The Edwardsville boys track team made the long journey to Glen Ellyn to take part in Saturday's 33rd annual Jim Arnold Invitational at Glenbard West and made it a worthwhile trip by winning the competition. But area teams competing also enjoyed strong showings.
The Tigers finished with 81 points followed by Lake Park in second at 69. Oak Park-River Forest (59), Wheaton North (48) and Glenbard South (46) rounded out the top 5.
Junior Antonio Shenault of Lake Park finished last season as one of the state's top hurdlers, taking third at state in the 110-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. He is enjoying a strong season again this spring.
Shenault won the 110 in 14.11 seconds, faster than his seed time of 14.58 which was one the fast among the field.
"The start in the 110 was the best start of any of my 110 races," he said.
Winning two state medals as a sophomore has put him in the spotlight of high school track in the area, but he doesn't mind. The Lancers are four-time defending Class 3A champions and he said the team is having another successful spring.
"There's a little bit more pressure (on me). But it's fun. The team is exciting to watch. We have even more people on the track and we're looking good," he said.
The Lancers won three field events. Senior Elliot Krause took the pole vault with a height of 14 feet, 6 inches and senior Curtwan Evans won the shot put and the discus.
Wheaton North won the first event of the day, the 3,200 relay. The quartet of Bradley Dowell, Tyler Gabrielle, Wes Noyes and Joseph Emmanuel clocked in at 8:05.89.
"As a team we wanted to run 8:05 as a goal and I wanted to get a 1:57 split time and I did that," Emmanuel said.
Later, Emmanuel was part of one of the most exciting races of the meet. He and Glenbard South senior Joe Singleton battled it out in the 1,600 neck and neck. Singleton crossed the finish line first in 4:25.19, with Emmanuel right on his heels in 4:25.26.
"As far as the 1,600, I like winning. But I came up just short. Joe Singleton is a heck of an athlete. We competed here two weeks ago and I came out on top," Emmanuel said.
Singleton thought Emmanuel would win another race between them.
"I thought (Emmanuel) would take it. I didn't think I had anything left at the end," Singleton said.
The host Hilltoppers enjoyed a victory in the 3,200. Senior Jack Billings won the race by just over eight seconds in 9:38.92.
He said the late stages of the race are never easy.
"Well, on the last lap I was not thinking much about anything except pumping my arms and raising my legs as high as possible. I was in a lot of pain. I just wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible," he said.
With the conference meet and postseason just under two weeks away, Billings said he feels ready.
"I'm feeling good and I am dropping times," he said.