Year in and year out, the Prospect boys track program seems to simply reload. It doesn't seem to matter whether the Knights graduate state champions or multiple seniors from another highly successful season or not -- they just keep winn.
This year the winning formula for the Knights at the Mid-Suburban League East divisional meet Tuesday night at Rolling Meadows was the use of their superior depth. Prospect scored in every event and scored two places in all but two events en route to its seventh consecutive division title and 10th in the last 12 years.
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Prospect scored 165 points to 140.5 for runner-up Hersey and 102.5 for third place Elk Grove. The third-place finish was the highest for the Grenadiers since 1977.
"I thought if we ran up to our capabilities that we would win the meet," said Prospect coach Mike Kamedula, who is stepping down after this season. "We are a good, deep team and scored two guys in a lot of places."
The Knights' depth was most evident in the relays. Prospect showed again it will be a force in the 3,200-meter relay, running a season-best 8:10.33 with Max Daleiden, Will Lussenhop, Eric Garmoe and Greg Suarez.
Daleiden later contributed to a winning 1,600 relay team that also featured Max Gonzalez, Garmoe and Lou Leguer. Prospect ran 3:32.57 in the win.
"(Coach) Kamedula got us going," Daleiden said. "He told us that we are a team that can go when the weather is bad out, and we stepped it up."
The Knights captured the 800 relay as well with Dan Marshall, Vinnie Lai, Sam Garcia, and Jake Schroeder running 1:34.61.
Other individual event winners for the Knights included Justin Phillips in the shot put with a season best 53-6.5, edging out Brandon Soriano of Elk Grove whose second-place effort of 52-1.5 is also a season best and Vinny Lai in the long jump (21-0).
Not too far behind the Knights was Hersey. The Huskies scored all over the track but came up short in their pursuit of the divisional title.
"A little disappointed, but overall I thought we had a real good performance tonight," said Hersey coach Ken Blazek. "Overall, we are happy – Prospect did a great job."
A top performer for Hersey included Joe Bellafiore in the discus. His best effort of 155-5 was the winning mark. Other individual winners for the Huskies included Cole Monckton in the triple jump (42-4), Matt Dini in the 800 (1:58.46), Jack O'Neil in the 1,600 (4:28.44), and Jacob Komenda in the high jump with a season-best 6-2 clearance.
The Hersey 400 relay team of Kyle Svoboda, Ryan Garrett, Monckton, and Jared Polfuss won in 44.64.
One of the top individual performers was Elk Grove junior Paul Ifianayi. He won the 100 (11.25), the 200 (22.83) and the 400 (51.11). Paul's brother Peter took top honors in the 300 hurdles (41.08).
Individual winners from Buffalo Grove included Steven Salvano in the 3,200 (9:31.9) and Maurice Beryozkin in the 110 high hurdles (15.35).
Wild West finish: Just when Barrington coach Todd Kuklinski thought all was lost, he soon found out that the Broncos hadn't lost the MSL West divisional meet to Fremd after all.
"I was just starting to talk to the team when (Palatine coach) John Nalley came over and told us we tied," Kuklinski said. "When you have a goal of wanting to get to the level that Fremd is at, to tie them is a great accomplishment."
The Vikings and Broncos both finished with 141 points, ahead of 107 for third-place Schaumburg. It was the third consecutive divisional crown for the Vikings.
The meet came down to the final event -- the 1,600-meter relay. Barrington captured the race in 3:26.27, while Fremd was disqualified.
"Barrington had a great meet too – just like us," Fremd coach Jim Aikens said. "You can't look at just that one event and say we lost the meet there. But we still had a lot of great performances tonight as well."
Barrington captured three individual events and a relay during the meet that was held at Hoffman Estates. Illinois-bound senior Parker Deloye took home two wins, the high jump (6-5) and the 300 hurdles (40.34). Senior Jace Goetsch took the top spot in the 110 high hurdles winning in 15.60.
The Broncos' 3,200-relay won convincingly in 8:10.01.
Fremd saw another outstanding night from talented junior Juwan Gaines, who won the 200 (22.55) and the 400 (50.07).
In the field, the Vikings are starting to look like the dominant throwing team in the area again and senior Brad Ruehrdanz is leading the way. He had his best night of the season in winning the shot put (52-7) and a solid night in tough conditions to take the discus (141-3).
Other winners for the Vikings included Tom Mayer in the pole vault with a personal best 14-0 and Harry Winter in the 1,600 (4:25.68).
Speedy Schaumburg again sizzled in the 400 and 800 relays. The Saxons' 400 relay won in 42.13 while the 800 relay ran its fastest time of the season, winning in 1:28.04. A member of both relays, junior Shandall Thomas, won the 100-meter dash in a blazing 10.75.
Another relay member, Stacey Smith captured the long jump (21-6.75) and the triple jump (44-0) to pace the Saxons.
Other individual winners included Conant junior Zach Dale in the 800 (1:56.50) and Argeni Bailon of Palatine in the 3,200 (9:50.37).