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updated: 5/14/2014 11:44 PM

Marmion makes it 9 straight SCC titles

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  • Marmion Academy's Oscar Garza in the shot put finals at the Suburban Christian Conference meet Wednesday in Aurora.

      Marmion Academy's Oscar Garza in the shot put finals at the Suburban Christian Conference meet Wednesday in Aurora.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer


At the end of the 400-meter run, Marmion senior Andrew Grahovec sprinted right behind his twin brother, Kevin, drawing a laugh just before they finished in third and fourth place.

"He didn't know I was there till I got up to him," Andrew Grahovec said. "Then we both laughed because it's like, 'Oh, it's us.'"

Yes it was.

Marmion won eight events, double-scored in 11 and scored in all 18 events, the landslide winner of the Suburban Christian Conference boys track meet Wednesday at Aurora Central Catholic's Bob Stewart Field.

Marmion's 187 points tripled those of runner-up Aurora Christian's 60, with Wheaton Academy (57), Chicago Christian (55), St. Francis (44.50) and ACC (44) rounding out the top half.

Winning for the ninth straight year the Cadets closed the book on SCC boys track as we know it, the conference dissolving after this school year. Finishing strong was a goal even last year, but Cadets coach Dan Thorpe called it "a sad night, also."

"Hopefully we can kind of still be with them next year, we don't know, but it's been great. It's prepared us for sectionals and state by going against good teams, and coaches," he said.

Kevin Grahovec, fourth last year in the Class 3A 800-meter run, was in the midst of an MVP-caliber meet when in the 800 he whipped out of the final turn to overtake St. Francis' Matt Lorish, Marmion's Brady Bobbitt and finally ACC's Javier Montelongo to win in 2 minutes, 1.57 seconds.

"I knew it was going to be an ending, a good ending," said Grahovec, who also anchored the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

Montelongo later gained revenge on Marmion -- specifically Brady Bobbitt -- and the field with a come-from-behind 1,600 victory.

"When I couldn't do it in the (800) I needed to do it in the mile," Montelongo said.

Marmion's Seth Sevenich took the 110 hurdles, lacking longtime rival Patrick Lefevre of ACC, unable to go with an aching left quadriceps. The Cadets won high jump (Tyler Maryanski), long jump (Isaiah Brown), triple jump (Anton Blaeser), pole vault (Jake Cornish) and shot put (Luke Juriga).

The one field event Marmion didn't win (Juriga was second) went to Aurora Christian's Jonah Walker in discus, 156 feet, 1 inch. Still affected by a torn shoulder tendon from football, the Southwest Minnesota State recruit also competed in shot put for the first time in a year, placing fifth at 41 feet, 10 inches.

The shoulder may not hold up to shot put, but discus is another story for Walker, seventh in Class 1A last season.

"Right now I want to get the best throw in the state," he said. "I know I'm capable of it, I throw 170 in practice. It's just a matter of throwing it in meets."

Aurora Christian's Tanner Chada beat St. Francis' Nick Vilimek to win the longest open race, the 3,200 -- fellow freshman sensation Jordan Rowell of IC Catholic won the shortest, the 100 -- and Eagles senior Johnathan Harrell anchored winning 400 and 800 relays for teammates Noah Roberts, Noah Hagerty and Grant Schweisthal.

Harrell also ran among the day's top field, the 400. It included the Grahovec brothers, St. Francis' Jeff Duke and Matt Dahle and Wheaton Academy's Matt Ruff and Ty Seager.

Harrell and Ruff in lanes 4 and 5, Harrell's long strides gained on Ruff, and he started to pass with 180 meters left. Ruff hit another gear and reached a new personal-record, a crackling 49.58 seconds.

"I think that's what did it," the Hope-bound Ruff said of Harrell's pressure. "When he started passing me up I just thought I had to kick it in now."

"He ran that really smart, I'll be 100 percent honest," Harrell said.

It was a great meet for Ruff, who ran a 49-second 1,600 relay split and also won the 200 with another PR, 22.31, Seager second at 22.37. Ruff's 400 title was his third straight at the SCC meet.

"I had to give it my all, really do all I could because I knew (Harrell) was good, and he gets out fast."

St. Edward's John Gotheridge placed fourth in shot put at 44 feet, while the identical foursomes of Eduardo Carachure, Albert Lopez, Michael Kelly and Devontae Elam finished second in the 400 relay and third in the 800 relay.

Elam said the relay team is "pretty much a tight bunch," but three of them work, which limits the time they can practice together. Wednesday's performances may increase that desire for a downstate bid.

"It's a motivator," Elam said. "It just shows us where we need to be by sectionals -- practice handoffs, sharpen them up, and we should go downstate in the (800 relay) easily."

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