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Dixon senior shines at NIB-12 conference meet

Duncan's greatest hits

DIXON – Lexy Duncan went on and on like a broken record Friday night.

The Dixon senior put on a show, in the form of two school records and a blazing split in the 1,600 relay, to highlight the Duchesses' effort at the Northern Illinois Big 12 girls track and field meet at A.C. Bowers Field.

Duncan began her day by winning the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3½ inches, one-fourth of an inch farther than she posted at the state indoor meet back in March.

The winning jump came on the final of six attempts, and it likely could have been better as she took off well behind the board.

"I was going for 19 feet," said Duncan, who had gone 18-2 in the preliminary round. "If I had been on the board right, I would have been in the mid-18s, maybe 19. I still had another 6 or 7 inches to play with."

In the 400, Duncan was engaged in a duel with Kaneland's Nicole Sreenan, and they pushed each other until one of them finally broke the tape. It was Duncan, in a blistering time of 57.93, just ahead of Sreenan, who took second in 58.53.

"The Kaneland girl is an amazing runner," Duncan said. "I knew if I could keep up with her, I would do OK."

Entering the week, the Dixon school record in the 400 had been 59.85, posted by Kellsi Howell in 2006. Duncan broke that with a 59.63 in a triangular on Monday in Dixon.

That was merely an appetizer for what she did on Friday, however, and she wasn't even feeling 100 percent.

"I was not feeling good at the beginning of the race," Duncan said. "I was dizzy, and felt like I was going to throw up. When I got to the line, I was like, all right, I can do this."

Duncan closed out the night by running the anchor leg on the 1,600 relay. When she got the baton, she was in fifth place. When she crossed the finish line, she brought the Duchesses up to third with a time of 4:09.57.

Hailey Houck, Shannon Lahey and Kirsten Pitman ran the first three legs of the race. Duncan's anchor split of 57.27 helped Dixon move up two spots.

For Sterling, the top performance came from its 3,200 relay team. The foursome of Megan Barnhart, Maegan McCue, Charli Wike and Maggie McPherson placed second with a time of 9:56.14.

It was the second consecutive Friday the group has run under the state qualifying time of 9:58.04.

"When we made the state qualifying time at the Sterling Night Relays, we were just ecstatic," said Barnhart, whose split time of 2:29 was a season best by 3 seconds. "We're getting more and more confident, and now we feel like we can PR every time we race."

Ashleigh Tira also had a solid night for the Golden Warriors, taking second in both hurdles races. She tied her PR with a 16.49 in the 100 hurdles, and came up just short of her top time with a 48.48 in the 300 hurdles.

She clipped the first and last of eight hurdles in the 300 race, leaving room for improvement with the sectional a week away.

"I need to get out of blocks better," Tira said, "and I need to not hit so many hurdles."

Sabrina Chamberlain placed third in the 200 (27.09), and took fourth in the 100 (13.09) and 400 (1:01.88) for Sterling.

Sterling finished fifth as a team with 50 points, while Dixon was seventh with 37.

Yorkville ran away with top team honors. The Foxes racked up 152 points, well ahead of runner-up Kaneland, which had 104.5. Geneseo, which had won three conference meets in a row, placed third with 70 points.

Top 3 teams

1. Yorkville 152

2. Kaneland 104.5

3. Geneseo 70

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