CHARLESTON — Anthony Ventrella believes he has more left in him, and he will get another chance to prove it.
The Lisle senior qualified for the finals in each of his events, long jump and triple jump, in Thursday’s preliminaries of the Class 1A boys state track and field championships at Eastern Illinois University. Class 2A and 3A preliminaries are held Friday with finals of all three classes on Saturday at O’Brien Stadium.
Ventrella is seeded eighth of 12 long jumpers after his leap of 20 feet, 8¾ inches. At the Interstate Eight Conference meet two weeks ago the four-year varsity veteran set Lisle’s program record at 21-10.
In triple jump Ventrella will begin the finals as the 11th of 12 jumpers after landing his first attempt at 41-6¼, then scratching his other two preliminary jumps.
“I was pleased with how I went out,” said Ventrella, who qualified last year in long jump but did not reach the finals.
Due to rain and wind, field events were moved indoors to the Lantz Field House. The weather forecast is more favorable for Saturday’s finals.
“I think I can do a lot better in triple and long (jump),” Ventrella said. “I guess it all depends on the day for me, really.”
Lisle teammates Grant Fitzgerald and Terrance Allen were unable to advance in their events, the 400-meter dash, and discus and shot put.
Fitzgerald, though, saw the fruition of his first full season in track, after splitting time between the Lions and the Chicago Fire Juniors soccer team as a junior.
“The weather was pretty bad, but I ended up all right,” said Fitzgerald, who ran the lap in 52.12 seconds. “I was third in my heat and I was seeded fifth. I did better than I was supposed to.”
Neither Immaculate Conception junior high jumper Dan Vatch nor Timothy Christian sophomore 300 hurdler Jake Hooker advanced.
Aurora Christian’s 1,600-meter relay team had a career day. Billy Howorth, Jake Gehman, Nate Jensen and freshman Johnathan Harrell will run in preferred lane 5 in Saturday’s finals. They defeated the elements to run the fastest time in the event, 3:28.75. The Eagles entered the meet with the 15th fastest time out of sectionals.
Howorth, though, was unable to advance in the open 400 dash, and neither was Mooseheart’s Akeem Edmonds. Mooseheart also had a 400 relay that did not move on.
Mooseheart did advance Noel Yarngo in the 300 hurdles — but not the 110s — and Oumaru Abdulahi in high jump. Last year’s third-place finisher in 1A high jump was among 15 jumpers to clear Thursday’s cutoff of 6 feet, 2 inches.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.