Kendziera, Barrington relay strike gold
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CHARLESTON — Prospect senior Dave Kendziera knew he had just one race left in his high school career so, he reasoned, why not go after it with everything he had?
"I just figured I would go out as hard and as fast as I could and leave everything out there," he said.
The approach worked well.
Kendziera, in his last race in a Prospect uniform in the finals of the Class 3A 300 hurdles, left little doubt about who the state champion would be.
Kendziera was first to the first hurdle — and first to the final one, as he cruised to an impressive 37.28 clocking and a state championship. It's the first state title in the event at Prospect.
"I wanted to make sure I left everything I had on the track," Kendziera said after the race. "I wasn't too happy with how I ended the 110's, so I wanted to leave it all out there."
In the 110 high hurdles, Kendziera clipped the last two hurdles and wound up second in a very fast 14.27.
In the team race, Lake Park captured its fourth consecutive state title with 63 points. Cahokia won its third straight title in Class 2A with 99.5 points and Sterling Newman Catholic took home top team honors in Class 1A with 41 points.
The performance by Kendziera was a signature moment to his fine senior season — much like the effort from Barrington in the signature event of the Class 3A meet, the 3,200 relay.
Sophomore Konrad Eiring had his sights set on an elusive triple-crown for the Broncos: Winning a conference, sectional and state title in the event.
"I had talked about it with the guys before the race about winning all three," Eiring said. "We were all so pumped for this race and we really wanted it bad."
The Broncos went after it with juniors Ryan Perkins and Adam Phillips setting the table and senior David Cerny giving the baton to Eiring to finish things off. Even when Sandburg senior Pat McMahon passed Eiring with 250 meters to go, his teammates were still confident that Eiring had it in him to win it.
"I knew he would still do it," Cerny said. "I have all the faith in the world in my teammates and would trust them with anything, so I knew Konrad would do it."
Into the final 100 meters, Eiring passed McMahon and took control of the race, winning it in a school record 7:45.94.
"This may not hit me for a few days but I was so pumped to get the baton and go after this and we finally did it," Eiring said. "It's a great feeling."
The state title was part of a remarkable day for the Broncos, who finished 10th in the team race. Barrington brought home two more medals thanks in part to the efforts of sophomore Scotty Miller, who anchored the 800 relay team that included Parker Deloye, JP Brooks and Brendan Melynchuk to a third-place finish in a quick 1:28.80.
Miller then closed out his first state meet experience with a sixth-place finish in the 200 (22.66).
"I didn't even know if I was going to come out for track this year or not," Miller said. "This whole season, this whole weekend, has just been an amazing experience and I can't wait to get back down here again."
Two other Mid-Suburban League teams garnered all-state honors in the 3,200 relay. Hersey, with the team of Ryan Kearns, Kevin Kovach, Kevin Ziegenhorn, and Robert Somary, finished fourth in a season-best 7:48.94; and Palatine took seventh in 7:52.81 with the team of Christian Zambrano, Zach Stella, Graham Brown and Andrew Clingerman.
St. Viator was looking for its first-ever medal in the 3,200 relay in Class 2A, and thanks to the efforts of Tyler Sammons, Ryan Henry, Miles McDonnell, and Will Beiersdorf, the Lions got it with a ninth-place finish in 8:13.94.
Other medalists on Saturday included Paul Ifianayi of Elk Grove moving up to finish seventh in the 400 meters (50.39), and the 800 relay team of Jan Dimaano, Jarman McMillon, Stacey Smith, and Juwaan Richard from Schaumburg finishing ninth in 1:30.83.
Palatine senior Cam Kuksa completed his senior season with a sensational run in the 110 high hurdles. His 14.61 clocking was good enough for fourth overall. Fremd junior Joshua Yamamoto ran ninth in the 300 hurdles in 40.60.
The Maine West duo of Alex Gasca and Richard Leon rode the momentum of great runs in Friday's 800 prelims to a pair of medals on Saturday. Gasca ran third in 1:54.35 and Leon took eighth in 1:55.05.
Jack Hutchison and Zach Dale of Conant, Andrew Philipose of Hersey, Evan Prizy of Schaumburg, Ryan Burgoon of Barrington, Nick Brey of St. Viator and Steven Salvano of Buffalo Grove also competed in Saturday's finals.
This article filed under
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