Wolf, Trupp lead loaded Burlington Central

SHARE Wolf, Trupp lead loaded Burlington Central

Burlington Central’s Kayla Wolf is ready to go and teammate Katie Trupp is ready to go vertical.

The two rate along with St. Charles East’s 1,600-meter relay team as the area’s best shots at track and field state titles this year, and if it happens both Central athletes will come away feeling a great deal better than they did when last year’s outdoor season ended.

“This is going to be kind of a comeback,” said Trupp, who high-jumped 5-foot-6 and took second for the second straight year at the Prep Top Times Meet, the unofficial state indoor meet.

Trupp also took third in the pole vault at 11-6, just half a foot off the height former teammate Autumn Conn had in taking second in the state outdoor meet last year. However, Trupp wanted to achieve big things last year too and never got the chance when she broke her foot running hurdles in the sectional.

“I just kind of came down on it funny when I was running hurdles,” she said. “The coaches won’t let me run hurdles this year. My college coach doesn’t want me to, either.”

Trupp has committed already to a scholarship at Southern Illinois next year, but wants to finish out this year with at title in either the pole vault or high jump. She went 5-6 to take second at this year’s Prep Top Times in the high jump. She’s also long jumping, so not running hurdles will hardly be missed.

“She can score 30 points or more for us in big meets,” Central coach Vince Neil said. “She was just kind of filling a gap for us last year in the hurdles, and it wasn’t her best event. Now she can really concentrate in these other events.

“She’s so athletic, she broke our indoor long jump record (15-7) on her first try in her first meet.”

Trupp took fifth in the state in high jump as a freshman and sixth in high jump and seventh in pole vault as a sophomore, so she’s wise to the end game even if she couldn’t go last year due to the injury.

At state this year, she actually had the height she needed to win, but lost on misses. She credits some of her ability in pole vault and high jump to another sport.

“I did nine years of gymnastics and I think a lot of my jumps carried over from gymnastics,” she said.

Like Trupp, Wolf will be competing in college, but not on athletic scholarship. Instead, she received an academic scholarship to Missouri and will go out for track there. First, she wants to win a state title and run a target time in the 800 meters.

“My goal is to obviously win it but what I’m thinking about is taking a run at the 2:10 mark,” she said.

Wolf ran 2:17.31 to win this year’s state indoor 800 meters. She was a bit disappointed she took seventh last year at outdoors (2:15.38) after winning that year’s state indoors in 2:18.84. So following up with a title and a stronger run at 2:10 is an understandable objective. If she does, it will be largely result from her style.

“She’s not afraid to push the pace, whereas a lot of middle-distance kids if you ask them to go out in 62 or 63 seconds, they’re saying, ‘Oh my God, I may not make it through the next lap,’” Neil said.

It’s how she won this year’s indoor title by 2.86 seconds, the biggest spread between any of the runners in the top 10.

Wolf thinks this season will finish differently because of her training.

“I have changed my training a little this year and I think it will benefit me a lot,” she said. “This year we’re training the girls distance runners with the guys. It’s combined. I’m hoping (the boys) are going to push me harder.

“I was happy with winning indoors this year, but with the right training, I’m hoping to do a little better this spring than last spring.”

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