Boys track and field: Well-rounded Rams track team looks strong

This is one of the best teams Brent Pitt has had in 21 years coaching boys track at Grayslake Central.

It showed April 19 at Wheaton Warrenville South.

The Rams’ 146 points finished second behind defending Class 3A champion Homewood-Flossmoor’s 165.5 points in the 18-team Red Grange Invitational. Grayslake Central finished 30 points ahead of third-place Evanston.

“I’ve been around for little bit of time, but this is probably my most well-rounded team I’ve had,” said Pitt, a former Downers Grove North sprinter who has prior coaching experience at Antioch, Mundelein and Bolingbrook.

Grayslake Central also missed out on a potential victory in whichever distance event Illinois-bound senior Trey Sato would have chosen to run.

Fifth in the 3A 1600-meter run last year in Charleston, Sato instead competed the next night at Distance Night in Palatine, winning the “main event” mile run at 4 minutes, 12.08 seconds.

“Illinois is getting a steal for sure,” Pitt said.

Twice at the tri-level WW South invite Rams athletes beat their seed to record the fastest times in their event.

Senior Alex Carter, running in the B-level 110-meter hurdles, set a personal-best at 15.29 seconds, faster than the A-level winner, WW South’s Amari Williams at 15.52.

In the 200, senior Jordan Cleaves competed in the A-level but in the first of two heats, the second being the faster-seeded runners.

Cleaves ran the sprint in 22.98 seconds to lead all runners.

Senior Sean Mullen was disqualified by a false start in the 110 hurdles for the first time at Grayslake Central, but returned for a sharp second-place 300 hurdles finish behind Williams, at 40.25. Rams sophomore Daniel Sachuk ran a personal-best 42.30 in the 300s.

Mullen could be excused for being a little fatigued and distracted. He was also busy winning pole vault at 15 feet, 2 inches, edging out York’s Gavin Schaer at the same height, but cleaner at the lower heights than Schaer.

Pitt said returning state high jump qualifier Christian Jaimes and Connor Flood had “breakouts” in the event. Jaimes placed second at the top level at 6 feet, 4¾ inches while Flood won the B-level at 6-¾.

Grayslake Central’s 800 relay of Rashad Smith, Cleaves, Elliott Bond and Jack Lapidus looked to have won the event at 1:30.03 but was disqualified for an exchange zone violation.

Pitt took the blame for that one, switching the order of the relay and throwing off the passing of the baton, he said.

Pitt also pointed out Bond’s second-place finish in long jump, Will Welte in the 3200, and John Vagnoni in the 800.

“The truth of the matter is we’re trying our best, we’re working hard, the athletes are putting in their time and focusing in, and that’s all I can really ask for right now,” Pitt said.

Grayslake Central is poised to compete Friday at the 56th Joe Wanner Invite at Prospect.

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