One needn't be a physics genius to understand pole vault dynamics.
For example, Lake Park senior Tim Ehrhardt weighs 148 pounds. The pole he finished with Saturday, a 16-foot carbon beauty, offered 175-pound capacity.
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It was Ehrhardt's sixth pole he's used this year as heights have increased, but as Lancers vault coach Doug Juraska said Saturday at Downers Grove South's 27th annual Bud Mohns Invitational boys track meet, "That's a huge, huge move."
Ehrhardt moved higher regarding Lake Park records and personal-bests. He scaled 16 feet, 1 inch with unsuccessful attempts at the 16-6 school record of 2011 state champion Zach Ziemek. Amazingly -- or not, with a member of vault royalty competing -- Ehrhardt finished second to Plainfield South's Luke Winder, who cleared 16-6. Both surpassed the 16-foot meet record of Lake Park's Josh Cuttone from 1999.
"Today it was a really different situation because we had the wind at our back," said Ehrhardt, topping his prior best of 15-7. "I was going to go on a 165 (pounder) and I crushed it so I wanted to go up on a pole. Unfortunately we didn't have the 170 so I got the 175, and that was the first time I've been on it. It's a carbon, so it reacts different, it shoots you straight up. So it was a little nerve-wracking getting on it."
In addition to Lake Park track performances like Jeremy Lozano's 1,600 victory and Eric Dade's second-place finish to Hinsdale Central's Mike Korompilas in the 800, both diving across the finish line, the Lancers enjoyed traditional field event success.
Though Hinsdale Central's Nick Piker won discus at 155 feet, 11 inches, Lancers Shawn Koch and Marcus Jegede went 1-2 in triple jump and Scott Filip won three events spanning track and field. Filip took high jump at 6-6, long jump at 22-5 and in the 100 dash beat Hinsdale South's reigning 3A champion Tavaris Binion, as Filip seeks ways to capture the 3A team title a fourth straight year.
"I'm trying to find an event that can benefit Lake Park in May," Filip said.
Still, York did what it's done eight straight times, save a 2008 weather-out, and 22 times in the meet's 27 years -- win the thing.
The deep Dukes' 157 points topped Lake Park (124), Hinsdale Central (85), Andrew (55) and Hinsdale South and Plainfield Central each with 47 points. Downers South (35) and Morton (11) rounded out the field.
"Eight teams, eight lanes, so every team is in a fast heat," Hinsdale Central coach Jim Kupres said.
York capitalized, winning three of four relays including a 1,600 relay anchored by 110 and 300 hurdles winner Jarvis Grace-Hill.
York ceded the 400 to Hinsdale South's strong Abreon Starks, but one of this spring's feel-good stories, a rejuvenated Alex Mimlitz, won the 3,200 by reeling in and then outsprinting Hinsdale Central's Billy Magnesen the last 100 meters.
Mimlitz, now a senior but once a freshman phenom, had a rash of injuries that sent him under the radar for the best part of two years.
"It feels great to be able to run and do what I love," he said. "Because for awhile there it felt like there was a piece of me missing. It really is an awesome feeling."
Hinsdale South's Binion, who slipped out of the blocks in his 100, returned to win the 200 in 22.97 seconds. He finished fifth in 3A in that event in 2012 and has overcome his own bout with back trouble.
"It's pretty good to come out here and compete, especially on a cold day like this, and to compete well, you know?" Binion said. "Cold weather and sprints don't go along. It feels good to be back out here, though. I haven't done this since May."