Lincoln-Way East Girls Track and Field Team Earn Historic, Third Annual State Championship
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Lincoln-Way East High School girls' track and field team won the Class 3A State Championship this past weekend on OBrien Field at Eastern Illinois University. The team is the first in Lincoln-Way District 210 history to win three consecutive state championships.

You continue to set the bar high, not only for track, but for all athletic programs at Lincoln-Way, East Principal Dr. Sharon Michalak told the team during a trophy presentation where more than 100 supporters joined to celebrate the historic win in Easts auditorium on Sunday.

I love saying third annual state championship, said Lincoln-Way East Athletic Director Mark Vander Kooi. This is such a huge accomplishment. Enjoy every minute of your state championship.

The Griffins finished the day with 51 points in ten events with Barrington and Warren High Schools tying for second place with 35 points each. Senior Julia Junkroski won her first state title in the pole vault at 13 feet, 2 inches. As a team, the Griffins took second place in both the 400 and 1600 meter relays and third place in the 800 meter relay.

Champions do not become champions when they win the trophy. They become champions in the hours and weeks spent preparing, said head coach Brian Evans.

This championship is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of all of our young ladies getting up at 4 a.m., running in the rain and cold, running until you can barely stand and then realizing you still have four hours of homework to finish, Evans said. This didnt happen yesterday; it happened because of months of hard work.

Evans said the championship win was not possible without a great team of coaches, including Assistant Coaches Angelo Brown, Dan Fleming, Rob Junkroski, and Dwayne Pierre-Antoine.

It took every single person on stage to do what we did and every facet of our program to make this championship a reality that says a lot about our depth, said Evans.

The state champions were honored with a community parade on Sunday, followed by a trophy presentation to Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Superintendent R. Scott Tingley and East Principal Dr. Sharon Michalak at Lincoln-Way East before the many friends, families, school board members, faculty and staff.

Students rode on a school bus through Frankfort and Mokena, waving to residents as they passed.

Highlights from the state meet include:
Julia Junkroski- 1st in State (Girls Track and Field- Pole Vault)
Ololade Ayoola- 2nd in State (Girls Track and Field- High Jump),
Asia Brown (9th in State (Girls Track and Field- 100m, 200 m), 2nd in State (4x1)
Alexis Pierre-Antoine- 9th in State ( 100 m high hurdles, 300 m low hurdles), 2nd in State (4x1), 3rd in State (4x2)
Jasmine Howell- 2nd in State (4x 1, 4x4) 3rd in State (4x2)
Alyssa Vogt- 7th in State (4x8)
Kyndall Wallace- 7th in State (4x8) 3rd in State (4x2), 2nd in state (4x4)
Erin Couwenhoven- 7th in State (4x8),
Emily Karl- 2nd in State (4x4), 7th in State (4x8)
Nicole Humenik- 2nd in State (4x4, 4x 1), 3rd in State (4x2)

Squad members of the historic Lincoln-Way East track & field team include Ololade Ayoola, Julia Junkroski, Izzy Kling, Brittney Kruzel, Lauren LaDere, Camille Reed, Asia Brown, Abby Couwenhoven, Erin Couwenhoven, Katie DeJulius, Kristy Dertz, Jasmine Howell, Nicole Humenik, Emily Karl, Alexis Pierre-Antoine, and Kyndall Wallace.

Their photos and state trophy will be permanently displayed in the athletic hall at Lincoln-Way East.