State week arrives for girls soccer, boys track

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It’s championship week in Illinois for girls soccer players and boys track and field athletes.

U-High is headed back to the class 1A soccer final four for the second year in a row. The Pioneers, who finished fourth last year at state, will face Pleasant Plains in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday in Naperville.

Boys track and field athletes are heading to Charleston for the state meet this weekend. Prelim races are Thursday and Friday with the finals set for Saturday.

IVC senior David Russell is hoping to bring back state medals in the 2A shot put and discuss. “I would love to just do the best I can to do personal records in both (shot put and discus). If they end up winning me a state championship, that would be great. If not I’ll congratulate the victor,” said Russell, the defending state champ in discus. I feel a lot more pressure than I did last year. But I have to trust what I do.”

Led by 800 meter runner Charlie Bardwell, Eureka hopes to bring a class 1A state trophy back home.

“I feel confident,” Bardwell said. “Hopefully we get out fast, The first step is making it through prelims. Hopefully, we can do that and go from there. And be able to compete with the rest of the guys.”

Dunlap senior Reece Dusek is one of central Illinois’ top 800 runners in class 2A.

I’ve been ready for state,” said Dusek. “I think I’m mentally prepared. I’m just ready for state.”

Morton has excellent spring relays and distance runner Josh Weeks hopes he can score points for the Potters on Saturday.

“State is always the biggest race and I have been planning on it since the end of cross country,” said Weeks, a 3200 qualifier. “Waiting for the moment.”

It seems like everyone in the state is waiting for those big moments Saturday.