If this were any other normal spring sports season, Clinton high sophomore Sylvia Johansen may already be the Stateline Area’s fastest female prep sprinter—ever.
Last June, the Cougar set a WIAA Division 2 record in winning the 100-meter title at UW-La Crosse in 11.95 seconds.
But for now, due to the Covoid-19 shutdown, Johansen will have to wait for another shot at being No. 1. She’s clearly already one of the best as we select our All-Time Stateline Area Girls Track Team, as we did recently with the boys.
Using statistics and subjectivity, here’s an event by event rundown:
• 100 METERS: To be honest, Johansen may already have a good argument that she’s flat out fastest. According to Beloit Memorial’s school records, flashy Felicia Carlson ran an 11.90. But that was a hand-held time not FAT (Fully Automatic Timing) at a meet at Turner when she was a sophomore in 2008.
In her online track profiles, you’ll notice Carlson is credited with a PR of 12.12 in the event because, for races under 300 meters, 0.24 seconds is added to the hand-held time, which is rounded up to the nearest tenth.
It’s safe to say both of these sprinters can absolutely fly and leave it at that. Carlson went on to star at Beloit College. She owns five individual school records there: 55, 60 and 200 meters inside and 100 and 200 outdoors.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Jessica Ponsey also ran 12.12 in 1999. The fourth-fastest time, 12.20, was set by Beloit Turner’s Kim Wolter in 1979. She battled knee problems or we may well be talking about folks still chasing her records.
• 200: Hononegah’s Sophia Ponce posted a career-best 24.9-seconds and dominated the event in the NIC-10 Meet, winning three times (2004-05-06) after finishing third as a freshman.
Special mention: Jaliyah Elliott of Beloit Memorial, who just had a terrific indoor season for Youngstown State in 2020, recorded a time of 25.09 in 2015. Johansen is a threat in this event, too, after finishing second in the WIAA D-2 State Meet and posting a 25.2 time.
• 400: Hononegah’s Ponce also won three NIC-10 titles in the 400 and after finishing fourth twice in the event in the IHSA State Meet (2004-05), she ran an Area-best 55.31 in winning the event in 2006. She went on to run for the University of Iowa, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors. Smart and fast.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Madee Harding ran 56.97.
• 800: Another Hononegah standout, Courtney Clayton, not only put up the best time in the Area, she did it breaking Illinois’ oldest individual state record. Clayton ran 2:07.05 at Eastern Illinois as a senior in 2013 to finish 0.49 seconds ahead of the 29-year-old record. The two-time state winner in the event became an All-American at Vanderbilt.
Special mention: The second-fastest time belongs to Brodhead’s Cora Purdue (2:15.72). WIAA Class B state champion Kris Keyser of Parkview ran 2:15.9 in 1982.
• 1600: Another Hononegah Indian, Taylor Frommer, turned in a 4:9.11 clocking.
Special mention: Next fastest was Beloit Memorial’s Brenda Hernandez in 5:05.4. Brodhead’s Taylor Bluemel ran 5:07.02.
• 3200: The Purple Knights’ Hernandez is the only Area athlete to break 11 minutes. She ran 10:52.13 in 2015.
Special mention: The second-best clocking belongs to Marcy Denman of Clinton, who ran 11:09.0 in 1984. Hononegah’s Alicia Repka ran 11:10.69.
• 100 HURDLES: Beloit Memorial’s Eva Laun-Smith posted a clocking of 15.16 as a senior in 2017. She has been remarkable for Beloit College. This past indoor season, she added two MWC titles to give her seven overall as she won Field Performer of the Meet for the third consecutive season. She qualified for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in two events for the second straight year. She owns Bucs’ school records in the long jump, triple jump and 60 hurdles indoors and 100 hurdles, long jump and triple jump outdoors.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Andrea Fabiano holds runnerup honors with a 15.20 clocking. Turner’s Jennifer Schroeder ran 15.51.
• 300 HURDLES: Beloit Memorial’s Yolanda Johnson, now on the University of Wisconsin roster, clocked in at 44-seconds. She and Hononegah’s Honesty Sandlin (45.27) are the only hurdlers under 46 seconds.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Teri Shaver had a 46.84 and Beloit College recruit Hannah Welte had 47.3 last season.
• 400 RELAY: Beloit Memorial’s Leslie Randall, Latreese Cannon, Tara Thompson and Nakeesha Brown put up a 48.73 in winning the WIAA State Championship in 1993.. A year later that same quartet was runnerup in 48.78. Brown and Randle had teamed with Renae Carter and Tiffany LeShoure to win the state title in 1992 at 50.12. Freshman Cannon stepped in to replace graduated LeShoure the following year and Thompson replaced Carter, who had transferred to Hononegah.
Hononegah’s quartet of Anna Loveland, Kaylee Walters, Andrea Fabiano and Sophia Ponce own the Area’s next best time, 49.03.
Special mention: The next two fastest times belong to Beloit Memorial foursomes. The team of Jessica Triplett, Camille Bittorf, Laurisha Rosario and Felicia Carlson had a 49.43 clocking. The quartet of Stephanie Sisk, Gabi Cepeda, Kelee Evans and Jamila Wynn ran 49.82 in finishing first at state in 2003. The unusual thing about that finish was that the Knights were seeded last heading into the finals and had the far outside lane, not exactly the prime spot for a champion.
• 800 RELAY: Beloit Memorial’s Leslie Randall, Latreese Cannon, Tara Thompson and Nakeesha Brown ran 1:42.20 in 1993. That same foursome won the state title that season (1:42.89) and 1994 (1:42.86), with Cannon and Brown teaming with freshmen Tyisha Evans and Sheneal Jones to win again in 1995 (1:44.43).
Brown ended up with five golds and four silvers at state. She and Cannon flip-flopped as anchor runners in the 400 and 800. “You generally put your fastest runner in that position,” Brown said. “Latreese and I pushed each other a lot.”
Special mention: Hononegah’s Sabiyah Minor, Courtney Reese, Kennysha Holland and Ana Armitage ran 1:44.57 in 2010.
• 1600 RELAY: Hononegah’s Patrice Jones, Amy DalSanto, Breanna Pierson and Nicky Althoff ran 3:56 for the fastest time and they did in the 2014 state finals.
Special mention: Brodhead’s quartet of Cora Purdue, Nicole Kamholz, Erin Nyhus and Madee Harding ran 4:02.14. Beloit Memorial’s Yolanda Johnson, Amya Bessel, Jazmyne Carter and Adela Diaz turned in a 4:04.58.
• 3200 RELAY: Hononegah’s Kaela Stewart, Jordan Tresemer, Hannah Pickard and Taylor Frommer own the fastest time, 9:26.6.6, set last season.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Madee Harding, Taylor Bluemel, Morgan Adkins and Cora Purdue turned a 9:36.49 clocking. Beloit Memorial’s Amya Bessel, Bailey Cronin, Heaven Wells and Jenny Aldama ran 9:49.02.
• SHOT PUT: The neat thing about the two athletes who rank 1-2 in this event as well as the discus is that they competed against each other. Brodhead’s Amber Curtis and Clinton’s Kayla Schultz were so good they both went on to Division 1 careers.
Curtis captured the WIAA D-2 state title in 2002 (44-0.25) and 2003 (43-0.75) and had a career-best of 45-feet 8-inches. Curtis went on to throw for Nebraska before transferring to UW-Milwaukee.
Schultz was runnerup to Curtis until 2004 when she took her turn as D-2 title holder (43-3.25). Her all-time best for the Cougars was 43-8 in 2003. She went on to a stellar career as a Wisconsin Badger.
Special mention: Beloit Memorial’s Lacey Cousins cracked 40 feet, going 40-11 in 2014. Parkview’s Kim Jewell came close at 39-6.5 in 1998.
• DISCUS: The same duo, Curtis and Schultz, dominate. In fact, Curtis won four state titles, the first in D-1 as a freshman at Monroe (146-4) in 2000. After transferring to D-2 Brodhead, she won in 2001 (148-2), 2002 (153-11) and 2003 (148-8). Her all-time best as a Cardinal was 165-8.
Schultz was again bridesmaid until Curtis left and she took her turn on the top of the awards stand in 2004 with a career-best heave of 141-9.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Maura Logan is next at 131-10. Turner’s Doreen Beeler had a toss of 131-7.
• LONG JUMP: This one even predates yours truly. The best Beloit Memorial long jumpers I ever saw were Labreya Johnson, Alyssa Davis and Eva Laun-Smith. But none of them could top the school record of 18-11.5 set by Sonia Housley back in 1975. Wow.
Special mention. Johnson leaped 18 feet. The only others to do that are Hononegah’s Patrice Jones (18-07) and Brodhead’s Krista Johnson (18-0). Tracey Caradine holds Turner’s record at 17-05.5.
• TRIPLE JUMP: Here’s where Eva Laun-Smith posted her second Area-best effort with a leap of 39-10.5 in 2017, winning the WIAA D-1 title. She continues to shatter records in the event with the Buccaneers.
Special mention: Three Area girls have topped 35-feet: Brodhead’s Kim Peterson (35-2), Hononegah’s Mallory Holland (35-07) and Parkview’s Paula Schober (35-0.5).
• HIGH JUMP: Beloit Memorial’s Chastidy Green has the best effort in the Area with a height of 5-9 in 1996.
Special mention: Two jumpers have reached 5-5, 30 years apart: Barb France of Turner in 1979 and Emily Buchanan of Clinton in 2009.
• POLE VAULT: Hononegah’s Kate Homann posted a 10-foot vault in 2006.
Special mention: Lots of hurdlers have reached 9-feet. The best so far is Brodhead’s Rhianna Teubert at 9-7.