Shields delivers for Danville during Big 12 Meet

May 4—CHAMPAIGN — Nickiya Shields is starting to become a household name for Danville girls' track and field.

If you've paid any attention to the Vikings' results this season, you've seen her name at the top of the standings time and time again in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and triple jump.

Friday night was no different, as the junior took Big 12 Conference championship wins in all three events.

Shields was the only three-time winner of the night, winning the 100 hurdles in 15.15 seconds, the 300 hurdles in 46.36 seconds and the triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 91/2 inches.

"I've just stayed focused," Shields said. "I might not always do good, but I stay focused on improving and watch other people over time to get it down."

Shields didn't start hurdling or triple-junping until she got to high school. She said her coach had her try them out, and she took to them naturally, learning quickly and improving at a rapid pace.

"I just got put in here my freshman year, and I've been with it ever since," Shields said. "I got better over time as I kept going, and I'm still learning."

The trio of wins from Shields led the Vikings to a third-place finish Friday night, only behind champion Normal Community and runner-up Centennial.

Danville coach Carl Long said Shields' success has come as no surprise, and he's looking forward to what she still has to accomplish the rest of this season as well as her senior year.

"She's a fierce competitor," Long said. "She figures things out really quick, which makes my job as a coach very easy. There's a lot of things she could do well that she's not even in right now. Almost any event she wanted to do or we put her in, she would do pretty well. It's the type of kid you love to have on the team."

Normal Community's 131 team points paced the field, followed by Centennial with 92 and Danville with 77.

Peoria Richwoods (62) finished fourth and Champaign Central (59) placed fifth. Normal West (54), Bloomington (35), Urbana (24), Peoria (16), Peoria Notre Dame (6) and Peoria Manual (2) rounded out the rest of the team standings.

Also contributing to the Vikings' third-place finish was Gabriela Huerta, who won the high jump by clearing 5-1, and the 800-meter relay team of Taniyah Reynolds, Da'Sani Lewis, Jhe'Nyi Parker and Ashanti Conaway posting a winning time of 1:44.02 in the 800 relay.

The only other area winner was the Chargers' Noelle Hunt, who won the long jump with a distance of 18-01/2.

But Centennial received a boost from second-place finishes by Nina Brown in the 200 (25.96), Brooklynn Sweikar in the 800 (2:21.37), the 800 relay of Flora Louise, Hunt, Na'Zarah Walker and Brown (1:44.33), the 1,600 relay of Kaia Westray, Walker, Sweikar and Hunt (4:04.09), Lidia Feliciana in the shot put (33-53/4) and Ruth Duma in the discus (111-0).

Urbana's best finish came from its 3,200 relay of Marley Yau, Lorelie Yau, Beatrice Ebel and Sophia Sheyko-Frailey placing second in 10:02.73, while Audrey Allender cleared 10-83/4 in the pole vault and Julia Bilsbury leaped 34-93/4 to place second in those events for Champaign Central.