At some point, Barrington senior Griffin Claes just couldn't resist the temptation to run track.
Well, that and the serious urging of friends and new teammate Konrad Eiring made a difference, too.
The temptation of getting to run with your friends proved to be too much to pass up for Claes, and the Broncos boys track team is reaping the rewards.
"I knew this was a great bunch of guys and I had a lot of friends (running track)," Claes said.
The former soccer player turned track sprinter has been a shot in the arm for an already deep and talented Barrington track sprint corps. Thursday night at the 43rd annual Patriot Relays, Claes was a big part of another successful night for the Broncos at Stevenson.
Claes led off the Broncos' 400 and 800 relay teams to season-best performances, and Barrington won 10 of the 17 events to win its fifth relays title in the last six years. The Broncos finished with 142 points to 113 for second-place Huntley. The host Patriots (92), Grant (80) and Cary-Grove (62) rounded out the top five teams.
"We had a real good night on the track," said Barrington coach Todd Kuklinski.
Claes, along with key returnees Scotty Miller, JP Brooks and Brendan Melynchuk took the 800 relay in a season-best 1:29.8. Claes, Miller, Melynchuk and Terrance McGovern made up the winning foursome in a quick 43.0 win in the 400 relay.
Melynchuk, who was a key member of the Broncos' sprint relays last season, was big again Thursday night. In addition to wins in the 800 and 400 relays, he provided a stellar leadoff leg on the 1,600 relay. His 50.3 leg to start the relay keyed another Broncos win in 3:24.7. Johnny Andraschko, Adam Phillips, and Jace Goetsch comprised the winning foursome.
Barrington opened the meet by setting a meet record in the 440 shuttle hurdle relay. The time of 1:05.8 edged out second place Huntley (1:05.9).
The Broncos continued rolling by earing the win in the 3,200 relay. Phillips teamed with Tyler Anderson, Ryan Perkins and Curtis Monahan to run a season-best 8:08.9. Grayslake North ran a close second in a season-best 8:15.7.
The runner-up Red Raiders captured the frosh-soph version of the 3,200 relay (8:43.9) and the team shot put event despite another good series from Cary Grove junior Ricky Hurley, who had the best shot put toss of the day (54-8).
Hurley led the Trojans to the team win in the discus with a best effort of 173-10.5. Hurley's toss is the second-best discus throw in the state so far this spring.
"I got back to what I was doing over the summer and what I did at sectionals as a sophomore," Hurley said. "I hadn't had a good week of practice but today I just relaxed and things came together."
Things continue to stay together for Illinois-bound Grant senior Jonathan Wells. He cleared 6-10 to help his team win the high jump event. Wells was close on his attempts at 7-0, but didn't get the clear.
"I didn't feel as comfortable at that height and slipped a few times on my steps," Wells said of his attempts at 7 feet.
Another individual win for the Bulldogs came from senior Dalyn Romig in the 1,600. He ran a season-best 4:32.5 to hold off a hard charge from Stevenson's Sammie Oh.
"It was a very slow opening half and I just knew that Barrington was going to keep pushing the pace," Romig said. "I just knew the last lap I had to kick it in."
Round Lake won the weightman's relay in 52.2, edging out Marian Central.