Local track stars advance to state meet

At left, Waterloo High School track runners Lance Mueller and Cole Rodenberg participate in the 1600 meter run at the Herrin Sectional. (Clare Rodenberg photo)

One local girl represented Monroe County last week in the state girls track meet, and three young men will do the same this weekend.

Gibault junior Victoria Younge participated in the triple jump and 110 meter high hurdles at the state meet in Charleston.

Younge, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Younge of Dupo, qualified for state during the Chester Sectional on May 16, placing first in the triple jump and second in the high hurdles.

On Thursday, Younge qualified for the state finals in high hurdles with a time of 15.7.  She did not qualify for finals in the triple jump.

In Saturday’s final, Younge fell for the first time all season, tripping on the fourth hurdle. She finished in ninth place.

“It was unfortunate, but we are still very happy for her,” Gibault track coach Brian Hart said. “She had to accomplish a lot to get to the state finals. We are very proud of her.”

Waterloo High School will be well represented in one event during the boys state track meet in Charleston. Cole Rodenberg and Lance Mueller each qualified in the 1,600 meter run with spectacular times at the sectional meet in Herrin.

Mueller ran a time of 4:23, and Rodenberg ran a 4:25. Both topped the school record in this event (4:26), which was set just last year by Cole’s brother, Josh Rodenberg.

Both will run in the state preliminaries on Friday morning. If they place in the top 12, they will race again Saturday in the finals at Eastern Illinois University.

“They have had great seasons,” Waterloo boys track coach Larry Huffman said. “Lance and Cole were both on the school record-setting 4×800 relay which also included freshmen Jake Schwartz and Noah Hays. Our fingers are crossed that they both have great days (on Friday).”

Columbia will also be represented at the state track meet this weekend. Senior Sean McCarty qualified for state in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:58.54 at sectionals.

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