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Hill sisters qualify for state meet in discus

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By Andrew Harner

ROBINSON – Sisters Abby and Molly Hill this week will represent St. Elmo at the state track meet in Charleston after placing first and second in the discus throw at last Friday’s sectional meet.

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Abby, a senior, placed first, with a throw of 108 feet, 2 inches, and Molly, a freshman, was right behind, with a throw of 102 feet, 2 inches.

“I’m really excited that we are going back to state,” said coach Travis Redden. “It’s great to have the sisters going, because there is a lot of camaraderie between the two.”

Between the sisters, they have participated in a combined 10 Illinois High School Association or Illinois Elementary School Association state track meets, with at least one of them representing the St. Elmo/Brownstown co-op at state each of the past seven years.

This year will be the only time, however, that the two will participate in the same state meet.

“I’m really excited,” Abby said. “This is something that doesn’t happen very often. I didn’t really want to go if she didn’t get to go.”

Molly said that she is excited that she made it to state, but is more excited to watch her sister finish her career, hopefully with a strong performance.

However, “I still want to beat her,” Molly said.

Despite the age gap, the younger Hill has earned the best finish between the sisters several times this season.

“She beat me one or two meets (last season),” Abby said. “I try to not let that happen too much, but she has beaten me plenty of times.

“She’s better,” the senior relented. “I taught her, so, of course, she’s better.”

Based on personal records, Abby still holds the edge, but just barely. She said her best throw is about 115 feet, while Molly has thrown about 113 feet.

Molly, however, hopes to improve on that at state.

“(I want to throw) my best,” she said. “I want a new (personal record).”

Redden agrees.

“I hope they make the finals,” he said. “It’d be nice to see personal bests.”

The elder Hill has never made the finals in her high school career. She had her best throw at state her sophomore year, when she hurled the disc 98 feet, 1 inch.

Her best overall finish was as a seventh-grader, when she placed third, with a throw of 83 feet, 6 inches.

Molly placed in the top three in both her seventh- and eighth-grade years. A throw of 98 feet, 11 inches earned her second-place honors as a seventh-grader, and a throw of 97 feet, 3 inches earned her third-place honors as an eighth-grader.

In sixth-grade, she advanced to state in the shot put.

Preliminaries in the discus will begin on Thursday at 11 a.m. at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston. The finals will be on Friday.

That will be the last meet for Abby until next spring, when she will participate for Greenville College.

Other notable finishes for St. Elmo at Robinson were:
•Krissy Connell, fourth place in the 400-meter dash, with a time of 1:06.95
•Abby Hill, fifth place in shot put, with a throw of 31 feet
•Brittani Beasley, sixth place in shot put, with a throw of 30 feet, 6 inches
•Connell, seventh place in the triple jump, with a leap of 30 feet, 10 inches