Paige Arseneau turned the page in her personal record book Friday at the Mid-Illini Conference girls track and field meet at Morton’s Carper Field.
Arseneau finished fourth in the 3200 in 11:28.42, dropping her PR time about 12 seconds and giving the junior renewed hope that she can qualify for the Class 3A state meet for the first time.
“If Paige can run a competitive race in the 3200 at sectionals like she did (Friday), she’ll have a good shot at finishing in the top two and qualifying for state,” said Pekin coach Christina MacEwan.
Pekin’s Hope Watts was third in the 100 in the conference meet in :12.89 seconds, a PR.
“That’s the first time Hope has run that event in under 13 seconds,” MacEwan said.
The state meet qualifying time for the 100 is :12.60, so Watts, a sophomore, is within range for her second state meet.
Watts was second in the 400 in the conference meet in 1:00.13. The state meet qualifying time is :59.28, so she’s within range for that, too.
Defending Class 2A state champion Dunlap easily won the Mid-Illini meet, taking first place in 15 of 18 events and breaking conference records in 10 of those wins.
One of the three events Dunlap didn’t win was discus. Pekin’s Gabi Salazar won with a throw of 112 feet, 3 inches.
Dunlap won with meet with 230.25 points. Pekin was fifth with 38.25.
Metamora (89), Morton (75) and Canton (40.25) also finished in front of the Dragons. Washington (34), Limestone (32.25) and East Peoria (19) rounded out the standings.
“Our girls did well. I have no complaints,” MacEwan said. “We had about 15 PR’s, which is awesome.”
Pekin will compete Thursday in the Dansville Sectional.
GIRLS SOCCER: The Pekin girls soccer team did what it could Friday to kick out cancer, then it kicked out Peoria Richwoods.
The Dragons participated in the ninth annual Kickin’ Out Cancer event for Susan G. Komen and defeated Richwoods 4-1 in the final game of a tripleheader at Shea Stadium in Peoria.
Pekin and Richwoods began Kickin’ Out Cancer in 2010 in part to honor breast cancer survivor Kelly Cash, mother of then-Pekin senior girls soccer player Lauren Cash. Lauren spoke Friday, talking about her mother’s continuing battle with the disease.
Maddy Cash, Lauren’s sister, is a senior on this year’s Pekin girls team.
Money was raised this year for Kickin’ Out Cancer by all six participating teams through the sale of T-shirts, donations and Friday’s gate receipts. The referees for the games were not paid to save expenses.
“I think we raised about $6,500,” said Pekin coach Edgar Sandoval.
Pekin (11-7) got two goals from Tyranie Cox and goals from Alex Bassen and Jenna Martin against Richwoods. Allie Scally had three assists and Cash had one.
Richwoods (7-12-1) cut Pekin’s lead to 2-1 in the first half on a goal by Natalie DeJardins.
“We played well,” Sandoval said. “We moved the ball around and created a lot of scoring chances.”
With the win, Pekin clinched its fifth straight winning season and 10th in the last 11 years.
The Dragons will complete their regular season schedule at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at home against Limestone.
With a victory on Senior Day, the Dragons would clinch third place in the Mid-Illini Conference. They’re 4-2 in conference games, losing only to pacesetters Dunlap and Morton.
BASEBALL: The Pekin baseball team took different routes to a doubleheader sweep Saturday of visiting Springfield Lanphier at Harry Anderson Field.
The Dragons beat Lanphier 12-1 in the opener in a game that lasted only 4 1/2 innings because of the run rule. Pekin made five errors in the nightcap and needed a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth to win 6-4.
Cade Edmiston was the winning pitcher in the opener, which featured an eight-run surge in the third by the Dragons (10-9) and a two-run homer in the first by Nathan Righi.
Righi also had a triple, and a total of three RBIs.
Cole Russell and Blake Thompson each had two RBIs for the Dragons, and Michael Ellwanger and Evan Pogioli each had two hits.
Down 4-3 going into the bottom of the sixth in the second game, Pekin got a game-tying RBI single from Jordan Rudd and a go-ahead RBI single from Bailey Antonio.
Braden Shane and Russell each had an RBI single in Pekin’s three-run first inning.
Pogioli, the winning pitcher, went five innings and allowed all four Lanphier (9-15) runs, but only one was earned. Jon Kuethe pitched the last two innings for Pekin and got the win.
Edmiston struck out six and didn’t walk anyone in his five innings of work in the opener. Pogioli had eight strikeouts and two walks in the nightcap.
Pekin is facing Metamora this week in Mid-Illini Conference action. The teams played Monday at Metamora and will play at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at Pekin’s Harry Anderson Field.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.