- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

CHARLESTON, Illinois (AP) - Goals are set for a reason, and for Catlin (Salt Fork)’s Jenny Kimbro, the second time proved to be the charm.

The senior, who scored 37 of her team’s 52 points, cruised to the team title in girls’ Class 1A state track and field competition, held on Saturday at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

“This has been one of our goals since the season began (to win the team title), and we knew going in that we could score enough points to make it happen”, an elated Kimbro said after her team was handed the first place trophy.

Kimbro, won the long jump as well as the 110 and 330 hurdles and just missed winning a fourth individual state title, finishing third in her final event, the 200 meter dash.

St. Joseph-Ogden, which won the 4x100 relay earlier in the day, finished second as a team, scoring 42 points. Warrensburg-Latham - which saw its competitor in the shot put, Kathleen Young, set not only a Class 1A record, but a state record by securing a distance of 51 feet - finished with 40 points.

In Class 2A, a late surge by Maple Park (Kaneland), by virtue of its win in the final event of the day, the 4x400 meter relay, came back to tie defending state champion Cahokia, with 53 points.

The Comanches, who had won the 200-meter dash one event earlier, needed Kaneland to finish second or worse to claim their third consecutive title. Springfield Southeast, which had several good performances, including a first in the 4x100 meter relay, finished in third place with 40 points.

In Class 3A, the dominance of the Lincoln Way East Griffins continued, as they won their fourth straight state title, destroying the competition and scoring 83 points that allowed them to cruise to victory. The Griffins, whose next challenger was Alton Sr. High School with 37 points, won several events.

“These girls that are seniors, when they were freshmen, they saw that leadership that group had, and it has just been infectious from here on out”, Griffins head coach Angelo Brown said following the meet.

Senior Jasmine Howell said it has taken hard work and hopes that the future of the program is as strong as the current one is.

“It (the state title) means a lot to me, and especially for my senior year, to go out on top with my senior class, makes all of the work that I and my teammates have put in worthwhile. Every time we brought a new girl into the program, we motivated each other in practice, and continued to get better,” Howell said.

Besides Alton finishing second with 37 points, Oswego East finished in third overall as a team with 30 points.

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