Gibson and North Mac senior Cooper Starks rose to the occasion, while performing in the spotlight alongside other local faces.
Gibson, unleashed a 10.65-meter throw in the shot put and placed third in the finals, winning bronze.
Starks, recently back in action after missing basketball season due to injury, ranked seventh overall in the men’s shot put finals. The Vanderbilt football commit’s furthest toss ranged 14.67 meters in length.
Kaelyn Swift and Emma Crawford represented North Mac in the women’s 60m dash preliminaries but they both fell short of the finals. Swift matched her personal fastest time at 8.21 seconds and ranked 16th. Crawford, who also competed in the 60m hurdles, broke her original personal record and placed one spot below Swift in 8.24 seconds. Crawford finished ninth in the hurdles at 10.10 seconds.
The North Mac relay team of Kaden Brown, Zane Hogan, Jacob Bolletto and James Graves ran the 4 x 200 in 1:36, placing third out of four in its respective heat. Dane Vance joined Brown, Hogan and Graves for the 4 x 400 relay. The Panthers finished that race in 3:43 and placed 10th overall out of 12 squads.
Staunton’s Nathan Oller competed as a freshman and was third in the first heat of the men’s 400m dash. Oller finished with a time of 55.16 seconds. Overall, he ranked 18th out of 22 competitors in his ITT debut.