Bartlett relay tops at DuPage meet
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Friday at the 77th DuPage County Boys Track Meet at York, Bartlett's 3,200-meter relay team set a season standard.
The foursome of Connor Rachford, Mitch Sullivan, Matt Hess and Brandon Smith won the event in 7 minutes, 59.72 seconds. Hawks distance coach Ryan Korn said it was the first time Bartlett had broken the 8-minute mark this season.
"It's great. We wanted to be a little bit faster today but yeah, a big confidence booster," said Sullivan, who ran his 800-meter leg in 1:59.9. Rachford pitched in at 1:59.2, anchor Smith finished in 1:58.4 and Hess logged 2:01.8.
"We're under state-qualifying (time) now, so I think we can get back (downstate). We're just really hoping to get a medal and maybe win state," Sullivan said.
In a long competition won by York with Wheaton North and Lake Park following, Bartlett finished seventh of the 14 teams.
Rachford returned in the open 800, reprising last week's battle at Glenbard West against Wheaton North's Alex Ryan. Last week Ryan fairly blew away all competition en route to the best time in the state. Friday, Rachford dug in for a close second at 1:58.30.
"It was much closer this week, obviously," Rachford said. "With my coaches, we decided that we can't let him get away that much, especially on that first lap. The idea was just to stick on him and try to outkick him. But that kid's got a great kick, he's a great runner. I love racing against him any day.
"Ultimately it's going to be for the time but we know that he hit his time and we know that he's going to hit it again. The ultimate goal's always going to be time, but knowing that he was in the race it kind of changed the perspective a little bit."
The Hawks' Alex Bailey finished sixth in a talented 110-meter hurdles final, and placed eighth in a 300 hurdles test that was just as tough.
Sprinter Aaron Everson, held out last week at Glenbard West and claiming to be only 80 to 90 percent coming back from a hamstring strain, ran the fastest time in the 100 dash preliminaries, 11.41 seconds. On a cold night he opted out of the finals. Bryce Petty also made the finals, tying for fifth at 11.82.
Brandon Smith came back from the 3,200 relay to place third in the 400 at 51.15; Dan Cotton finished sixth in the 1,600 at 4:26.44, more than 5 seconds faster than his seed time.
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