One characteristic of the Fremd boys track team during the nearly three decades that Jim Aikens has been head coach is that the Vikings have used incredible depth en route to 13 conference titles and numerous state qualifiers.
So when it came for the third edition of the cross-town rivalry dual meet with Palatine, the Vikings quite naturally used their edge in depth to take home bragging rights for a second straight year.
Fremd won nine events and had 1-2 finishes in three events on their way to local bragging rights for another year in an impressive 91-54 win.
"Our depth helped us again today," Aikens said. "This was a total team effort that got it done for us today."
Several members of the Vikings' roster stood out, especially emerging standout Juwan Gaines. The junior helped the Vikings 400 relay team that included Richard Adugba, Kyle Lewis and Joshua Yamamoto to a season best 42.9 win. Gaines also won the 200-meter dash (22.6) and the 100-meter dash (11.1).
The Vikings' 1,600 relay ran its best time, and the best time in the area so far this spring, winning in 3:22.4. Nick Macius, Kenny Lyke, Nick Vucovich, and Ryan McMahon made up the winning foursome.
"I think we knew what type of kid Juwan was before the season started," Aikens said. "We are all seeing what type of guy he is with his leadership off the track as well, which is really what we need."
Where Fremd has shown great depth in the past is in the field events. Jordan Walker captured the long jump (20-4.5), Tom Mayer cleared a season best 13-6 to win the pole vault, and Brad Ruehrdanz took the shot put (49-4) and discus (132-7).
"One of the rules that John (Nalley – Palatine coach), and I came up with for this meet is that we had to pull out all the stops for this meet," Aikens said. "That's what we did today. The only way we are going to be successful this season is as a team."
Palatine had its fair share of solid performances too. Senior Jimmy Jones, a newcomer to the Pirates' roster, jumped 44-10 to win the triple jump for the Pirates. Rob Fekete ran a season-best 15.0 in winning the 110 high hurdles and senior Adam Poklop took top honors in the high jump clearing 6-1.
Schaumburg tops at Bartlett: With the way Schaumburg has been flying around the track so far this spring, it only makes sense that the Saxons would take home top honors at the Bartlett Flyin' Hawks Invite on Saturday at Streamwood.
The Saxons totaled 114 points to edge second-place Lakes (86) and the host Hawks (70).
"I told the kids on the bus ride over today that I felt like if we performed the way we were capable that we could win this meet today," said Schaumburg coach Ryan Senica. "With 15 quality teams here you never know, but everyone today performed well."
The sprint corps, which has been a staple for the Saxons so far, broke two meet records. The foursome of Tom Ciupka, Stacey Smith, Shandall Thomas and Jarman McMillon won the 400 and 800 relays. The 400 relay ran a modest 42.57, while the same group went 1:28.78 in the 800.
Thomas was also brilliant in the 100-meter, dash taking down a very competitive field in 10.87.
"I told (Shandall) before the race that this was a great opportunity against great competition today," Senica said. "He did a great job -- really impressive."
Smith took the top spot in the long and triple jumps. His long jump effort of 21-10.75 was an outdoor season best. His triple jump mark of 44-10 was nearly a foot better than the second-place finisher.
Sammy Ramini and Cesar Arenas finished second and third, respectively, with solid performances in the pole vault. Ramini cleared 13-0 for the second time this week and Arenas cleared a personal best 12-6. But no one was able to catch a rising star in Lakes sophomore Cooper Jazo.
Jazo keeps re-writing the Eagles school record books and did so again Saturday by clearing 14-0.
"(Cooper) was terrific and clean all the way through," Lakes coach Kurt Rowells said. "He hit 14 feet on his first attempt and was real close at 14-3."
The Eagles' 1,600 relay team had its best performance of the season, winning in 3:27.51. Corey Hertz, Jake Balliu, Brandon Thiel and Alex Murray made up the winning foursome. Murray had the top split of the group and has been a pleasant surprise for the Eagles this spring, according to Rowells.
Hertz earlier in the day took home top honors in the 400, edging Paul Ifianayi of Elk Grove in a tight 400-meter dash. Hertz's 49.05 edged the Grenadier junior (49.48).
"Coach Jason Ellerman has done a great job in getting our 400-meter guys all doing the same things, and you saw the results today," Rowells said. "You could see it in the 400. When Corey hit the top of curve with about 150 to go, you knew he would take control of the race."
Rodolph Boyer took the top spot in the 110 high hurdles in a season best (15.41) as the Eagles only other individual event winner.
Bartlett finished fifth in the team race and took home top honors in the discus from Dan Danek (159-5), Bryce Petty in the 200 (22.55), and Jordan Anderson in the high jump (6-2).
Hersey's distance corps showed why it is one of the top groups in the state. David Rodriguez took the 3,200 meter run in (9:34.12) and Grant VanderLippe took the 1,600 in 4:26.49.