On May 16-17, the girls track team competed in the state tournament at Eastern Illinois University. Junior runner Adrienne Slaughter led the way for the Wildkits, finishing second in the 400m with a time of 56.46 seconds. She was also part of the 4x400m relay team that also finished second with a time of 3:56.78.
“Adrienne was incredible for us in this state tournament,” said junior runner Alex Locke, who also competed in the tournament. “She is one of the hardest working girls on our team and it is nice to see her hard work pay off with a great performance like she had.”
Head coach Fenton Gunter and his team finished with a total of 27 points, which was good enough for seventh place in the state. After winning the state title four consecutive years from 2002-2006, the Wildkits rebounded from what was, by their lofty standards, a disappointing season last year which saw them finish outside the top ten.
“We had a disappointing season last year,” said Gunter, who has been the Evanston coach for all four state championships. “We knew we needed to work hard over the offseason to have a competitive team for this year and the girls really put in a ton of effort to make us a great team. Of course there is always room for improvement, but finishing seventh in state is an accomplishment the team, the community, and I are very proud of.”
Coach Gunter has a solid core returning next season with runners Slaughter, Locke, Olivia Gann, Keyanna Johnson and Shannon Shepherd.
“We had a really good season, and we have really high expectations for next year as well,” said Slaughter. “We will have a lot of junior girls this year become senior leaders next year, and we are really looking forward to that. We have the talent, the coach, and the work ethic to bring another state championship to ETHS next season, but for now, we are just going to enjoy the effort and the accomplishments for this season.”