Fremd Sectional Features Familiar Teams (with New Lineups)

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Byline: Reggie Gorski Daily Herald Correspondent

Tonight's Fremd girls track and field sectional could resemble last week's nip and tuck Mid-Suburban League championship meet.

But don't bet on it.

Ten of the 12 teams in the MSL are in the 18-team field at Fremd, including Barrington and Prospect, 1-2 conference finishers separated by a single point.

But Knights coach Dave Wurster and Fillies coach Jody Gitelis have gone back to the drawing board with a different agenda for this state-qualifier.

Prelims in the field events begin at 4:30 p.m., track events at 5 p.m. Finals on the track are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at Fremd's Palatine campus.

"Sure, winning the meet would be nice, but it's only our third most important priority," says Wurster.

"No. 1 is getting people you think can score in the state meet in the right spots. Second thing is to get kids in events where they can qualify. Then you worry about scoring enough points to win."

Wurster's finest - sophomore Carrie Fleming, who holds the fastest time in the state in the 300 hurdles (44.2) - will start her chase for a state gold. But she'll also get a shot at the open 200-meter dash as well as fill in those "right spots" Wurster is concerned about in the medley and 400 relays.

Megan Wadas, who's only raced in three meets all season because of injury, will have a chance to defend her sectional title in the 100. She's also key to Prospect's 1600 relay.

Senior Maggie Griffin gives the Knights the top seed in the 800 run and has the second-fastest time in the state at 2:17.4.

Quality continues for Prospect in the shot, where Melissa Wheeler heads the field with a third-best put statewide at 41-4.

Barrington showed a totally revamped lineup last weekend to swipe the MSL title.

Gitelis will shift personnel again tonight, with goals that mirror Wurster's.

"The conference title was far more important to me than any of those sectional titles we won when we went north into Lake County," Gitelis explains. "Getting these kids downstate and performing well once we're there is what it's all about."

Assuredly, Barrington's strength is in its relays.

That would explain Gitelis' decision to pull talented frosh Rachel Tomczak and senior Jennifer Schultz from open races and place them in key relay roles.

The move could find Barrington advancing as many as all five relays in a much tougher sectional field than it's seen in the past.

One deserved exception is the placement of Betsy Spicer in the open 400.

"It's an event she truly loves and we're letting her go for it," says Gitelis. …