A power trio of discus and shot put throwers at Metea Valley learns by both old and new schools.
Juniors Holly Julifs and Qualicia Miller and freshman Courtney Morgan get instruction by veteran Mustangs coach Jim Braun and 2008 Class AA discus champion Brett Einbecker, the Waubonsie Valley graduate.
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"We're working a new-school, old-school kind of thing," said Einbecker, who threw the disc 197 feet, 6½ feet at the 2008 Upstate Eight Conference meet.
Einbecker was looking for something to do after graduating from Illinois in May 2013. His father, Waubonsie Valley throws coach Roger Einbecker, was coaching Julifs. "It kind of went from there," Brett Einbecker said, and he's now a Metea track assistant and a teacher's assistant.
Julifs and Morgan, a member of the Aurora Flyers who trained with Marmion throws coach Ed DeGeeter in the summer, have both exceeded 40 feet in shot put and 130 feet in discus to rank among the top 12 in Illinois on dyestat.com. Miller has also exceeded state-qualifying distance in shot put.
Einbecker called it "bittersweet" that despite each girl's prowess, per state rules only two can compete at sectional. It is what it is, and his job is to keep them on task.
"They all seem to be hard workers, so we just want to keep it that way," he said.
Little big man:
Benet high jumper Max Zinski continues to amaze.
A Class 2A qualifier in 2013, the junior consistently clears heights well over his 5-foot-3.
"We just measured him," confirmed Redwings boys coach David Stone.
Zinski went 5-8 last week at Naperville North's Gus Scott invite, a down day for him. He cleared 6-1 at St. Charles East and surpassed 6-4 twice this indoor season.
"We think he's going to be one of our state hopefuls this year, and a lot like last year he'll be one of the shortest guys in high jump," Stone said.
In other Redwings news Dartmouth-bound football player Porter Ontko is out for track for the first time, working on the 100-meter dash and long jump.
Back in action:
Saturday at West Aurora's John Bell Invitational was the first time the 2013 Class 3A boys 400-meter champion and runner-up squared off since last May in Charleston.
Defending champion Matt Burns of Willowbrook and Naperville Central's Sam Bransby, both seniors, each pulled hamstrings during the indoor season. Bransby ran at the Wheaton North Best Four on April 12; Willowbrook competed with Burns still impatiently resting.
He returned to action at West Aurora. The loaded 400 field included Bransby, Naperville Central teammate Daniel Spaccapannicia, Downers Grove North's Tony Zea and Andrew Adams and St. Charles East's Jordan Duncan. Bransby won in 50.16 seconds, ahead of Duncan, Burns, Spaccapannicia, Zea and Adams.
Willowbrook coach T.J. Artman said Burns felt fatigued afterward but pain-free.
For comparison in the state finals Burns went 48.89 and Bransby 49.25.
"Every meet is precious," Naperville North girls distance coach Dan Iverson said at the Gus Scott Invite on Thursday. "And when you get halfway decent weather -- and today is more than halfway decent -- you've got to get better."
At Metea Valley's Mustang Invitational on Saturday, Neuqua Valley boys coach Mike Kennedy noted the repercussions of "losing" the school track to reconstruction during the season: "Now we're improvising and being clever."