York back in familiar spot; Glenbard West fourth in Silver
This is the York track program coach Stan Reddel knows.
Entering the outdoor season he recalled the 2012 campaign when the Dukes lost the West Suburban Conference Silver indoor meet and were unable to rally to win outdoors.
"That's not our tradition," the hall of fame veteran said at the time.
The Dukes regained form Saturday at the WSC Silver meet at Concordia University in River Forest. Bounding back since its indoor loss in March, York's 162 points outranked Lyons Twp. (141), Oak Park (90), Glenbard West (66), Downers Grove North (56) and Hinsdale Central (42). Proviso West scored 1 point.
Typifying the leap were Zach Herrera and Drew Douglas, who joined leadoff man Alex Baughman and anchor Matt Plowman to win the 3,200-meter relay. Neither Herrera nor Douglas had run the relay this spring yet York recorded its finest time, 7 minutes, 52.33 seconds.
"It's fun to watch kids rise up to the occasion and actually perform," Reddel said. "After 44 years it still feels darn good."
As does York junior Nate Mroz. He suffered a stress fracture in his sacrum early in cross country from -- who'da thunk it? -- too much running. Mroz ran in pools then eased back but Saturday went all-in to win the open 3,200 in 9:22.31, before teammate Chris May and Glenbard West's Will Lindstrom.
"The strategy was to sit for the first mile and then throw in a surge," Mroz said. "And then from that surge just keep pushing it to get away from them and just to win the race, go 1-2 for the team."
York's Reid Smith won both pole vault and high jump, the latter at 6 feet, 4 inches. His father, Brian, ranks No. 2 on York's all-time high jump list, 6-8 in 1973.
Lindstrom, who ran a 3,200 personal record by 12 seconds to set up next Friday's sectional bid, joined a Glenbard West effort that made coach Jon Schweighardt smile.
"We had a goal to score 50 points, we scored 66," he said. "We're going home pretty happy. It's not exactly what I want, I want to win championships. We're not there right now, but I'm really happy with how everybody competed today."
Along with second-place finishes by Pat Kelly in long jump and Paul Selman in the 100 dash, Devonte Dillon defended his indoor 400 title. Sporting a diamond earring, he looked good doing it.
"I want to thank my coaches and my teammates for really pushing me through the whole week," Dillon said.
Hinsdale Central's Nick Piker continued his strong senior season, taking third in shot put and winning discus at 177-3.
The future Holy Cross offensive tackle entered the season with a 159-11 PR and last week went 182-8. He bulked up to 287 pounds from 240, taped a throw ring in his garage to practice the spin, trained with friendly Downers Grove North rival Marckus Simmons and studied under Waubonsie Valley throws coach Roger Einbecker.
It's all coming together.
"I don't have any doubt that I can't hit 200 feet, or 190 feet," Piker said. "I've been throwing really far in practice and just waiting for that day when I'm fresh and the weather's nice and the wind's not hitting the disc in all directions. Just waiting to do it when it counts."
Downers North 3,200 runner Zach Smith was out sick, so Ben Eaton took up the Trojans' distance mantle. In the 1,600 Eaton paced York's Scott Milling and Hinsdale Central's Billy Magnesen until with 500 meters left Eaton kicked early to win in 4:25.61. Indoors, Eaton took third.
"That was sort of another fun part of this race," he said. "It was sort of a -- what's the word I'm looking for? -- a redemption."
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