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District 97 Athletes, Musicians Stand Out in Competition

Oak Park middle schoolers earn top honors in state track meet and music festival.

From Oak Park Elementary School District 97

District 97 Middle Schools Excel at State Track Meet

The track teams from Gwendolyn Brooks and Percy Julian Middle Schools earned several medals and top finishes during the state meet held by the Illinois Elementary School Association on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 in East Peoria, Illinois. Mary Blankemeier, a seventh grader from Brooks who took first place in the 2011 Girls AA Cross Country Champion state meet held in the fall, captured first place and set a state record of five minutes and 10.23 seconds in the 1600 meter run. In addition to Blankemeier, who also took second place in the 800 meter dash, Chisom Nwoko, an eighth grader from Brooks, finished first in the 400 meter dash. Other notable performances included:

  • Leah Brumfield, a seventh grader from Julian, took second place in the100 meter dash, sixth place in the 200 meter dash and tied for ninth place in the high jump at the girls 7AA level.
  • Ainsley Tran, an eighth grader from Brooks, took fifth place in the 1600 meter run at the girls 8AA level.
  • Hallie Voss, a seventh grader from Brooks, took sixth place in the 1600 meter run at the girls 7AA level.
  • Rino Watson, a seventh grader from Brooks, took ninth in the 100 meter dash at the boys 7AA level.

The girls track teams from Brooks and Julian took fifth place and 18th place respectively out of 56 teams at the 7AA level; while the girls team from Brooks took 11th place out of 69 teams at the 8AA level.

Middle Schools Earns Top Honors at Music Festivals

On Saturday, May 19, students from Brooks Middle School's BRAVO program earned several top honors during the Music in the Parks National Music Festival held at Eureka High School/Six Flags-St. Louis. The school's orchestra received a rating of "superior" and took first place in the Middle School Orchestra Division. Its band received a rating of "excellent" and took second place in the Middle School Band Division. In addition, its choir received a rating of "superior" and took second place in the Middle School Choral Division.

On Friday, May 18, Julian Middle School’s symphony orchestra, choir, wind ensemble and symphonic/concert band all received the top rating of “superior” during the High Note Festival held at Edgewood Middle School in Highland Park.

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