Neuqua Valley girls track & field finishes top 5 at IHSA State meet

Donate Today Buy This Video

The Girls IHSA state track and field meet takes place at O’Brien Field on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, where the meet features plenty of talent not only from the Naperville area but across the entire state. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

2A Pole Vault

We begin in the field events as Nicole Grimes of Benet Academy competes in the 2A Pole Vault. Grimes clears 3.72 meters to earn 3rd place on the podium, improving from her 5th place finish last year at State. A great way to cap off her Redwing career. Chelsea Wetzel from Dunlap is the 2A champion.

3A Pole Vault

Sticking with Pole Vault in class 3A, Naperville Central’s Kait McHale clears 3.88 meters. McHale’s performance is enough to take first place, and the senior is just getting started as she will continue her track and field career at the University of Michigan. Neuqua Valley sophomore Kamila Szczepanik clears a jump of 3.58 meters to round out the top 5. Another DVC standout, Joscelyn Diekman, finishes as the runner up at 3.78 meters.

3A 4×100 Meter Relay

In the 4×100 Meter Relay, Neuqua Valley’s lineup features speed with Tolu Aremu, Chioma Anyaegbunam, Olivia Dalson, and anchor Zawadi Brown. The Wildcats run well and take 4th place in the event clocking in at 48.28, and Kenwood of Chicago finishes in first place with a time of 47.13. Huntley finishes in second place

2A 3200 Meters

Next is the 3200 meters, featuring Benet Academy’s Louisa Diamond and defending state champion Tatum David of Richland County. David creates a big lead early in the race, and Diamond leads the pack in fourth. Tatum wins comfortably and breaks the State record at 9:53:96. Diamond’s impressive performance earns her third place behind Sundara Weber of Sandwich. Diamond also records a personal best of 10:38:37 and breaks the school record as well. Diamond goes on to finish in 6th place later in the meet in the 1600 to earn her second State medal.

3A 3200 Meters

Moving on to the 3200 meters in 3A, Wildcat Carissa Hamilton and Redhawk Liv Phillips both feature in this event. After a few laps Hamilton and Phillips find themselves battling for position in the middle of the pack. Phillips and Hamilton leave it all out on the track finishing in 6th and 7th place respectively to earn spots on the podium. Grace Schager of Glenbard North wins the event with a time of 10:15:81. Rachel Soukup from Prairie Ridge takes second. Hamilton finishes in tenth place in the 1600 while Phillips takes 12th.

3A Triple Jump

We return to the field events with the Triple Jump. Junior Brooke Sawatzky of Naperville Central earns the 8th place spot on the podium with her best jump of the season at 11.48 meters. Dominique Johnson of Huntley takes first place with a leap of 12.35 meters to help Huntley take the lead in the team standings.

3A 100 Meters

Neuqua Valley junior Zawadi Brown returns to the track for the 100-meter dash, sprinting down the track. Brown and Jaliyah Shepard of Kenwood, are neck-and-neck. Shepard edges out Brown with a time of 11.70. Brown takes second place and sets a new PR with a time of 11.79.

3A 4×200 Meter Relay

The Neuqua Valley girls track sprint relay of Tolu Aremu, Ava Belle, Chioma Anyaebunam, and Zawadi Brown are favorites in the 4×200 meters. Impressive legs from Aremu, Belle, and Anyaebunam give the Wildcats a lead going into the home stretch as Brown seals the deal. The Wildcats are 4×200 State champs with a time of 1:39:77.

3A 200 Meters

Zawadi Brown continues to have herself a day. After medaling in three events, she leaves it all on the track in the 200, edging past defending State champion Katelyn Lehnan of Chatham. Brown wins the gold in impressive fashion with a time of 23.85 in the 200 meters. A four-time medalist and a two-time State championship performance for the junior.

Neuqua Valley girls track and field finishes fourth in the team standings, the best finish in program history. Naperville Central rounds out the top 10, with some help from the 4X800 relay team, of Lola Satre-Morales, Ava Hendren, Abby Mogg and Addison George who finished in 5th. Huntley wins the 3A State Championship ahead of Prospect and Kenwood. Kankakee repeats as 2A champion.

Full results of the 1A, 2A, and 3A 2023 State meet can be found on

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