High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: wheaton north

IL Boys 3A StatePrelims: Relays run amuck

May, 26, 2012
Darvell HarrisBob Geiger/ESPNHSDarvell Harris anchored two AAA prelims leaders for Dunbar, and also paced 200 qualifying.

Charleston, Ill ---The wind that was present during the 1A prelims was gone on Friday replaced by high humidity and temperatures in the upper 80’s. It did not bother the relay runners much as some sizzling times scorched the already hot surface of the O’Brien Field track.

Dunbar showed up on the track with on a mission. No one had heard of this squad a month ago. This Chicago Public League school last week ran 1:27.71 to win the St. Ignatius 4 x 200 relay. In the second heat of the Friday afternoon prelims, Dunbar moved the baton around the track in spectacular fashion running 1:26.11 to win their heat. The time is the best in Illinois this year and the fourth best ever in the state according to the IHSA.

Earlier in the meet, the Mightymen ran 41.77 to record the fastest qualifying time in the 4 x 100 Meter Relay. To show the strength of this squad, Darvell Harris ran 21.34 to run the fastest time in the 200 Meter Dash.

Bloom Township surprised some by running 3:17.47 to have the fastest time heading into the Saturday final. There waiting for them are four other schools that went under 3:20 in the preliminaries headed by Springfield (3:18.10).

~~ Distance events feel the heat ~~

With temperatures scheduled to get to dangerous levels in the high 90’s on Saturday, some coaches made decisions so that some of the distance runners would not run two races. One runner that took this road was Leland Later (New Trier, Winnetka Ill), who decided to just run the 1600 and passed on the 4 x 800 Meter relay.

The 1600 may be a classic race with numerous runners possibly running under 4:10 despite the heat. In the first heat, Jack Keelan (St. Ignatius, Chicago Ill) had has feet clipped with about 300 meters to go. He took two steps off the track and composed himself for a homestraight sprint. Keelan won that first heat 4:13.63.

The second heat had some of the top distance runners in the state led by Later, Malachy Schrobilgen (Oak Park-River-Forest, Oak Park Ill), Alex Riba (O’Fallon, Ill), and Todd Ford (Loyola Academy, Wilmette Ill). Later led the pack through the first 800 in 2:07.2, then extended it in the next 300 meters. Later and Schrobilgen came home comfortably in 4:12.60 – 4:13.11.

The third heat had the calming effect of a hurricane. Easton Huch (Libertyville, Ill) took the pace out in an incredible 59.9 for the first 400 with Mike Lederhouse (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn Ill) close in tow. Hutch led the 800 in 2:03.8 and then Lederhouse took command of the race finishing in 4:12.65. It took 4:16.45 to make it to the finals perhaps the fastest prelims of all time. It should be a great final.

With Later out of the relay for New Trier, the team with the fastest sectional time struggled through their heat of the 4 x 8 finish 13th overall and missed qualifying by one place. Saturday’s final shapes up to be a fast one with Niles North entering the final with the fastest prelim time (7:45.13) led by the 1:55.3 anchor of Aron Sebhat. Sandburg (7:46.57) and Lane Tech (7:46.92) were pulled to fast times in that heat and will be factors in the final. Minooka (7:47.72) and Wheaton-Warrenville South (7:49.07) were the other heat winners.

They say practice makes perfect. I guess that can be said about Michal Filipczak (Maine South, Park Ridge, Ill) and his race in the 800 Meter Run preliminaries. Filipczak did not run passive like he did in the 2011 finals where he finished second. He took command early and won his heat in 1:51.93, the exact same time he ran at the sectionals. We could see the finals under 1:51. Peter Archibald (Geneva, Ill) won his heat and made the 1:52.16 he ran look easy. Chris Alvarez (Central, Crystal Lake Ill) won his heat (1:53.38) by two hundredths over Will Crocker (North, Belvidere Ill).

~~ Team race ~~

Edwardsville stands in good position heading into Saturday’s finals. They have 9 qualifiers. Two time defending champion Lake Park qualified 11 to the finals and still may three-peat if they can move up in some of their places in both the Long and Triple Jumps. The Lancers did receive a boost by qualifying both their 4 x 8 and 4 x 1 relays.

Edwardsville has the fastest 100 qualifier in Bennett Gray (10.93). They also qualified their 4 x 1 and 4 x 2 relays.

Wheaton North is third in qualifiers with 7. Zach Gordon is currently leading the Long Jump (24-0.5), which is currently 9th in the United States.

~~ Other notes of interest ~~

  • With Jacob Bender (Neuqua Valley, Naperville Ill) not running the 400 due to the injury he got during his sectional race, that opened the door for Antonio Farley (Round Lake, Ill). The senior won the first heat in 47.95, a PR, and the fastest time in the preliminaries. Next closest to Farley is Malik Harrison (Springfield, Ill) who is almost a second behind.

  • It should be a great final in both of the hurdle races. Rashad Hulbert (Crete-Monee, Crete Ill) ran 14.25 to have the fastest time in the High Hurdles. In the heat before that, Derrick Willies (Rock Island, Ill) had run 14.31. In the 300 Intermediates, turnabout is fair play. Hulbert won the third heat in 37.40, putting the pressure on Willies. The Rock Island junior responded by running a 37.16 which is best in the state this year.

  • Josh Freeman (Cary-Grove, Cary Ill) may double his pleasure in the weight events. In the Shot Put, he has a commanding five foot lead( 63-9.25) over Mark Balmes (Hersey, Arlington Heights Ill). In the Discus, things are a little tighter for the senior. Freeman leads the Discus (171-2), but only leads by three feet over Garrett Jensen (Edwardsville, Ill) and Brandon Lombardino (Grant, Fox Lake Ill).
WWS, IHSA, Track & Field, Marcus Jegede, Lake Park, Zach Gordon,Wheaton NorthSteven Koch/ESPNHSMarcus Jegede (Lake Park) and Zach Gordon(Wheaton North) go head to head in the 4 x 100 relay at the Wheaton Warrenville South Sectional. Wheaton North had 15 qualifiers out of the sectional.
Meet Results

Warrenville, Ill --- Wheaton North powered its way to the 3A sectional crown at Red Grange Field Friday night just by doing what they were expected to do according to Coach Don Helberg. “Everyone has qualified today like we have wanted to. I didn’t know if we would get both Pole Vaulters in but we did,” said Helberg. “Friday night is a big day and you have to have some luck.”

The Falcons qualified eleven individuals and four relays to next weekend’s state meet in Charleston. Part of the success of Wheaton North next weekend will come down to the legs of Zach Gordon. The junior had a tremendous sectional by anchoring the winning 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays. He did win 2 individual events, the Long Jump and the 200 meter Dash, but it was the first event that everyone was talking about.

The first round of the Long Jump started in epic proportions with 3 jumpers going over 23 feet. That left it up to Gordon, who had the second longest effort so far in the state this year. He cranked out an amazing 24-2.50 jump that had the spectators around the pit shaking their heads including Gordon.

“I give credit to the competition. They really came to compete. Once I saw a couple of 23’s there, I thought I had to do it,” Gordon said. “I just prayed and I was able to get out there.” Gordon only needed one jump in the competition to win over fellow qualifiers Marcus Jegede & Scott Filip (Lake Park, Roselle Ill), Antwon James (Glenbard East, Lombard, Ill), and Jamaal Payton (Proviso West, Hillside Ill).

Wheaton North also received wins from Christian Hollinger in the Shot Put (54-3.5) and the Discus (171-5), and Brett Kohler in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (38.41).

Two time defending 3A team champion Lake Park finished 26 points behind Wheaton North. The Lancers however set themselves up with a great chance to repeat their team championship by qualifying ten individuals and two relays to Charleston. All ten individuals qualified in field events, which has been the formula for past successes for Coach Jay Ivory. They qualified 2 individuals in every field event except the Shot Put. In those events, they received wins from Kevin Spejcher in the High Jump (6-9) and Shawn Koch in the Triple Jump (47-8).

The warm spring evening spurred on great times in the distance events. In the 3200 Meter Relay, Wheaton-Warrenville South broke open a tight race in the 3rd leg when Andrew Martz pulled away from the pack running a 1:57.2 split. Luke Schroer maintained the lead for the Tigers as they won by 5 seconds over cross-town rival Wheaton North and Lake Park. York finished fourth, just making it in by twenty-eight hundredths of a second.

The 3200 run was a battle of attrition for the runners in that race. The temperatures will still in the 80’s when the athletes lined up on the track for this race. At the gun, the pack thinned out immediately as Tyler Schnedier (Conant, Hoffman Estates Ill) and Pat Niyork (Willowbrook, Villa Park, Ill) took the pace out quickly with a 64 second opening 400. By the 1600, the duo passed by in 4:34.6 with Nathan Mroz (York, Elmhurst, Ill), Nolan McKenna (Wheaton-Warrenville South, Warrenville Ill), and Scott Milling (York, Elmhurst Ill) holding on for dear life. Finally with about two laps to go, Niyork finally broke away from Schneider and went on to a four second win.

“I tried to plan ahead all day and drink a lot of water but it was flushed out of my system by the time I was racing,” said Niyork. “He (Schneider) told me the last few weeks he was getting outkicked in the last 50 meters of the race. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make it an honest race. I wanted to win this race with guts, and not with a fifty meter kick. The last two hundred meters, my arms and abs were burning. I was wavering a little bit on my stride. I just can’t wait until next weekend.”

Mike Fahey (Glenbard East, Lombard Ill) bided his time in the 800 meter Run waiting to break away from the pack with 200 meters to go. He did and went on to a seasonal best win of 1:55.51. James Weaver (Conant, Hoffman Estates Ill) punched his ticket to state by finishing one second behind Fahey. It was a good way to finish the day for the senior. Earlier, he was part of the 4 x 8 quartet that just missed qualifying for state.

Mike Lederhouse (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, Ill) left no doubts that he will be one of the favorites in the 1600 meter run in Charleston with a commanding win in this sectional race. Lederhouse took the lead at the 200 meter mark and passed the 400 in 61.7 with a pack trailing behind him led by Schneider, Aidan Askin (North HS, Wheaton Ill), Chris May (York, Elmhurst Ill), and Derek Anderson (Wheaton-Warrenville South, Warrenville, Ill). Instead of waiting for 700 meters to go, Lederhouse stretched the lead out to 40 meters on the second lap passing by in 2:05.8 while the pack was nearly 3 seconds behind.

Anderson made a move to catch Lederhouse on the third lap, but the Glenbard senior heard the cheers and the yells from the South crowd and pulled away in the final 500 meters to win by four seconds.

“Tonight, I was just trying to focus on bringing it hard the second and third lap. That is where I have been lacking the past couple of weeks,” Lederhouse said. “My last lap was better than last week and I am excited about that. Last week I locked up the last one hundred meters. Today I finished strong which is encouraging.”

The sectionals lone 3 event qualifier was Ben Bowers (Conant, Hoffman Estates Ill). The talented senior qualified early in the meet clearing 6-5 in the High Jump. Then he controlled the 110 Meter High Hurdles as he surges away from the pack at the fifth hurdle to win by almost half a second. He also qualified in the 300 Meter Intermediates Hurdles finishing second behind Wheaton North’s Brett Kohler.
Roselle, Ill --- At this time of the track season, schools start tinkering with their lineups looking for the right combination to score points. Coach Don Helberg looks like he has the right combination in place for Wheaton North to have a chance to make things happen in Charleston in three weeks. The Falcons won all four relays and nearly doubled the score on such perennial state powers as Lake Park, York, and Wheaton-Warrenville South to dominate the 80th DuPage County Meet Friday night at Lake Park.

This squad is balanced and could score in a number events at state. The two athletes that provided the spark for the Falcons at this meet were Zach Gordon and Aidan Askin. Gordon started his night in the Long Jump. Coming off of a great performance in the event at a low keyed meet on Tuesday where he jumped 23-3 for the second longest outdoor jump in the state, he won with a performance of 22-7.25. A little off of Tuesday, but still the junior was happy.

“Today I was not on the board. Tuesday, I really felt it,” he said. “My step was off. I was behind the board the entire time.” Gordon anchored both the 4x1 and 4x2 relays. In the 4x1, he led his team to a 42.13 time in less than ideal conditions for a sprinter. He came back 45 minutes later and ran a 21.7 anchor to finish in 1:29.1 seconds. He felt his hamstring tighten up and coaches decided his night was over. He did not race in the 200 Meter Dash. No need to risk injury when his team had a big lead.

See the entire Zach Gordon Interview here

Askin started off the good fortunes for Wheaton North on the track in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay. The senior grabbed the baton on the anchor leg in second place behind York. He was able to catch York’s Jack Achen with 500 meters to go and went on to win by nearly four seconds. Askin’s anchor split was 1:55.6.

“I knew I was running the 1600 later on, so my coach told me to stay relaxed,” Askin said. “I knew at the same time I did not want to be out kicked so I did not want to worry about that.”

Wheaton North also closed the night by winning the 4 x 400 Meter Relay by coming behind on the last leg to catch Waubonsie Valley. The Falcons also got a 1-2 finish from Christian Hollinger and Mac Spaulding in the Shot Put

Perhaps the best race of the night was in the 1600 Meter Run. Jimmy Qiao of Naperville North stretched the pack out early passing the 400 in a quick 61 seconds. Following close behind was Askin and Mike Lederhouse of Glenbard West. Qiao kept the lead at the 800 going past in 2:07.6.

On the backstretch of the third lap, Lederhouse took the lead and the race really began at that point. The Glenbard senior stretched the lead over Askin and York sophomore Nathan Mroz. On the final lap, Askin made a charge after Lederhouse, but the Hilltopper was able to hold off Askin. Lederhouse’s winning time was 4:13.38 and signaled that he was back and should be considered in the talk for the 1600 title. Askin finished in 4:15.98.

“It started back at indoor conference where I did not feel great and I was really fatigued at the end of the race. After Prep Top Times, I went to have my blood tested and found out that my iron levels were severely low. I have been eating a lot of red meat and a lot of iron supplements and I am starting to feel like I am back to my normal self.”

That he was feeling better was evidenced in the 4 x 8 relay where he had the lead for the Hilltoppers with an opening 1:54.5 split.

Lederhouse 1600 Splits:

61.4, 2:07.7, 3:13.2, 4:13.83

See the entire interview with Mike Lederhouse here.

The 3200 Meter Run was not what Willowbrook senior Pat Niyork had expected. Wanting to run under 9:10 on this night, Niyork went through the 1600 with York’s Billy Clink & Scott Milling, and Glenbard South’s Joe Singleton. Niyork stretched out his lead and quicken his pace in the last 800 running 2:16 to finish in 9:16, close to his seasonal PR.

“ The first lap was perfect. But then I dropped off after that. I mentally just could not stay with it,” Said Niyork. “I can’t wait to start doing some more speed work and then I will be able to hit the 69’s like I want. This was the last real meet about time. From here on out, it is all about the place. I am not worried about times.”

As Lederhouse was coming back into form in the 1600, so was Glenbard South’s John Wold in the 800 Meter Run. He took control of the lead at the 400 passing by in 57.2. He held off Derek Anderson of Wheaton-Warrenville South on the last straight. His time was 1:57.02, but it really did not matter to him. After a season of foot problems, it felt good to get back on the track.

“I have been having a lot of trouble with my feet, with the bones. Today it felt good to get out on the track. I felt so relaxed during this race, “ the sophomore said.