PEORIA — Phoenix Smallwood saved her best for last to cap her prep track and field career for Princeton High School.
The PHS senior captured first place in the long jump in Tuesday’s Peoria Journal Star Honor Roll Meet in East Peoria, using her last jump to set a school record of 17 feet, 11 1/4 inches. That jump toppled the school record held since 1991 from former PHS standout Nicole Coates, who jumped 17-10 1/4.
Smallwood also took third place in the triple jump with a PHS meet best 35-9 3/4.
“It was very pleasing to see Phoenix bounce back from the disappointment of state and break our school record in the long jump,” said PHS coach Pat Hodge. “She put in a lot of time and effort into her jumps during the offseason and through the season, certainly deserving any records and awards that came along the way.”
Smallwood zeroed right in on Coates’ record, hitting 17-10 on her first attempt. All four of her jumps were over 17 feet.
She becomes the first PHS girl to hold the school record in both the long and triple jumps.
PHS junior Zoe Mead finished second in the 400-meter dash with 1:00.8. Hodge said Mead looked a little tired running the 800 (2:26.4) and did not place, but was able to make a “great comeback,” in the 400, passing several girls to run down second place.
Bureau Valley’s Sydney Lebahn placed fourth in the discus with a toss of 102-6. BV coach Dale Donner said it was a good way to end the season for the Storm sophomore.
“Sydney threw real well and it is great to see her get a medal and really finish the season strong,” he said. “She had a good state meet and then another strong meet in Peoria. This will help motivate her for next year’s track season, so she can take that next step. We think she can make the medal stand at state next year, and hopefully this was a step to that goal for her. She has worked hard with Coach Ohlson all year and it has really paid off here at the end of the year.”
Classmate Regan Weidner finished 11th in the 3200 and opted out of the 1600 with a recurring injury. BV state medalist Lindsey Hoffert did not make the trip to Peoria, staying home to clean up from the storm in her hometown Bradford, Donner said.
Boys meet: Princeton placed in eight events on the boys side, with sophomore Drew Pranka second in the 300 hurdles (41.42) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.98). PHS junior Caleb Strom made three trips up the medal stand, including sixth-place finishes in the long jump (19-5) and 100 meters (11.85).
Austen Stewart claimed third in the high jump (6-3) and Zach Andersen was fourth in the 3200 meters (10:13.56). PHS faired well in relays with Kai Tomaszewski, Stewart-4, Zach Bogatitus and Strom placing fifth in the 4x100 (45.24) and Tomaszewski, Stewart, Derrick Wooden and Bogatitus placing fourth in the 4x200 (1:35.95).
St. Bede frosh Baylee Hopps placed eighth in the triple jump (27-9).
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