The Homewood-Flossmoor girls track team was runner up at the Class 3A state meet last week at Eastern Illinois University. It’s the second time in as many seasons that the Vikings were one spot short of a championship.
“As a program and as a staff, we know how difficult it is to be top three in consecutive seasons. Some schools wait quite a while to try to accomplish that feat,” coach Terrance Terry said. “Every year we start off with the goal of winning a state championship or at the very least bringing home a state trophy for our school. We were fortunate enough to do that this year and last year and I’m proud of that accomplishment.”
The Vikings totaled 44 team points. Whitney Young was the only team with more, finishing with 53. Prospect was third with 43.
It’s the fourth time since 2017 that H-F has finished second. The Vikings were state champs in 2019.
“I’m extremely proud of us, the team and how we were able to do it all together,” Ana-Liese Torian said. “It was a bit of a rough season with a couple injuries but we all seemed to pull it together and do an amazing job to pull off another second place (finish).”
Torian led the way for the Vikings, winning both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles while running a leg with the third-place 400-meter relay team. The junior also finished 17th in the 200-meter dash.
She turned in the individual performance of the day, appearing to set a new state meet record with a 13.51 in the 100-meter hurdle prelims. It won’t go into the record books, though, because it was determined to be wind-aided.
“I felt like it was really good but I wasn’t expecting the time that the announcer was going to say. I was just trying to process it. Getting off the track I was like ‘Did he really just say that?’” Torian said. “It was a bit of a letdown (that it was called wind-aided) but I’m still proud of myself for even getting there.”
Terry said he immediately told Torian not to worry about the wind assistance ruling and that she would be back to get another chance. She won the finals race with a time of 13.82 seconds. No other hurdler was under 14 seconds.
“She’s obviously a rare kid in terms of her ability and technique and her drive, too. Great mentality on her,” he said. “That’s just her character, never letting anything throw her off her game. She always performs. We’ve had a lot of unfavorable conditions, everything under the sun and she’s been able to perform, regardless.”
The pair of golds were the second and third for Torian, who also won the 100-meter hurdle state title as a sophomore.
“The first one, coming off of COVID from my (canceled) freshman year, I was really proud of myself and excited to finally experience a real season,” she said. “Winning these two titles made me feel pretty good and let me know I can still do it.”
Senior Alex Edison was the other H-F athlete who had a big day, finishing second in the 400 and fourth in the 100 and 200. She ran a leg with the 400-meter relay team, too.
The Vikings made the finals in seven events, in total.
“We just wanted a chance at the end,” Terry said.