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updated: 4/16/2014 7:57 PM

Tangellamudi quickly making a name for himself at Warren

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By Jeff Newton
Daily Herald Correspondent

His name isn't one that will just roll off the tongue, and it may take some time before he is a household name at Warren.

But senior Nitin Tangellamudi is making a name for himself early in the boys track season for the Blue Devils.

In a dual meet against Lake Forest last week, Tangellamudi broke a 40-year-old school record with an effort of 52 feet, 4 inches in the shot put. It marked the first time the Blue Devils had a thrower over 50 feet in nearly 20 years.

"I think it has been that long -- maybe longer," said Warren coach Bill Dawson. "He has worked so hard in the weight room, and you see it paying off big-time."

Tangellamudi has the second-best throw in the county and is on pace to do something that has never been done at Warren -- qualify for state in the shot put.

"He's a good kid that has put in the work," Dawson said. "We haven't had many of those in the time since I have been here. I can't remember the last we had one, but I know it was before I was a head coach more than 20 years ago."

Walking before he ran: Warren junior Isaac Walker made a big statement to the rest of Lake County last Saturday at the Deerfield Invite: That he is healthy and will be a force in the sprinting events this spring.

Walker won the 100-meter dash (10.8) and was second in the 200 (22.8) on a warm but windy day. The times were impressive, but they nearly never came to be.

Shortly after a promising freshman season for the Blue Devils, Walker was diagnosed with Crohns disease. Crohns is an illness that affects the digestive system and can lead to malnutrition and other digestive issues.

"We didn't know if we would ever get him back," coach Bill Dawson said. "Unfortunately, it is something he will have to live with."

Walker appears to have bounced back from the effects of the disease, and the Warren sprint corps is reaping the benefits. Walker along with Darius Davis, Joe Haight and a talented group of underclassmen have made the Blue Devils as deep in the sprints as any team in the area.

That type of depth could be just the answer in helping Warren capture a North Suburban Conference title. The Blue Devils last won the conference in 2006, when then-senior Ray Varner won the state title in the 300 hurdles and was state runner-up in the 110 high hurdles.

The Lakes Show: The success of the boys track team at Lakes has been well-documented. Last season, the Eagles completed their best season in their nine-9 year history, as they placed fourth in Class 2A at state.

Much like many of the other top programs in the state, the Eagles don't rebuild from year to year; they reload. This year is no exception.

Led by talented juniors Cary Hertz and Jake Balliu, along with senior standouts Rodolph Boyer and Jimmy Burchard, the Eagles kicked off their season last weekend with impressive effort in the Conant relays.

Lakes captured the meet title for the third consecutive year, beating out area powers Dundee-Crown, Conant and Grayslake Central.

Earlier in the season, sophomore Cooper Jazo popped off a 13-9 clearance in the pole vault, while junior Ryan Mullen launched the discus 152-4 in a dual meet against Vernon Hills. The Eagles will move up in class to the 3A division at the state meet.

More than a jumper: So just what would Illinois-bound Grant senior Jonathan Wells do for an encore after winning a state title in the high jump last spring? Become a hurdler, of course. After all, it's in the family lineage.

Wells' older brother, Sean, now a sophomore standout at Grand Valley State, medaled in the 110 and 300 hurdles at state for the Bulldogs.

Now, Jonathan is taking his turn and doing his brother proud.

In winning the 110 high hurdles at the Deerfield invitational last Saturday, Wells ran one of the best times in the state, winning in 14.3. Just for good measure, the defending Class 3A champion in the high jump won his signature event with a clearance of 6-10.

Spring like Saxons: Sprinters will tell you they love racing in the warm weather. So that probably explains why the Schaumburg Saxons have been faster than anyone else in the state this spring.

Last Saturday at the Saxon invite, Shandall Thomas, Jarman McMillon, Tom Ciupka and Stacey Smith took top honors in the 400- and 800-meter relays.

Both relays broke school marks in the process. The 400 relay ran 41.81, while the 800 relay went 1:28.59. The funny thing in the 800 relay was that two Saxons nearly came to a complete stop during the baton exchange.

"They were great times," coach Ryan Senica said. "But you can think about how much faster we can be in the 800 relay if we get our handoffs down. It's early, but this is nice to see."

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