CHARLESTON -- One streak was broken, one dynasty rekindled.
At Saturday's boys track and field state finals at Eastern Illinois University, York unseated four-time defending Class 3A champion Lake Park. Retiring coach Stan Reddel won his second title at York, the program's fifth and first since 2009.
"I had to look for the cameras, it's a Hallmark movie night or something," said Reddel, whose Dukes scored 40 points, edging Lake Park and Edwardsville, tied for second with 36. Neuqua Valley was 2 points off that pace, the Wildcats' fourth-place finish the highest since taking third in 2010.
Low and balanced scoring made each point crucial. York high jumper Reid Smith's third-place finish created a brief three-way tie at 36 points with Edwardsville and Lake Park, neither of which had finalists left after the Lancers' Antonio Shenault won the 110 hurdles and Mike Prestigiacomo and Curtwan Evans left the discus cage with respective fifth- and ninth-place finishes.
That left York senior Alex Bashqawi next up in the 1,600-meter run, needing at least the 1 point awarded a ninth-place finish. It was no gimme, the University of Illinois-Chicago recruit running on a bad Achilles and, despite York's cheering section urging him on, struggling to stay in the top 10 through 1,200 meters.
With a kick over the last 200, Bashqawi surged to sixth, delivering 4 key points that held off the rest -- including Neuqua Valley's third-place 1,600 relay and Naperville Central's strong runner-up relay foursome of Daniel Spaccapaniccia, Matt Meier, Michael Jopes and Sam Bransby.
"I think we might have it, but I feel like it's too soon to say," high jumper Smith said after soaring 6 feet, 8 inches.
Instead Bashqawi had the final say on Reddel's last day.
"I think it's great that we got it for him, since he's retiring now. That's what I really wanted to do for him," Bashqawi said.
Lake Park had Shenault's hurdles win at a crackling 14.14 seconds, and Marcus Jegede's 48-foot triple jump held from Friday's preliminaries for another first. The Lancers saw their championship streak end at a record-tying four, which was matched Saturday by Cahokia in Class 2A.
"To say that we win four years in a row and then take second a fifth, it's not a bad position to be in," said Lancers coach Jay Ivory. "I'm really happy for the kids, and there were a lot of gutsy performances out there today and this weekend fighting for it."
Neuqua Valley won its first state relay since 2010, quickly owning the blue O'Brien Stadium track in the 3,200 relay. Connor Horn, inserted into the leadoff leg, passed the baton to Jeremy Stern. Then came Nick Rafacz and Ty Moss, who beat Sandburg's Denis O'Callaghan down the straightaway for a school-record 7:40.21.
"I feel bad for Connor because he got boxed in right away and that usually has a big effect on your performance, but he pulled through," Rafacz said. "All of us pulled through -- especially Ty, that anchor leg."
That small junior carries a big kick.
"After he handed it off I was like, all right, we got this," Horn said. "I knew he was going to kick them down."
In Class 1A Aurora Christian won the team title one week after the girls team won its state meet.