The brutal wet and cold spring was not about to put a damper on some great performances Saturday at the second annual BATE Invitational at Buffalo Grove. With the rare good days to race outside so far, runners from the nine-team field didn't look rusty at all -- with Conant looking the sharpest of them.
It came down to the final race of the afternoon at Grant Blaney Stadium, and the Cougars busted out a solid 1,600-relay effort in 3:32.60 to narrowly win the meet over second-place Crystal Lake Central. The Cougars amassed 207.5 points to 202 for the second-place Tigers. The host Bison (178), Glenbrook South (156.5), and Crystal Lake South (133) rounded out the top five teams.
"All in all there were a lot of really solid performances today considering what the kids ran in," Buffalo Grove coach Jamie Klotz said. "Some of the times in the distance events especially were solid."
The 3,200 and 1,600-meter run champion, Alex Baker of Crystal Lake Central, was the athlete of the meet. He finished in 9:34.2 and 4:26.5, respectively.
Conant captured individual event wins in the 110 high hurdles and the 800 run. Senior Joe Sulentic took top honors in the 800 in a season-best 1:58.40. Fellow senior Scott Eilrich pulled away from the field and continued to impress by winning the 110s in 15.5.
Eilrich was edged out in the 300 hurdles with a second-place effort of 42.2, just behind sophomore Max Roberts of Libertyville (41.80).
"That was a real good effort by Eilrich," said Conant coach John Powers. "It was a nice way to get the day started with his win in the 110's."
Libertyville, which placed seventh in the team race, was solid in the field with three wins. Illinois-bound senior Matsen Dziedzic captured the shot put with a toss of 55-6 and the discus with a winning heave of 150-1.
Keith Wilson took home top honors for the Wildcats in the triple jump with a best effort of 39-11.
The Bison had their best finishes come from Maurice Beryozkin, who was second in the 110 high hurdles (15.8) and runner-up in the 1,600 relay (3:33.4) and the 800 relay (1:36.50). Marlo Johnson and AJ Wright were runners-up in the triple jump and discus, respectively.
Other individual winners included freshman Noah Agnew of Vernon Hills in the high jump (6-4), Kyle Radsoevich of Crystal Lake South in the 400 (53.0). The Gators also took home relay wins in the 3,200 (8:19.4) and the 800 (1:35.9).
Fremd d. Palatine: Fremd senior Jake Lewis won at 100 and 200 meters, and the Vikings had relay winners at 400, 800 and 1,600 to top visiting Palatine 87-59 as the teams extended their dual-meet rivalry at Fremd.
Lewis won the 100 in 11.2 and the 200 in 23.5.
Other Vikings track winners included Aaron Harris (400, 53.6) and Matt Konopka (300 hurdles, 41.5).
Fremd was especially strong in the field events, getting victories from Jordan Walker (long jump, 21-1), Kevin Winberg (high jump, 6-4), Chris Mendiola (triple jump, 39-8), Pawel Klimek (pole vault, 13-3) and Brad Rueehrdanz (discus, 132-8).
Palatine won the 3,200 relay and had a double individual winner in Christian Zambrano (1,600 and 3,200).
Other top Pirates finishers included Cam Kuksa (110 hurdles, 14.9), Andrew Clingerman (800, 1:59.3) and Brad Walls (shot put, 48-7.5).