At what has to be the fastest-run boys track invitational -- Hinsdale South's annual Mike Yavorski Invite, done in less than three hours -- Benet's Anton Vershay enjoyed his fastest run.
The junior trimmed some 15 seconds off his personal best in the 3,200-meter run on Friday, completing the distance in 9 minutes, 42.4 seconds. Vershay ran it more than six seconds faster than the Class 2A state-qualifying time of 9:49.24.
"It means a lot to me. Last year I didn't do too hot," said the junior, who finished second to Geneva's Mike Bianchina.
"I didn't do distance track freshman year," Vershay said. "I tried sprinting and pole vaulting. But after a good season of cross country and finally getting to state qualifying time, it really means a lot to me. Under the conditions today I can easily do that again, in three weeks (at sectional)."
As Vershay completed the first half of his race he looked at the scoreboard, liked the time he saw, and attacked the second half.
"I just had that really good feeling that I could do some good," he said.
"It was something he was looking to do and strategically this is what we wanted to do and he accomplished it," said Redwings coach Pat Marshall, who also got top-three finishes from Mike Lang in long jump and hurdler Austin Dzik. "Really, it's the right time of the year to be doing that kind of thing."
Glenbard East's Mike Fahey and his yin-yang socks -- one gray, one white -- took off and won the 800 unchallenged, though his time of 1:59.12 didn't approach what he ran in a 12th-place finish at last year's Class 3A state meet.
"I guess just keep practicing and hopefully just keep dropping my times more and more," the senior said. "It was pretty cold and windy today, though, so I didn't run that great a time. It was a 1:59.1, and last year at state I ran a 1:53, so I've still got to get a lot faster."
Speaking of fast, Glenbard East's Antwon James won the 100 dash for the second straight time at a Friday invite, in 10.72 seconds to top Hinsdale South's Tavaris Binion and D.J. King. James also won long jump at 21 feet, 10½ inches.
Binion returned to win the 200 in 21.79 over Geneva's Justin Davis and Downers Grove South's Odell McFarland, heading a Mustangs' group depleted by prom.
Binion and King also ran on winning 400 and 800 relays while the Hornets' Joe Gangichiodo ran on both of those and anchored a victorious 1,600 relay.
"My thing was just going out and competing," Binion said.
As a sophomore, Binion met the meet's namesake. In 1962 Mike Yavorski was on the receiving end of the University of Illinois' longest pass play at Memorial Stadium (90 yards). He impressed the young sprinter.
"It's truly an honor just to showcase in front of him what kind of athlete you are," Binion said.
Geneva won the seven-team meet with 129 points, followed by Bloomington (117), Hinsdale South (111) and Glenbard East (94).
The Vikings got the Bianchina win in the 3,200 at 9 minutes, 38.4 seconds, another by Peter Archibald in the 1,600, Ben Rogers' winning triple jump in a personal-best 44 feet, 3 inches, and Kyle McNeil's wins in both discus and shot put.
At this very meet in 2011, Rogers got his first big triple jump, better than 42-3.
"Last year this was the meet that I realized that I could be for real if I worked at it," said Rogers, whose long jump of 20-9½ joined several other second-place Vikings finishes, including hurdler Zac Miller, 800 man Nathan Wendt, 400-meter runner Dan Acton and 200 runner Justin Davis.
Geneva's Nathan Balettie scored in discus, Kevin Carlson in shot put, and McNeil had personal bests of 150 feet, 1 inch to win discus, 48 feet to win shot.
"It was really windy, pretty cold," McNeil said. "I managed to get one (discus throw) in, scratched the other three. But that other one looked pretty good. Shot put, I guess I was feeling it today. I had two of them over my PR (47-11 and 48-0) so it was a pretty consistent day."