Just what Lake Park needs. Another guy.
On the biggest stage of his outdoor track season thus far, Lancers first-year hurdler Antonio Shenault won both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the 34th annual Jim Arnold Invite at Glenbard West.
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Shenault, a starting cornerback for the Lancers football team last fall, sliced a half-second off his prior best to beat teammate Scott Filip in the 110s at 14.50 seconds and won the 300 by more than a second at 40.25.
"Last year I was just a sprinter, so I thought I'd try new things and hurdling was the first thing I tried. It clearly worked," he said.
The speed and newfound yet effortless technique Shenault brings to the hurdles may give more food for thought to teams aiming to unseat the three-time defending Class 3A champions.
"Everyone knows Lake Park for its jumps," Shenault said. "It's nice to get a few track stars on there. We're becoming a lot better overall team instead of just field events."
Field events naturally did their part to lift Lake Park to the Arnold title, the Lancers' 128 points besting prom-plagued Wheaton North (99). Host Glenbard West, led by 3,200-meter winner Will Lindstrom and a second-place 1,600 relay of Devonte Dillon, Paul Selman, Nate Hall and Connor Schrauth, tied for ninth in the 14-team meet.
Glenbard South also competed, getting points from senior leaders Jarius Shannon and Jeremiah Ratliff.
In those field events Lake Park got personal records, and wins, from Curtwan Evans in shot put at 52 feet, 11 inches; Derrick Smith with a 6-6 high jump; and Shawn Koch in triple jump at a dazzling 48-5.
On the track the Lake Park four of Lucas Bracher, Connor Peck, Zach Schwarz and Andrew Birkley won the 3,200 relay in 8:10.49 seconds.
"Very proud of the guys," said Lancers coach Jay Ivory. "They came out here and performed extremely well. A lot of PRs today, which is fantastic. The weather was great and they took advantage of it."
Wheaton North senior Zach Gordon won long jump on his first attempt, 23-3. Gordon joined Steven Connor, Nehemiah Heckler and Marcus Charles on a winning 800 relay. Since he didn't have a prom date, Gordon stuck around to slingshot past St. Rita's Treston Forbes and win the 200 in 22.01 seconds.
Gordon would gladly take that over prom.
"I'm not really a dancer," he said.
The shortest race, the 100 dash, saw every runner finish within .13 seconds of each other, finishing nearly eight abreast. Charles took third, teammate Patrick Sharp sixth, Selman seventh.
In the longest open race the 3,200 field patiently let Wheaton North's Joseph Emmanuel do much of the work from the front. When the time was right Glenbard West's Lindstrom struck, surpassing the Falcon to win in 9:43.24.
"With weather like this you never really know if someone might make a move, take a risk," Lindstrom said. "So I just wanted to remain tentative the first mile and see what I had left. It paid off."
Wheaton North senior Alex Ryan joined his prom date, Molly Peterson, with a happy heart. Stuck in a rut in the 800 since the indoor season and not helped by terrible weather and cancellations, Ryan used strong competition from Lake Park's Jeremy Lozano and Bartlett's Connor Rachford to lead at the 400 mark. Ryan dug in harder to run 1:56-flat, best in the state.
Mostly off strength work, Ryan said, he ran through "a mental wall."
"I think I broke that today," he said. "Hopefully, it starts flooding back out. I'm hoping to run some faster times this year, but 1:56 is a nice start again."