2023 track season starts strong


Freshmen Alivia Gibson, Anessa Johnson, Abigail Ryan, and Sage Ryan after their record-breaking 4×2 relay. The girls broke the record during a F/S meet hosted by Newman High School.

 Sterling High School’s track and field team rounded out their 2023 indoor season Saturday, March 25. Both the boys’ and girls’ S.H.S. track teams had an indoor season to be proud of. 

  For many Sterling athletes, their hard work in the off-season was rewarded with individual success. In addition to many athletes winning their respective events, numerous freshman and indoor records were shattered. 

  The first meet of the 2023 track season took place on March 4. The Gold Medal Invite was held at Westwood and composed of six teams; Dixon, Geneseo, Oregon, Rock Falls, Shabbona, and Sterling. Sterling boys and girls track team had 11 individual wins during their season opener. 

  Two-time state qualifier, junior Dale Johnson, won each of his individual events at all of Sterling’s indoor home meets this year. D. Johnson ran the fastest time for the Golden Warriors in recent years in the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter races. If D. Johnson continues to run, or improves on, his recent times could qualify him for state in all three events. 

  The S.H.S. boys’ track team had successful performances in both the 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays. The 4×200 meter relay has a large pool of successful athletes to pull from. Seniors Dylan Doss and Kael Ryan, juniors Cale Lederberger and Mason Emin, sophomore Joseph Holcomb, and freshman Maurice Delacruz are all capable of leading a 4×200 meter relay to state.

  In his first year out for track, junior Andre Klaver has excelled at high jump. His personal record of six feet, four and three-fourths inches is the best indoor high jump performance for S.H.S. since 2017. 

  Senior Brandeis Shore vaulted a personal best of 11 feet, three inches during the final indoor meet of the 2023 season. His result in pole vault is the best Golden Warrior indoor performance since 2017.

  Senior Alice Sotelo returned to track as the 2022 2A girls triple jump state champ. Her quest to defend her title started off strong, as she placed first in her first three meets. Sotelo’s 35-foot, six-inch jump at the first meet of the season broke the S.H.S. indoor triple jump record, a record she already held. 

  The girls’ indoor shot put record was broken by senior Kathryn Rowzee. Rowzee’s throw of 36 feet, five and a half inches surpassed state qualifying marks. For Rowzee, breaking the record was “really cool because all of my hard work finally feels like it is starting to pay off.”

  All athletes are given navy jerseys at the beginning of the season. If an athlete earns enough points, which are given out based on placement at meets, they become a varsity track member and get a gold jersey. White jerseys are given out to honor athletes who throw, jump, or run an IHSA 2A state qualifying mark.

  Sophomore Madison Austin, Rowzee, and Sotelo all earned their white jerseys for their impressive state qualifying performances. Austin met the state qualifying standards in high jump during the first meet of the season. As did Rowzee and Sotelo when they broke the indoor record for their respective events.

  Freshman Delia Block broke the freshman and F/S indoor 800 record, with a time of 2:29.13. During cross country, Block was the first S.H.S. girl runner to qualify for state since 2003. It is highly plausible that Block could be the first freshman S.H.S. girl’s track member to qualify for state since 2018, given her personal record is only four seconds away from state standards.

  Freshman Abigail Ryan tied the indoor girl’s freshman record for the 60 meter high hurdles during a triangular meet against Geneseo and Alleman on March 14. Freshman Alivia Gibson broke the indoor freshman girl’s 200 meter record with a time of 28.21. 

  Two freshman girls’ indoor relay records were broken during this year’s indoor season. The 4×200 meter relay team composed of freshmen A. Ryan, Alivia Gibson, Anessa Johnson, and Sage Ryan ran a time of 1:55.46. Freshmen Alyssa Galloway, A. Johnson, Isabella Sylvester, and Laney Zuithoff ran a 4×400 meter relay time of 4:45.31.

  Senior Dylan Doss tied the boy’s indoor 60 meter record, running a time of 7.12. He shares the title of record holder with S.H.S. grad Nyrel Sullivan.

  The biggest differences between indoor and outdoor track season are the length of the track and the addition of new events. Teams shift from running on a 200 meter track to a 400 meter track. The 60 meter dash becomes the 100 meter dash, while a 4×100 meter relay, the 300 meter hurdles, and discus are all only done during outdoor meets. 

  The S.H.S. girls’ track team opened up their outdoor season at Rock Island on Monday, March 27. While the S.H.S. boy’s track team opened up their outdoor season on Friday, March 31.