Girls Track: Henkel medals at 2023 Illinois Top Times Indoor State Championship
Rochelle junior takes fifth place in 400-meter dash with new PR
BLOOMINGTON — Junior Alivia Henkel had one goal as she laced her running shoes up and represented the Rochelle Lady Hub track and field team in the 2023 Illinois Top Times Indoor State Championship meet at Illinois Wesleyan University this past weekend.
Having qualified for the competition in both the 60-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash, Henkel’s goal was to outperform her seed time in each running event. Not only did Henkel accomplish her goal, but her personal-record time of 1:00.54 in the 400-meter dash resulted in a fifth-place finish and a state medal. Henkel took fifth out of 23 athletes who raced in the event.
“Competing at the indoor state meet was definitely nerve-racking, but it was a really exciting experience for me,” Henkel said. “I enjoyed having the chance to compete with such experienced athletes. I came into the meet hoping to beat my seeds and I was glad that I was able to do that in both of my events. I was especially excited to get a new PR in the 400.”
Henkel finished 21st in the preliminary round of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 10.28 seconds. The state meet capped off a successful indoor season for Henkel, who won the 400-meter dash at both the Sycamore Invitational and the Warrior Invitational. An IHSA State Championship qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles last year. Henkel said her goals for this coming outdoor season are to set new records in either the 300-meter hurdles or the 400-meter dash.
“The indoor state meet made me really excited for the outdoor season, especially as I’ve seen some of my times move closer to some school records,” Henkel said. “I’m hoping that I can set a record of my own in either the 300-meter hurdles or the 400-meter dash this season. I’m really happy with how I performed at the indoor state meet and I was really excited to medal.”