Boys track and field: Prospect continues strong spring with 2nd-place finish at Conant

The 50th running of the Ron Gummerson Cougar Track Classic at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates had a unique format Friday.

Outside of the four relay races, the rest of the events on both the track and field had three flights each adding up to a grand total of 46. 

Named in honor of the longtime former Conant track coach who passed away 13 years ago, it would be MSL East champion Prospect adding another trophy to their spring collection.

The Knights took home the runner-up trophy from Feutz Field as their total of 161.5 points came in second to champion Minooka's 169.

Glenbard West (111.5) finished third followed by Schaumburg (89.5) and Rock Island (71) to round out the top five.

"We've got a really good group of young men," Knights coach Jeff Collier said. "A mostly high character group (that's) also very talented. Good in school. good in (the) community, but also good out in the track and in the field as well."

In earning silver honors, the Knights claimed victory in nine events:

Ben Wilkin won the 3200 (flight B, 10:08.05), Charlie Knee the 100 (C, 11.46), Ben Riedel the B 400 (51:07), Declan Lawlor the C 400 (52.34), J.J. Tsagalis the C shot put (13.60m), Brian Cantieri the C high jump (1.75m), Chris English the C 300 hurdles (43.35), Lucas Deines the C long jump (5.73 m) and the 4x200 relay in 1:30.61.

Wilkin got things started for Prospect with his win in his 3200 that he dedicated to his grandfather who passed away two years ago this month.

"Today I kind of ran it for him and my goal was to win (and) get to buy a (champion) shirt for Papa. It was a great (win) to have," Wilkin said.

In earning the team bronze, the Hilltoppers earned a pair of three-flight sweeps on both the 800 and 1600 meters.

Senior Anthony Nitti (flight A-1:56.37) had the overall time allowing him join his fellow seniors Tim Meehan (flight B-1:57.69) and Julian Hernandez (flight C-2:03.37) in victory lane.

Nitti spoke of using a late burst of speed to win his flight.

"My game plan was to sit third and really y just try to take off with 300 (meters) to go,“ Nitti said. ”The first place guy was pretty far in front of me, so I just tried to close the gap. Once we hit 200 to go, I was sitting in second and kind of waiting until we got off the turn and then just blasted the last 100 meters."

Glenbard West replicated the feat in the 1600. After senior Charlie Halden's win in Flight A (4:24.38) junior teammates Graham Faris (flight B-4:26.86) and Ryan Fader (flight C-4:41.13) earned wins.

The Saxons came within less than five-tenths of a second of earning a 3-0 sweep in the three flight 110 meter hurdles as sophomore Ray Black (15.52) finished behind Minooka senior Dejay Smith (15.05) in flight A.

They had earned wins by seniors Anthony Barcenas (15.96) in flight B and Josh Vook (15.98) in flight C. Schaumburg won five events overall including a pair of wins by senior Michael Gbenyo in the triple jump (flight C--12.15 meters) and high jump (flight A-1.95 meters).

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