Neuqua Valley girls track and field is off to state after winning the Lockport 3A sectional

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The girls track and field 3A sectional rounds continue at Lockport Township. Neuqua Valley comes in as our lone area team as the Wildcats and fourteen other teams are looking for top times and new personal records with State on deck next weekend. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Neuqua with a strong showing in field events

We go inside for field evensts to get away from the rain and as Neuqua’s Abby Apeland and Kamila Szczepanik compete on the pole vault. Apeland gets it started by clearing 10 feet and 2.75 inches. Szczepanik also clears her way with the same result as both finish in a tie for fourth place and qualify for State. Lockport’s Makenna Skoczylas comes in first for the host Porters.

To the high jump with Wildcat Lianna Payton who goes 1.52 meters off the ground. That’s good for a tie for second place and State qualification with Alaina Pollard from Lincoln Way East. Zaria Searcy from Lincoln Way East takes the top spot for high jump at 1.57.

Outside we go in the rain but that clears up quickly for the triple jump. Neuqua’s Gabi Karvelis comes flying down the runway and jumps to a length of 11.35 meters. She takes third in the event and second in the long jump and is heading to State in both. Lincoln Way East’s Asha Pierre-Antione wins the triple jump and Hinsdale Central’s Maya Reed wins the long jump.

Wildcats keep rolling on the track

We go racing in the two mile and Wildcat Carissa Hamilton is on a mission. The mission is to win the race and she does it by a fair distance with a time of 10:55. Sarah Fischer from Hinsdale Central comes in second followed by Downers Grove North’s McKenzie Willard and Audrey Casten from Downers North. Hamilton and Fischer are the two State qualifiers.

Relay time with the 4X200 taking place. Neuqua Valley’s group of Tolu Aremu, Ava Belle, Chioma Anyaegbunam and Zawadi Brown turn on the afterburners in this race. The winning time is one minute and forty seconds for the blue and gold. Downers Grove North, Bolingbrook and Hinsdale Central also qualify.

Hinsdale Central starts to make some noise in the 300 meter hurdles with Elyssa Chandler winning the race ahead of Hinsdale South’s Kennedy Ruff, and Lincoln Way East’s Kendall Crossley and Kyran Hayden. 

Catie McGabe for the Red Devils also helps out her team by leaving everyone in the dust in the mile. Hamilton from Neuqua does finish in that second place spot and makes it to State in both long distance events.

Zawadi Brown to the rescue

Junior Zawadi Brown comes to the rescue in the 200 meter dash winning this race and the 100 meter dash earlier on. A dominating performance by Neuqua Valley results in head coach Gretchen Parejko unwrapping the sectional plaque which means Neuqua Valley is your girls track and field Lockport 3A sectional champions. The Wildcats finish ahead of Hinsdale Central and Lincoln Way East. Up next is State at Eastern Illinois. 

Full results from the meet can be found on

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!