By Wyatt Dojutrek, associate online editor-in-chief
Varsity girls’ track and field head coach Pete Wintermute has always been a big fan of the relay teams since joining the program as an assistant coach in 2010.
Eight years later, all four of Prospect’s relay teams are heading to the state meet in Charleston from May 17-19.
While the individual accomplishments of his players are great, Wintermute believes that having all four people in the relay receiving awards is something that makes the program extremely proud.
“It has always been a goal of mine,” Wintermute said. “It says a lot to have four kids that walk away from a meet, whether it’s a state meet or any meet to walk away with medals, it’s pretty powerful. It speaks about the type of kids you have, kids that are selfless, kids that are dedicated.”
The 4×100 meter relay consisting of senior Anne Walsh, juniors Samantha Berman and Grace LaCamera, and sophomore Natalie Kowalczuk placed second with a time of 49.04. The 4 x 200 relay with Walsh, Berman, Kowalczuk, and sophomore Ellen Sherwood finished second as well at 1:43.56.
Placing fourth with a time of 4:01.88 was the 4×400 meter relay with sophomore Lia Skoufos, freshman Elena Barbaric, junior Marissa Valentini, and senior Mikayla Olsen. As well as the 4×800 meter relay with Skoufos, senior Sydney Kitzmiller, junior Julia O’Grady, and Olsen finishing at 9:29.80.
As a whole, the team placed third with 58 points at the sectional meet at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School on May 10.
The Knights also had qualifiers in other events such as Sherwood who placed second in the long jump, jumping 18’6.
With the variety of underclassmen in the postseason starting lineup, Wintermute is proud of their efforts to come in and perform when it matters most.
“They have been able to step in and fill up holes that we had last year like Brooke [Wilson], or Jillian Hennig, or Autumn Stone, and the seniors graduating opened the door for other kids to rise and shine,” Wintermute said.
Walsh in her final sectional meet, qualified in both the 100 and 200 meter, she was the sectional champion in the 100 meter race.
Wintermute’s objective for the girls is simple, to continue the consistency that has been shown from the team this season.
“Our goal is to run the way we’ve been running,” Wintermute said. “I don’t think we need to have a herculean performance. Really, it’s about sticking to what we are doing and what we do well and executing the day of.”
Wintermute believes that with the level of intensity and effort shown by this team, he knows that they will be ready in Charleston for the state meet.
“These kids are dedicated not only to our program, but each other,” Wintermute said.