Crete-Monee ended the meet with an exciting, come-from-behind victory in the 1,600-meter relay, but depth enabled host Joliet West to celebrate the team championship Saturday of the Lady Tigers’ inaugural invitational.
West totaled 160 points to 149.5 for runner-up Deerfield and 134 for third-place Crete-Monee in the eight-team meet.
“This is a good confidence booster for them,’’ West coach Tisha Alvarez said. “I always knew they could do it, but sometimes they need to see the hardware to prove it to themselves. It’s good to see them happy and excited and jumping around.’’
West won four events, was runner-up in five others and had five third-place finishes.
West winners were the 800 relay of Shaniqua Brown, Bryana Nance, Teonia Blackmon and Baccari Ivy (1 minute, 51.82 seconds), Raven Moore in the 100 hurdles (16.27 seconds), Guadalupe Diaz in the 3,200 (13:04.54) and the 3,200 relay of Hailey Salazar, Maria Arzate, Sarah Schalk and Franny Alejo (10:29.24).
“My last couple meets I had kind of fallen off, but I just listened to my coach and ran to the finish line,’’ said Ivy, who added third-place finishes in the 100 and 200.
Crete-Monee sprinter Tayler Whittler was the individual standout, winning the 100 (12.51), 200 (25.91) and 400 (1:01.65) and running on the first-place 400 relay (52.08). That’s especially impressive considering Crete-Monee ran Thursday in the Hillcrest Invitational and Friday in the Downers Grove North Invitational.
“I think it went pretty well,’’ Whittler said. “This is our third meet in a row. I think it’s pretty good to run these back-to-back-to-back. I think I had a pretty good day.’’
The DePaul-bound Whittler is the defending Southland Conference champ in the 200 and 400 and was a state qualifier in the 100, 200 and 400.
“I’m not mad about my times,’’ Whittler said. “They’re OK. My 100 time is getting there. I just got back doing the 400. I’m trying to get all my times down right now.’’
Crete-Monee’s Grace Flowers won the 1,600 (5:37.53) and placed second in the 800, which was won by teammate Teja Foy (2:29.65).
Foy was the second leg of the winning 1,600 relay (4:18.54) that included Janice Rodriguez, Tajea Vallot and Breanna Young, who overcame a big deficit in the anchor leg to win the final event.
“She (Young) usually runs the second leg, but because we had people spread out all over the place we ran her in the anchor,’’ Crete-Monee coach Willie Cole said. “She’s got heart. We were a lot down.’’