Boys track and field: Carmel’s Reynolds soars in long jump at state prelims

CHARLESTON — By 8:45 a.m. Friday, Carmel senior Dev’ion Reynolds had already qualified for Saturday’s boys state track and field finals in the Class 2A long jump.

He had a leg of the Corsairs’ 800-meter relay ahead of him, but his early start afforded him a couple free hours.

“I’ll probably just cheer on my teammates. I’ll try to give them my enthusiasm to get first place,” said Reynolds, who recorded 2A’s third-longest preliminary jump, 6.73 meters, or 22 feet, 1 inch.

“It’s real fun to be done, because I’ll just be watching all the talent in Illinois,” Reynolds said.

He was right about that, including his 800 relay that the Corsairs also qualified into Saturday’s finals at O’Brien Field.

The weather did not fully comply, which often happens during a state track weekend. An initial weather delay struck at 2:04 p.m. and lasted about an hour, until the Class 3A 3200-meter relay was able to get rolling at 3:20 p.m.

“You kind of have to roll with the punches,” said Hersey’s Liam Naughton, who anchored a qualifying relay. “The teams that could stay relaxed and calm through stormy waters are the teams that you see on the podium.”

A longer delay occurred at 7:30 p.m. still with two heats remaining of the conclusive 1600-meter relay. They weren’t run until 10:15 p.m., with Prospect claiming the ninth and final qualifying spot at 10:24 p.m.

Grayslake Central’s Trey Sato was in the last completed heat before the lightning, thunder and rain showed up. The relay was the third of three events which he’ll be running Saturday.

Sato led all qualifiers in the 800 meters, at 1 minute 52.52 seconds. Saturday’s final also will include Vernon Hills’ Charles Blackmer, Glenbrook North’s John Ihrke and Palatine’s Carter Hayes.

Sato is fifth among 3A 1600-meter qualifiers, all 12 of them running under 4 minutes, 15 seconds. Barrington’s Joe Bregenzer also made Saturday’s final.

Sato’s senior classmate, Elliott Bond, was seeded 13th and last in his flight of long jump, but he enters Saturday with the fifth best mark, at 6.91 meters (22 feet, 8 inches).

“Three weeks ago at conference I did not perform well. It got me mentally right,” Bond said. “I hat three weeks of good practives with my (jumps) coach, Casey Gantt.

“Trust your warmup, trust your practice, and perform. Stay level-headed, that’s really it.”

Shocking surprises often strike some of the top-ranked athletes, but fortunately it didn’t happen to Lakes pole vaulter Paul Migas.

The two-time Class 2A champion, now in 3A, was among a group of 12 who cleared 14-7¼. They also include Rolling Meadows’ Will Viken, Barrington’s Hayden Dahlin and Grayslake Central’s Sean Mullen, who also qualified in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.

“Three for three, baby,“ Mullen said to himself after the long hurdles.

Rolling Meadows’ Noah Heiber, between COVID and injuries, hadn’t put together a full track season until this year. He’ll run in the finals of both the 110 and 300 hurdles.

Another hurdler, Stevenson junior Thomas Simmons, ran the fastest time in the 3A 110s, 14.42 seconds. He didn’t even want to be a hurdler.

“They make the freshmen try a bunch of things, and I stuck with hurdles. It works,” he said.

“I like competing, I’m a competitive guy. I don’t know how I found a love for it. I’m excited to go to practice, excited to compete. I fell in love with it.”

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