Boys track and field: Scouting Cook and Lake County

With an abundance of returning athletes back in the fold, the Warren boys track and field team should be one of the teams to beat in Lake County this season after the Blue Devils placed eighth in Class 3A last year just two points out of sixth place.

The Grayslake North sectional meet was a tough one for Warren, but it managed to hold off Grayslake Central 85-78 for the team title. New head coach David Wilson has taken over the reins from former coach Josh Williams. The Blue Devils did not compete in the NSC indoor meet which helped Stevenson roll to first place.

Warren lost numerous key seniors to graduation, and it took third to defending state champion Homewood-Flossmoor and runner-up Lake Park at the elite Bob Nihells Indoor Classic on March 9 as senior Aidan Porreca (fourth in state discus) placed second in the shot put.

Seniors Jose Lim (400) and Eddie Lim (hurdles) are runners to watch along with junior Lucas Jablonski in the 800. The duo of Kyle Newton and Joshua Duray are strong in the 1,600 as are Jesse Kowalski in the 3,200, and Dajhir Gordon (long jump/triple jump).


Antioch The Sequoits took 11th at the Class 3A Grayslake North sectional last year and second at the recent NLCC indoor championships. Junior Martin Cohen and sophomore Deven Floyd-Picket were a part of the 4x200 team that ran at state while Cohen, senior Tyler Wolfe, and junior Ademide Adegboyega competed on the 4x400 squad in Charleston. Senior Antonio Rodriguez tied for third in the pole vault at the NLCC indoor meet while sophomore Jack Bucar placed third in the 60-meter dash.

Carmel Catholic The Corsairs took fourth in the 15-team Belvidere sectional as junior Cole Bonham advanced to the state meet with a second-place finish in the 800-meter run. Carmel has two members of its 4x200 state qualifying team back in seniors Torey French and Dev'ion Reynolds. Reynolds (ninth in state) and French went 1-2 in the long jump at sectionals to earn a berth to the state meet in that event as well.

Grant The Bulldogs placed fifth in the NLCC and 12th at the Class 3A Grayslake North sectional as junior Niko Dayment made it downstate in the 800-meter run. Grant finished fourth in the NLCC indoor meet as senior Braden Cornell took second in the pole vault. Dayment finished second in the 800 while the Bulldogs' 4x200 team of Jerry Schlaf, Noah Patrick, Nana Abubofour (third in triple jump), and Cole Pemberton took runner-up honors. Pemberton also took fourth in the 200 while teammates Nathan Kempf and Maxx Haas went 5-6 in the 1,600. Senior Ayden Sheppard placed third in the 60 hurdles while seniors Ryan Golden and John Nehmzow placed 4-5 in the 3,200.

Grayslake Central The Rams won Lake County and NLCC titles last year before placing second at sectionals and 18th in Class 3A. Grayslake Central's 4x400 team of John Vagnoni, Elliot Bond, Evan Richardson, and Trey Sato placed second in the state as juniors and Sato placed fifth in the state at 1,600 meters. Sean Mullen finished sixth in the state in pole vault and was a state qualifier in the 110-high hurdles. Christian James was a state qualifier in the high jump while Nolan Kissager and Vagnoni qualified in the 4x800. Other key athletes for the Rams will be Adan Cordova (3,200), Dan Varblow (distance), Will Welty (3,200), Xavi Granville (jumps), Alex Carter (110/300 hurdles), Anthony Williams (200/400), Jordan Cleaves (100/200), Jack Lapidus (200/400), and Rashad Smith (sprints)

Grayslake North The Knights placed second in the NLCC and fourth at Class 3A sectionals as coach Mark Egofske has taken over for former coach Tyler Woolard. Junior Cam Bates (200) ran at state in the 4x100 last year. Sophomore Oliver Davis (mid-distance/relays), Javy Villegas (3,200), Adrian Hernandez (400/sprint relays), Elijah Ayivi (hurdles/long jump), Eugen Kang (pole vault), and Sean Vizconde (pole vault) are athletes to watch. Other keys are Elijah Fajimi (400/800), Angelo Alvarengo (800/1,600), Anthony Barszcz (mid-distance), Ricky Crumble (sprints), Nate Hickson (400/hurdles), Henry Linderman (hurdles/pole vault/sprint relays), David WIlliams (shot put/long jump), Carson Congalton (400/800/sprint relays), and Asa Bassett (400/HJ/TJ).

Lakes The Eagles are coming off a strong season when they won the Belvidere sectional before taking 14th in Class 2A. Senior Paul Migas is a two-time defending state pole vault champion (4.91 meters) while senior Payton Whitehead took third in the state in the 800. Other returning state qualifiers for Lakes' multi-faceted team are senior Thomas Mecure (high jump), junior Jackson Summy (3,200), sophomore Jordan Phalen (shot put), and junior Patrik Dortch (triple jump). Sophomore William Mecure (pole vault) took third at sectionals.

Lakes’ Paul Migas is the two-time defending Class 2A state pole vault champion. Gregory Shaver/for Shaw Local

Lake Zurich The Bears have seniors Brayden Veil (110/300 hurdles) and Maxim Kotelnikov (800) back along with juniors Owen Peshek (100/200/400), Connor Strauss (long jump/triple jump), and Xavier Weitz (pole vault). Sophomore Rashad Khan (long jump/triple jump) will be part of Lake Zurich's nucleus in its quest to finish in the top three in the NSC and get six individuals downstate which would be a huge accomplishment for the program.

Libertyville The Wildcats placed 15th at the Class 3A Grayslake North sectional. Libertyville's team is off to a good start to the new season with a third-place finish at the NSC indoor meet as senior Jesse DeLongchamp won the 800. Senior Cole Mitchell placed second in the 200 while James O'Keeffe and Michael Chudy went 2-3 in the 1,600. Senior Chase Running took third in the 60 hurdles, Jacob Richter took fourth in the shot put, and Henok Wojack took fourth in the high jump.

Mundelein The Mustangs placed fifth in the NSC and eighth at sectionals last year. Senior Julian Eagar (100/200/relays/HJ) has the potential to reach state. Junior Alberto Diaz (distance) has a shot at state in the 3,200 while junior William Vilchynskyy should score at conference in both throws. Junior Ethan Connelly (jumps/sprints) has a chance to score points in the triple jump at sectionals. Freshman Izic Miller will be close to qualifying for state in the 800 according to coach Kurt Rutz.

Stevenson The Patriots placed second to Warren in the NSC before senior Ethan Aghakahn took ninth place in the state in discus (47.32 meters). Senior Randy Clay also qualified for state in the high jump. Thomas Simmons (hurdles), Dylan Zimmerman (distance), Alex Moser (jumps), and Jeffrey Dannison (sprints) are expected to be some of the top competitors for coach Andy Farrissey's squad.

Round Lake The Panthers' young squad took eighth place at the recent NLCC indoor meet after competing in the Grayslake North Class 3A sectional last year. Round Lake senior Daniel Campos is a runner to watch in the 1,600 as he placed third indoors by just .46 seconds behind Lakes' Jackson Summy. The 4x400 team of Campos, Jackson Young, Abraham Gonzalez, and Oscar Rodriguez took sixth in the conference meet.

Vernon Hills The Cougars placed seventh in Grayslake North Class 3A sectional. Senior Charles Blackmer is back from the 4x400 team that reached state, and he was joined by teammates Manny Botello, Brady Koetz, and Campbell Woolard in winning the 4x400 at the CSL North indoor meet. Blackmer and Woolard also ran on the Cougars' 4x800 team that reached state. Senior Sean Kalu (high jump) won the 200 in the indoor meet while freshman Bryant Lester was second in the 1,600, and senior Jack Viets was second in the pole vault.

Wauconda The Bulldogs have an elite high jumper back in senior Kosta Zografos (third in Class 3A) as Zografos has qualified for state in the high jump all three years he has been in high school. Zografos was also the NLCC indoor meet, and Illinois Top Times meet champion. Earlier in the season, he reset the school record to 6 feet, 8.25 inches. Senior Jake Wurster qualified for state in the 100 dash, and he just set a NLCC record in the 60-meter dash. Kade Jaros was all-conference in the 400 while Matthew Lee was all-conference in the shot put.


Barrington The Broncos placed second in Lake County, MSL, and sectionals before junior Joe Bregenzer (3,200) placed ninth at state. Other returning state qualifiers are Micah Hall (400/4x400), Noah Lewandowski (100/4x400), Justin Hurtado (3,200), Haru Nagaoka (4x800), Max Lewis (4x800), and Hayden Dahlin (pole vault). Barrington has great depth with Ikki Takahashi (sprints/jumps), Vince Choukas (pole vault), Travis Soto (sprints), Matt Marusich (sprints), Ethan Scott (distance), Avery Erickson (distance), Mark McGinn (distance), Manasyu Chaudhari (distance), Ryan Fahey (jumps), George Voris (pole vault), Tyler Thymian (hurdles), Henry Thymian (hurdles), Jonah Burks (hurdles), and Dylan Balsis (throws).

Buffalo Grove The Bison have senior Emmanuel Hopkins (100/200) back after he missed all of last season with a knee injury. Senior Anthony Bernardo (800) was also plagued by injuries last year, but he has ambitions of qualifying for state this year. Junior Vince Romano will shoot for state in the long jump and triple jump. Buffalo Grove has many key newcomers, including sophomores Riley Wold (3,200/1600), Will Capito (800), Anton Zweig (relays), and Jackson Oldenburg (relays). Freshman Taras Kilchitskyi has already jumped 21-0 in the long jump.

Conant The Cougars are bringing back a lot of senior experience as seniors Gaven Corpin, Connor Ariunbat, and Jayden Patel were all on the 4x800 state qualifying squad. The Cougars also have seniors Kyle Corpin (4x800 state qualifier), Josh Ahrens (sprints), and Oleg Shkandriy (sprints/jumps) ready to make a big impact. Coach John Powers is hoping to move up the MSL standings and qualify several athletes to the state meet.

Elk Grove The Grenadiers return senior Keane Bayani in the middle-distance races. Juniors Spencer Tuiaana (throws), and Max Walaszek (sprints/jumps) will be anchors in their respective events. This year the Grens look to improve on their MSL and sectional finishes while focusing on producing more competitive relay teams and scoring more points in the field events.

  Spencer Tuiaana, pictured at the Nagel-Saylor Indoor Invitational last month at North Central College in Naperville, is one of the top returners at Elk Grove. Brian Hill/

Fremd The Vikings tied for 11th with Conant at the Class 3A Wheaton Warrenville South sectional. Senior Samahith Seetharam and junior Brennan Saxe were on the 4x400 team that went downstate while junior Rory Gaan (ninth in cross country) was on the 4x800 team that went to state. Gaan was the 3,200-meter champ at the Jim Nagel-Mark Saylor MSL indoor meet. Sophomore Marquan Brewster won the 200 while senior Ethan Hurwitz (4x200) was on the Vikes' first-place team at the indoor meet.

Hersey The Huskies placed fourth in the MSL last spring. Hersey has senior depth in Will Nolan (fourth in state shot put/discus), Gus Dammann (discus), Gabe Lazu (jumps/sprints), Nasir McKenzie (100/200), Frank Cascella (200/400/ TJ), Patrick Untiedt (200 400/TJ), Reese Settersten (100/200), Carson Grove (100/200/ LJ), Dominic Spina (100/200/400), Cameron Donner (800/state 4x800), Zach Frayder (800/1,600/ 3,200/state 4x800), Rob Geisenberger (1,600/3,200), Liam Naughton (1,600 10th in state/state 4x800), and A.J. Svienty (1,600/3,200). Juniors Logan Farrell (9th state shot put/15th state discus), and Owen Devine (hurdles/400) will be keys with sophomore Peter Franczyk (high jump).

Hoffman Estates The Hawks have junior Giovanny Hernandez back after he placed second in the MSL and third at sectionals in the 300 hurdles. Senior Ivan Rodriguez (200) is a sprinter to watch with teammates JMari Jackson (triple jump), and Matt Lawson (100 dash). Coach Vito Anzalone said that the team is motivated and excited for the season ahead and that this is the largest team he's ever coached. The Hawks' priority will be to put forth their best efforts, trust in the process, and achieve personal records.

Leyden The Eagles placed sixth in the WSC Gold Division indoor championships at Proviso West in mid-March. Leyden's 4x200 team of Joshua Chigna, Nicholas Gattuso, Sebastian Burgos-Banegas, and Duvan Trujillo placed third in the indoor meet. The Eagles' 4x400 team of Daryl Esparza, Jorge Hernandez, Adrian Dominguez, and Trystan Grimes placed fourth indoors.

Maine East The host Blue Demons took runner-up honors at the CSL North Division indoor meet as junior Okiki Olurotimi placed first in the 45-meter hurdles, first in the 55-yard hurdles, and second in the high jump. Juniors Roman Wolanin (shot put), Luis Mendoza (800), and Matthew Ng (pole vault) all took second place as did senior Aaron Jallores in the long jump.

Maine West The Warriors got a second from junior Maksym Makota in the 100, and a fourth from senior Ernie Martinez in the 200 last year at the CSL meet. Maine West's sprint relay teams were strong in 2023, and senior Eric Zheng is ready to bolster those relays. Ryan Hauptmann and Marlon Pante will be keys at mid-distances with support from Gerardo Perez (distance). Jacob Ynocencio and Brody Kroschel are the Warriors' top throwers while junior Logan Amar will be an anchor in the jumps.

Maine South After placing third at sectionals, the Hawks have two returning state qualifiers back to build around in senior Connor Foley (800/4x400) and junior Owynn Garrelts (3,200). Many key graduated were lost, and Foley is the only returning runner from the 4x400 team that reached state. Maine South will try to match its top-three finish at sectionals and push to get as many individuals and relays downstate as possible.

Palatine The Pirates placed ninth at the Grayslake North Class 3A sectional as junior Carter Hayes and sophomore Alexander Krieg both advanced to state in the 1600. Palatine's 4x800 relay just missed the cut for the state meet by a mere .22 seconds. Junior Rufus Clark took third place recently at the Jim Nagel-Mark Saylor MSL indoor meet with a leap of 6.52 meters in the long jump as the Pirates' squad took eighth place.

Prospect The Knights had a great 2023 as they won MSL and sectional championships. Jeff Collier will replace former head coach Jay Renaud (three sectional titles), who is still with the Knights' coaching staff. Seniors Michael Piagari and John Peterson return from the 4x800 all-state team. Ben Riedel and Charlie Connolly are back from the 4x400 all-state team. Also returning are state qualifiers Charlie Knee (4x100) and Jaylen Calhoun (4x100). Prospect's depth includes Nico Chavez (sprinter), Lorenzo DeLeon (sprinter), Tommy Johl (shot put), Owen Smith (distance), Parker Ray (discus/200), Nate Cichy (110 HH/200), Anthony LoBue (400), Jon Numani (400), Antonio Galliano (300), and Jackson Parrish (300).

Rolling Meadows The Mustangs placed seventh in the MSL and eighth at sectionals as junior Will Viken (pole vault) is a returning state qualifier. Senior Noah Heiber was the MSL champion in the 110 hurdles while sophomores Arman Lepuzanovic (sprints/long jump), and Jack Andersen (triple jump/long sprints) will be keys. "Our goal is to be better than we were last year and we have some outstanding athletes in the jumps and hurdles," said coach Frank Schweda.

Schaumburg The Saxons placed third in the MSL before tying for fourth place at the Wheaton Warrenville South sectional. Senior Alex Valencia qualified for the state meet in the 200-meter dash. Senior Anthony Barcenas took fifth at sectionals in the 110 hurdles while teammate Micheal Gbenyo was outstanding in the long jump and triple jump. Josh Vook (hurdles) and Zach Campbell (distance) will play key roles on the squad as will pole vaulter's Black Ackland and Stephen Osei.

St. Viator The Lions placed 12th at the Genoa-Kingston Class 2A sectional. Junior Michael Wallace went downstate in the 400 while St. Viator seniors Cristobol Caranza and Evan Collins will compete in multiple events. The junior trio of Henry Marshall, Matthew Doland, and Logan Del Valle hope to score points in numerous events. Key newcomers are Garrett Gerleman, Sasha Summers, Aidan McLeod, and Owen Gottfred, who will contribute in events across the board.

Wheeling The Wildcats will turn to seniors Brandon Soriano (4x400 state qualifier), Alex Pavlov (4x400 state qualifier), Jake Ning (4x400/800-meter state qualifier), Sincere Wilkerson (high jump/200), Tyler Woods (400/800), Pawel Rakoczy (4x800/4x400), and Jim Kyvik (3200/1600/800) for leadership. Junior Rylan Solis-Mui will compete in the long jump, triple jump, and 200-meter dash. Wheeling placed seventh in the Jim-Nagel-Mark Saylor MSL indoor meet.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.