Dragons Go Five-For-Five At State

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Five members of the Hillsboro Junior High track team came home with fifth place medals from the IESA Class 2A State Track Meet on Saturday, May 18, as the Dragons were well represented in East Peoria.

Eighth grader Tanner Clayton and the seventh grade 4x200 team of Sophie Blankenship, McKenna Carter, Jolie Churchwell and Samantha Page medalled for Hillsboro, as the Dragons ended the season on a high note.

Clayton competed at state in the pole vault for the second year in a row, after narrowly missing the podium last year with a ninth place finish. This year, the Hillsboro eighth grader upped his game and cleared 10'6" to tie Kaden Johnson of Rochester for fifth.

The foursome of Blankenship, Carter, Churchwell and Page would join Clayton on the podium, posting a time of 1:55.00 to finish first in their heat and fifth overall in the seventh grade girls 4x200 relay.

Both Clayton and the 4x200 team improved their marks from the sectional at state, with Clayton clearing 9'3" at the sectional and Blankenship, Carter, Churchwell and Page running a 1:59.75.

In addition to the medalists, Hillsboro had five other entries at state this year. In addition to her relay duties, Carter also ran the 200, finishing 21st with a time of 28.25, 1.68 seconds faster than her sectional time.

On the eighth grade side of the meet, Isabella White ran a 1:04.85 to shave more than two and a half seconds off her sectional time and finish 31st in the 400 meters. Sierra Compton would also be on the track for the eighth graders, running a 5:51.48 to finish 32nd overall. In the field events, Alex Frailey, who was seventh in the discus last year, finished 34th overall in the girls discus, throwing 78'6".

As Clayton did in the eighth grade boys' meet, Mitchel Lowe competed in the pole vault on the seventh grade side. Lowe would beat his sectional mark of 7'9" by three inches to place 13th overall with a mark of 8'0".

Clayton's medal was Hillsboro's first on the boys' side since 2016, when Jude Bertolino finished seventh in the shot put as a seventh grader. The 4x200 team's medal marked the fifth year that the Lady Dragons had at least one entry make the podium.

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