The fence at the far end of Bolingbrook's discus sector stood 186 feet away, a standard chain-link job painted black.
To Benet senior Stephen Hubona it beckoned like a neon bull's-eye.
"Absolutely," he said. "That's exactly what I was shooting for all day."
On his second attempt in the discus finals and fifth overall Saturday at the 47th annual Carlin Nalley Invitational, Hubona connected. A mounting crowd, anticipating the moment, erupted as Hubona hit the fence on the fly. The distance, measured to the base of the fence and then about halfway up where it hit, extended Hubona's state-leading mark to 189 feet, 6 inches.
"I think I got around the front a lot quicker and then at the end the grunt just put all my force into it," he said. "It does help, surprisingly enough. Just a little more exertion at the end."
Hubona, who threw no disc less than 172 feet, 11 inches and also won shot put at 49-3½, reached two goals -- clocking that fence and beating the Nalley record of 185-1 set last year by Sandwich's Ryan Njegovan.
"It's fantastic," the Loyola-bound Hubona said. "Again, that (meet record) was my goal coming in here, so to get that is just the best feeling in the world."
IC Catholic freshman Jordan Rowell also was fantastic at the Nalley, a 33-team, dual-level spectacle won by Seneca on the Class 1A level and Bolingbrook on the Class 2A/3A portion.
He won 1A high jump, long jump and anchored an 800-meter relay that finished first but was disqualified due to an exchange zone violation. Also, after running the top 100 preliminary time in the finals Rowell won in a faster time, 11.40 seconds, despite slipping out of the blocks.
Knights coach Bob Cronin said Rowell is raw but is the best freshman athlete he's had in his 11 seasons at IC. Rowell started running in sixth grade. At least competitively.
"I've been running since I could walk," he said. "I don't even think I walked first, probably. I probably started running first. I just love it."
Lisle's Aaron Harris earned a berth right next to Rowell in that Class 1A 100-meter final. A little eager, he was disqualified from the finals for a false start. That and a 400-meter run slower than his seed time motivated Harris' victory in the 200, right ahead of IC's Aaron Taylor.
"DQ'ing is the worst feeling in the world," said the sophomore dubbed "BMO" by Lisle coach Ken Jakalski. "I had to redeem myself with this 200, especially since I didn't have the best 400 today. So I had to come out and do it and not let it get to my short memory."
The 400 meters proved consequential for local athletes at both 1A and 2A/3A levels.
In the larger class, Wheaton Academy's Matt Ruff enjoyed the heat to drop his school-record and personal-best time to 50.37 seconds with a first-place finish.
The 1A 400 continued the track progression of Timothy Christian sophomore Andy Margason, who finished second in that and in the 110-meter hurdles.
Attempting to compete both in baseball and track at Timothy Christian, the center fielder suffered a concussion in a home plate collision. His third concussion over three months, he said, Margason's doctor ruled out contact sports. Fully committed to track for at least the rest of the spring, Margason will work more on cutting time with Trojans coach John Vander Kamp.
"That's what we were talking about," Margason said. "And we're talking about just getting the technique for this year, then as we improve we get the endurance down and hopefully start winning some state championships."