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updated: 3/22/2014 8:57 PM

Reigning MSL champ Fremd doesn't miss a beat

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Fremd, the reigning two-time defending Mid-Suburban League outdoor boys track champion, didn't disappoint on Saturday at the Jim Nagle MSL Indoor Invite.

The Vikings showed their depth from start to finish in capturing the title with a commanding 106 points at North Central College in Naperville.

Barrington (74 points) topped Palatine (72) for second, with Hersey (62) edging Schaumburg (61.5) for fourth place.

"The biggest thing is that tradition and we want to keep building," said Fremd coach Jim Aikens. "This group doesn't want to let the last group down, and we keep going from there."

Junior Scott Miller is also looking to build off last season for Barrington.

The Broncos junior came back from illness on Friday to take first in the 55 dash (6.2), edging Schaumburg junior Shandall Thomas (6.3) at the finish.

Miller added a first-place finish in the 200 (22.65) and was also part of the first-place 800 relay (1:32.6).

"I'm feeling a little weak, but I feel good," said Miller, who finished sixth in Class 3A in the 200 and was also part of the Broncos' third-place state finish in the 800 relay.

"In the 200, I was neck-and-neck with Thomas, but I was able to edge him. It's great competition and I'm looking to take it outside."

Conant junior Zach Dale also had a pretty impressive day.

The Cougars junior battled Palatine junior Graham Brown early in the 3,200 race and then made a decisive move with five laps remaining to cruise to the title in 9:10.2.

Dale is building off a strong cross country season where he finished fourth in Class 3A.

He seems ready to add to his state medal count.

"Both Graham (Brown) and I worked off each other early," said Dale who posted the second-best state indoor time of the season. "I was feeling really good and felt I had to go."

But it was Fremd who dominated the day team wise and junior Jawan Gaines played a big role.

The Vikings' junior started the day by taking third in the 55 dash (6.5).

He then added a pair of second-place finishes in both the 200 (22.81) and 400 (51.5) and he concluded his day by anchoring the Vikings' 1,600 relay to victory in 3:29.45.

They held off a strong challenge by Elk Grove junior Paul Ifianayi in the final leg.

"I could feel him (Ifianayi) coming but I had to trust my gut," said Gaines of meet-ending performance. "As a team we're coming back stronger this year and we are expecting a lot."

Fremd also hit big in the field events with senior Brad Ruehrdanz (51-02) edging Elk Grove junior Brandon Soriano (51-01) with a personal best throw.

Vikings senior Tom Mayer captured the pole vault title (13-0) over Wheeling junior Tyler Urban (13-0).

And the Vikings' distance crew also stepped up to the challenge in taking second place in the 3,200 relay (8:04.5).

Seniors Nick Vucovich (1:59.8) and Nick Macius (2:01.7) went 2-3 in the 800 and classmate Harry Winter added a third-place finish in the 1,600 (4:32.7).

"We picked up right where we left off last year," said Vucovich of the Vikings' attack. "We have a well-rounded team, and that is how we won."

Barrington junior Konrad Eiring came back from a fractured fibula in the fall to give the Broncos a first-place finish in the 800 (1:57.2).

Broncos senior Parker Deloye took second in the high jump (6-4) and added a third-place finish in the long jump (21-02), and also was part of the 800 relay victory.

Palatine junior Adam Poklop took first in the high jump (6-06) with teammate Rob Fekete adding a second-place finish in the 55 hurdles (7.7). Pirates senior Jimmy Jones added a second place in the triple jump (43-10.75) to pace Palatine to a third-place finish.

Hersey flexed its muscles in the distance, as senior Andy Philipose (4:28.9) and Grant VonderLippe (4:31.2) went 1-2 in the 1,600. Junior David Rodriguez added a second-place finish in the 3,200 (9:19.3) leading the Huskies to fourth place.

"Grant and I worked together the whole race," said Philipose, who also helped the Huskies to a first-place finish in a come-from-behind victory in the 3,200 relay (8:01.2). "It felt pretty good today and I'm looking to carry it on to the outdoor season."

Schaumburg senior Stacey Smith gave the Saxons a big lift in taking first place in the long jump (23-04) and triple jump (45-08).

Ifianayi also was huge for Elk Grove.

The Grenadiers junior, who took seventh in Class 3A in the 400 last season, was back in prime form on Saturday, adding a first place finish (50.4). He also pushed the Grens' attack to a second-place finish in the 1,600 relay.

"I've been working really hard and I'm looking to improve this season," Ifianayi said.

Buffalo Grove senior Maurice Beryozkin gave the Bison a boost with a victory in the 55 hurdles (7.6).

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