The stage is set for a great state meet weekend in Charleston with 11 3A sectionals that took place last Thursday and Friday. Here is a look at each of these sectionals.
~~ St. Ignatius Sectional – May 17 ~~
~~ Oak Park-River Forest Sectional – May 17 ~~
The IHSA took a unique approach by holding two sectionals at Concordia University in River Forest. It has been done before during cross country, but this was the first time in track.
On the St. Ignatius side, the host Wolfpack won the team title by 11 points over Catholic League rival Brother Rice. On the Oak Park side, the Huskies dominated the meet qualifying 17 for Charleston.
Two of the top 3200 Meter Runners took to this track but ran separate races. In the Oak Park sectional 3200 race, Malachy Schrobilgen (Oak Park-River Forest, Oak Park Ill) took command of the race in the first 200 hundred meters and rolled to a school record 8:57.3, the fourth fastest time currently in the state.
Immediately after that race, Jack Keelan (St. Ignatius, Chicago Ill) took the line. He glided through through a 4:42 first mile, then took off from a pack of three and cruised to a 9:18 easy win.
You have to think that both runners were trying to send a message to each other. It should be fun to see them on the same track at the same time in this race on Saturday.
Other performances worth note on the Oak Park side was Matt Harris (Lyons Township, LaGrange Ill) cranking out a 23-8 Long Jump to offset his conference performance of last week when he fouled three times, and David Timlin (Lane Tech, Chicago Ill) who held off Schrobilgen to win the 1600 (4:18.35).
On the St. Ignatius side, the spot light was on the emergence of the Dunbar sprint crew in the last couple of weeks. Dion Williams won the 100 (11.10) and Darvell Harris, off of his 21.33 at the Chicago Public Leagues, won the 200 in 21.41. Together, the two helped the 4x1 (41.95) and the 4 x 2 (1:27.71) win in a dominating fashion.
~~ Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional – May 17 ~~
Thornton could surprise some in Charleston after their performance in the sectional. The Wildcats qualified 11 in winning this sectional by 28 points over Bloom Township. Demetri Smith led Thornton with a double win in the 100 (10.79) and the 200 (21.82) and then combined to help the Wildcats win the 4x1 (41.89). Thomas Taylor was the only other individual winner for the Wildcats winning the Long Jump (22-11.5).
Rashad Hulbert (Crete-Monee, Crete Ill) was the only individual winner dominating both hurdles races. He became the first runner under 14 FAT (fully automated timing) recording a 13.99 win. He came back in the intermediates to win by almost a second (38.17). Hulbert was also a part of Crete’s winning 4 x 4 squad (3:22.98).
In an already 3A field in the Pole Vault, Cirron Clark (Danville, Ill) made sure that people would remember him in the state title discussion winning at this meet with a clearance of 15-4.
~~ Lockport Sectional – May 17 ~~
Sandburg opened the evening sizzling a 7:52.47 in the 4 x 8 and times started dropping from there in a meet that the finals were delayed an hour due to a timing malfunction.
Lockport won their own sectional by four points over Downers Grove South. Their win was highlighted by a 1-2 finish by Billy Reed and Jonathan Goins in the 110 HH, and also Patrick Fisch and Jake Voltarel in the Pole Vault. Goins came back to win the 300 IH (39.81) along with Thomas Razo winning the 800 (1:58.05).
Perez Ford (Romeoville, Ill) qualified for three events. He won the 200 (21.97) and qualified in both the Shot Put and the 100.
~~ Naperville North Sectional – May 17 ~~
Minooka won its first sectional title by two points over Neuqua Valley with Waubonsie Valley another six points back. The meet was full of drama, both good and bad.
The hamstring was area of concern for a couple of athletes at this sectional. Mitchell Wolff (South, Plainfield Ill) pulled his hamstring in the final of the 110 hurdles and failed to qualify. Jacob Bender (Neuqua Valley, Naperville Ill) tweaked him hamstring in the last 100 meters and still finished second in the 400 Meters. Bender was held out of the 4x4 relay, in which Neuqua failed to qualify.
There were three double winners, one in the field and two on the track. Riley Kittridge (Waubonsie Valley, Aurora Ill) dominated the weight events winning both the Shot (56-6) and the Discus (164-5).
On the track, Calvin Edwards (West, Joliet Ill) overcame a slow start in the 100 to win (10.91) over James Kerns (North, Naperville Ill). He came back and dominated the 200 (21.69).
Mark Derrick (Neuqua Valley, Naperville Ill) showed he will be a factor in both distance races in Charleston. He combined with teammate Taylor Soltys to finish 1-2 in the 3200 (9:12.37 – 9:16.42). Derrick came back to also win the 1600 (4:18.30).
Waubonsie Valley benefitted from a 48.6 anchor from 300 IH winner Kyle Schafer to win the 4 x 4 (3:19.07).
~~ Hononegah Sectional – May 17 ~~
Cary-Grove’s winning the final event of the evening, the 4 x 4 (3:20.41), was enough to clinch the sectional title by 3 points over Grant. The Trojans also benefitted from wins by Josh Freeman in the Shot (60-11.75) and a 1-2 finish by Tommy Rohn and Michael Gleeson in the 400 (49.41 – 49.55).
In a close race, William Hennessy (Jacobs, Algonquin Ill) was able to hold off Will Crocker (North, Belvidere Ill) and Chris Alvarez (Central, Crystal Lake Ill) to help his team win the 4 x 8 relay (7:51.76). Crocker came back to win the 800 over Alvarez (1:54.00 – 1:54.59).
The meet’s only individual double winner was in the hurdles. Sean Wells (Grant, Fox Lake Ill) won the 110 Highs (14.42) by almost a second, then won the 300 Intermediates by nipping Dom Blake (Jacobs, Algonquin Ill) by four hundredths of a second (39.01 – 39.05).
~~ Loyola Sectional – May 17 ~~
The thud that most Illinois track fans heard were the sounds of mouths hitting the ground after hearing about the 4 x 8 relay results at this meet. People figure times will drop at sectional time, but not in this manner.
New Trier led entire section of teams to the state meet by running a 7:44.30 in this race, almost ten seconds faster than the previous fastest time in the state. Niles North was only 24 hundredths behind. Eight team toed the line, eight teams qualified. With Leland Later, the 3A cross country champ, anchoring the Trevians in this race, it also dismissed the rumors that he would be doubling in the 3200 / 1600. Later came back in the 1600 and placed second behind Todd Ford (Loyola Academy, Wilmette Ill).
Michal Filipczak (Maine South, Park Ridge Ill) took advantage of the fast Loyola mondo track to win the 800 running the fastest time in the state so far (1:51.93).
Evanston Township took the team title by 17 points over Prospect while advancing 9 to Charleston. The Wildkits could be a surprise in the trophy chase this weekend. Xavier Levy had a double win in the 100 (11.03) and the 200 (22.29) to lead Evanston. Levy also was a member on their winning 4 x 1 (42.65) and the 4x2 (1:28.52).
~~ Belleville West Sectional – May 18 ~~
Best sectional in the state…111 elite performances on the Dyestat TFX leaderboard. Need I say more?
The sprint races reigned surpreme in this ultra fast sectional. When you get a relay team qualifying for the state meet from a slower section, then I guess that can tell you how deep and how fast this section was.
Edwardsville won the team championship with 92 points and 11 qualifiers heading towards Charleston. The Tigers got wins from Josh White in the Triple Jump (46-10.5), Vincent Valentine in the Shot Put (57-1.5), and Garrett Sweatt in the 3200 (9:19.36). Edwardsville also won the 4 x 1 (41.67).
Kennedy Mayweather (Collinsville, Ill) was a double winner in the 100 (10.60) and the 200 (21.60). He was also part of a strong 4 x 2 squad that nipped Belleville West (1:26.29 – 1:26.41), the two top times in the state so far.
Derrick Willies (Rock Island, Ill) was not to be left out of the speed play that was sweeping the track. He won both hurdle races (110 HH – 14.07, 300 IH – 38.12).
In the last race of the night, Belleville West held off crosstown rival Belleville East to win the 4 x 4 (3:18.43 – 3:19.38).
~~ Fremd Sectional – May 18 ~~
Host Fremd held off Stevenson to win the sectional title by three points. Nick Bednarek was the only Viking winner, that in the Pole Vault (14-9).
Mark Balmes (Hersey, Arlington Hts Ill) is showing that he will be a factor in both the weight events. At Fremd, he won the Shot (59-1.5) and the Discus (171-0).
The 1600 and 3200 Meter Races both qualified 8 to the state meet. In the 3200, Erik Peterson (Barrington, Ill) moved away from the pack to win (9:17.11). In the 1600, Pat Juras (Lake Zurich, Ill) won by less than a second (4:15.84) over Easton Huch (Libertyville, Ill).
~~ St. Charles North Sectional – May 18 ~~
Bartlett won the sectional title qualifying 8 for Charleston and scoring 94 points, 32 better than Geneva. Kevin Bauers led the Hawks with a double win in the Shot (53-11) and the Discus (165-8).
St. Charles East won the 4 x 4 recording the second fastest time in the state (3:18.46).
~~ Wheaton-Warrenville South Sectional – May 18 ~~
It could be a preview to this weekend. Wheaton North qualified 15 to win the sectional title by 26 points over two time defending champion Lake Park. Do not count out the Lancers. They will send 12 to Charleston and capable of three peating.
Zach Gordon (North, Wheaton Ill) won the 200 (22.01) and dropping a 24-2.5 bomb of a jump to win the Long Jump with the best jump in the state. Teammate Christian Hollinger also was a double event winner with a Shot Put Win (54-3.5) along with the Discus (171-5).
There were two athletes that qualified in 3 individual events. Ben Bowers (Conant, Hoffman Estates Ill) won the 110 HH (14.91) along with qualifying in the High Jump and 300 Intermediate Hurdles. Scott Fillip (Lake Park, Roselle Ill) qualified in the High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple Jump. He could score in all three of these events at the state meet.