CHARLESTON -- Friday was a whole new experience for Schaumburg.
The Saxons, who have dominated the 400 and 800 relays this spring, finally met their first bit of adversity of the season during the prelims of the Class 3A boys track and field state championships at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Field.
In their signature event, the 400 relay, the Saxons missed the third exchange, forcing the team of Jarman McMillon, Shandall Thomas, Stacey Smith and Tom Ciupka to be disqualified.
"The coaches got with us right away and talked about putting it behind us," Thomas said. "We knew we had other races and we had to put it out of our minds."
Rather than letting it drag them down, the Saxons went out and re-established themselves as an elite sprinting relay group.
In the 800, the same tandem ran the fastest time in the state this spring, winning their heat in a blistering 1:26.08.
"We had that down time back in the tent, and we were all pretty mad about what happened," Ciupka said. "We got right back in it and pushed each other."
Other than the relay hiccup, it was a very productive day for Schaumburg. Smith qualified in the long jump (21 feet, 11½ inches) and the triple jump (44-9).
Thomas earned a pair of finals berths, in the 100 (10.77) and in the 200, where he set a school record in 21.65. Eddie Kelly joins Smith in the finals of the triple jump after leaping 44-8½.
When Thomas looks around in the 100 and 200 finals Saturday, he will see a fully rejuvenated and very fast Scotty Miller of Barrington next to him.
Miller set the tone early by winning his 100-meter dash heat in 10.66. He then aided the 800 relay team of JP Brooks, Parker Deloye and Brendan Melynchuk to a qualifying berth in another school record of 1:28.05.
Miller finished his very busy day with a blazing 21.43 in the 200 meter dash. That's another school record, and it earned him a repeat trip to the finals.
"I just came in with a ton of confidence," Miller said. "Having been here last year I knew what to expect and I went out and had fun."
And Miller also had plenty of fun watching his teammates, as the defending Class 3A state champion 3,200 relay of Konrad Eiring, Adam Phillips, John Andraschko and Tyler Anderson run 7:53.45 to earn a spot in the finals.
Parker Deloye also earned an individual spot as he cleared the necessary 6-4 in the high jump. Adam Poklop of Palatine also cleared 6-4 and will jump in the finals.
Barrington will see a familiar face in the 800 relay finals as Fremd put together another solid effort in the event. Jawan Gaines, Kyle Lewis, Richard Adugba and Ryan McMahon ran 1:27.97 to earn a spot in the finals.
The throwing events, which are traditionally strong out of the Mid Suburban League, saw another qualifier make the finals as Hersey senior Joe Bellafiore tossed the disc 155-10 to win his flight and making the finals for the first time.