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Henry-Midland freshman Ronna Pettis trimmed 16 seconds off her 1,600-meter time at Thursday’s Class 1A Erie Sectional.
The personal best gave Pettis a sectional championship and earned her a trip to this weekend’s IHSA State Track and Field Meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
“She hadn’t gone under 5:49 yet this year. That was just phenomenal,” H-M coach Clark Owsley said.
Pettis, who is seeded 14th, is one of five area athletes who will run distance events at state weekend.
Fieldcrest junior Maria Baldwin and Marquette junior Dani Aurit will both run the 1,600 and 3,200.
Baldwin is seeded fifth in the 3,200 and eighth in the 1,600, while Aurit — who medaled in both events last year — is seeded 10th in the 1,600 and 16th in the 3,200.
H-M’s Jillian Monier is seeded eighth in the 3,200, while Bureau Valley sophomore Regan Weidner is seeded 13th after earning a third-place medal in the event last season.
“It feels amazing. It was tough (to come short last year),” Monier said. “This means everything to me.”
Weidner’s teammate, Lindsey Hoffert, also is returning to state after earning a medal last season.
The sophomore placed second last year in the long jump and is seeded sixth this year. She also will run the 200 and is seeded 31st.
“The way I look at it is, I just have to give it my all no matter what,” Hoffert said. “I’m pushing to get that top box on the stand for the long jump this year.”
Also competing in a field event is Hoffert’s teammate Sydney Lebahn, who is seeded 13th in the discus.
On the track, Fieldcrest’s Tessa Holland (No. 6 seed) and H-M’s Amanda Kereta (No. 24) will run the 400, Marquette’s Paige Aurit (No. 8) and H-M’s Nicole Woodall (No. 17) will compete in the 800, H-M’s Melanie Yanke (No. 21) and Putnam County’s Paige Griffith (No. 28) will run the 300 hurdles and Fieldcrest’s Abbie Fuller (No. 33) will run the 200.
Henry-Midland has two relays that could be in medal contention.
The Lady Timberducks are seeded sixth in the 3,200 relay and 11 in the 1,600 relay.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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