Kaneland claims title at East Moline
Showing strength over all three levels, Kaneland won East Moline's United Township Kiwanis Invitational for the first time in its seven trips there.
"It was one of those where we hit on almost every cylinder," said Knights coach Eric Baron. "We scored in every event."
Getting what Baron called "a pleasant surprise" out of pole vaulter Dylan Kuiper and a personal-best shot put mark of 52 feet, 4 inches from Nate Dyer among many highlights, Kaneland's 260 points topped United's 220.50, Geneseo's 204 and Rock Island's 184.
With Ben Barnes filling the slot of graduated all-stater Sean Carter, Kaneland's 400-meter relay of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Dylan Nauert and Barnes won the event. Cottier, Nauert, Nathan Kucera and Kyle Carter, Sean's younger brother, won the 1,600 relay; the group of Dylan Pennington, Bishop, Cottier and Barnes took second in the 800 relay.
"They ran faster today than last year (at United) with Sean Carter," Baron said.
Batavia's Les Hodge Meet:
Batavia's Sebastian Vermaas, St. Charles North's Grant Loess and Burlington Central's Lucas Ege each had big days at the nonscoring Les Hodge.
Vermaas set a meet record of 163 feet, 1 inch in discus, topping former Geneva thrower Frank Boenzi. Vermaas also led the shot put competition at 47-3. In both events Vermaas and the Geneva duo of Kyle McNeil and Nathan Balettie went 1-2-3, McNeil going 154-8 in disc.
More personal records were enjoyed, by Batavia's R.J. Vierckl with a 14-foot pole vault and by St. Charles North's Erik Miller in high jump. After not competing last season due to shoulder surgery, the junior went 6-5.
Ege won both hurdles events, taking the 110s in a manually timed 15.24 seconds and the 300s in 42.74.
St. Charles North won all four relays. Ege, Geneva's Nathan Wendt in the 1,600 and Batavia's Chris Orlow in the 3,200 temporarily delayed the North Stars' victory procession on the track, which included Connor Larson in the 100 at 10.72 seconds, Zach Kirby in the 400 and Chris Suda in the 800.
In addition to winning the 200 dash in 22.31 seconds, St. Charles North's Grant Loess also won both the long jump and triple jump competitions, the sole athlete to exceed 20 feet in the former, 40 feet in the latter.
Charger Nation Invitational:
Visiting Marmion and host Aurora Central Catholic set the stage for what should be a close competition for the Suburban Christian Conference title in May.
Key races included the 1,600, won by Marmion's Will Graft at 4 minutes, 35.43 seconds to ACC's Matt Meyers at 4:46.33. Earlier in the 800, Meyers ran 2:01.70 to just nip Wheaton Academy's Noah VanDyke and Marmion's Kevin Grahovec.
ACC, which won all four relays, got a first by Joe Fese in the 100 at 11.92 and by Patrick Lefevre in the 110 hurdles. Marmion countered with a 3,200-meter win from Eric Anderson and field events wins by Isaiah Brown in long jump and Tyler Maryanski in high jump, Maryanski's second 6-5 clearance this outdoor season.
On the girls' side, ACC's Lisa Rodriguez won the 100, 200 and 400 dashes, beating second-place teammate Rachel Rahn by more than three seconds in the 400. Showing versatility, ACC's Karina Liz finished second in the 200 and won the 800.
St. Francis got a 100 hurdles win from returning state qualifier Amanda Nunley. The Spartans also featured junior Meghan McShea's victory in the 3,200, third place in the 1,600 behind winner Jenna Koerner of ACC. St. Francis' Alli Frost won long jump and took second in triple jump.
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