Boys track and field: Now is the right time for Lisle’s Ruthe

CHARLESTON — Lisle senior Colin Ruthe, a native of Germany, has been in the United States for only two years.

He needed only 2 minutes to reach the Illinois High School Association Class 1A boys track and field state finals.

In Thursday’s 1A preliminaries at Eastern Illinois University, Ruthe ran the 10th fastest overall time in the 800-meter run, 2 minutes flat, to qualify for Saturday’s field of 12 as he had hoped.

“I hoped. I didn’t expect, I hoped,” Ruthe said.

“I got first place in the sectionals, so I felt good about that, and then I shaved off a few hundredths of a second today. I felt pretty good about that,” he said.

His mother, Kris Groth, attended Lisle in the mid-1980s and went to Germany to study. She met Colin’s father at a decathlon. Colin Ruthe said his home in Germany is between Hamburg and Bremen.

Ruthe ran, biked and swam in Germany, and will again when he goes back home, but said he was unable to compete as a junior for Lisle due to parental guardian issues in accordance with IHSA rules. Now 18, Ruthe is free to compete.

“I’m hoping for sixth overall,” he said of Saturday’s finals. “Today I got 10th, so I’m hoping for a sixth or a seventh, something like that.”

Westmont’s Abe Johnson is not so conservative about his goals Saturday in long jump, triple jump and high jump.

“Aiming for first place in all three of my events,” said the Sentinels senior.

Sounds crazy, but it’s possible. After Thursday’s 1A preliminaries Johnson was tied with the second-best mark among long jump finalists, second outright in triple jump, and joined teammate Billy McGhie among 16 high jumpers who cleared 1.85 meters, or 6 feet, ¾ inch, to gain the finals.

“I graduated (May 22) right before I came here, so it was like a boost, moving on to the next chapter,” said Johnson, who hopes to compete for Eastern Illinois.

Other qualifiers into Saturday’s Class 1A state finals are Harvest Christian in the 3200-meter relay, IC Catholic Prep in the 400 and 800 relays, and a pair of Timothy Christian athletes — sophomore Chandler Brady in long jump and junior Jonathan Kelsey in the 400 dash.

Class 2A and Class 3A preliminaries are held Friday at O’Brien Field. Finals for all three classes are held Saturday.

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