Fremd, Prospect divide and conquer
To say the night wasn't going according to plan for the Fremd boys track team wouldn't quite do it justice.
The points Vikings coach Jim Aikens had counted on early in the field events and on the track and the Mid-Suburban League West divisional meet at Palatine didn't materialize Wednesday.
The good news for the Vikings? It was still early.
About midway through the meet, at the 800-meter run and the 800 relay, is when the skies cleared, the sun shined and the planets started to align for the Vikings.
A third-place finish by junior Nick Macius followed by a blistering 800 relay win from Jake Lewis, Kyle Lewis, Garrett Groot, and Jawan Gaines started the Vikings on a roll — and they never stopped. The Vikings went on to capture another relay title and more individual honors as they cruised to their second consecutive divisional crown with 141 points, edging Palatine (133) and Barrington (110).
"We have a group of kids that are really buying into what it takes to be successful," said Aikens. "We have great depth and we called on a lot of kids to step in and perform tonight, and they really stepped it up."
Fremd is in the middle of a great run. The Vikings won the 2012 and 2013 MSL Indoor titles, the 2012 and 2013 divisional crowns, and the 2012 overall conference championship and sectional title.
"I guess we try and see if we can repeat what we did last year," said Aikens.
The hurdles were key for Fremd. Junior Matt Konopka ran personal best efforts in winning the 110 highs (14.60) and the 300 hurdles (40.09). Teammate Joshua Yamamoto helped complete the 1-2 finish in the 300 hurdles.
Other champions for the Vikings included Tom Mayer in the pole vault (13 feet, 3 inches), Derrick Gaines in the 400 (51.7), and the team of Nick Vucovich, Gaines, Groot and Aaron Harris in the winning 1,600 relay.
Palatine had its best night of the young season, and one reason was the Pirates' distance depth. Senior Christian Zambrano captured the 3,200 in 9:36.22 and later hooked up in a great battle with Barrington sophomore Konrad Eiring in the 1,600. Eiring edged Zambrano in a personal best 4:22.30.
Other Pirates event winners included the 3,200 relay team of Andrew Clingerman, Zambrano, Jordan Jarrett and Rob Hank, and Brad Walls in the shot put (49-6).
Barrington earned individual event wins in the 800 from David Cerney, who broke off an outdoor season best of 1:57.5, Parker Deloye in the high jump (6-5) and vicotries in the 100 and 200 from Scotty Miller.
Other event winners included Schaumburg's team of Jan Dimaano, Stacey Smith, Jarman McMillan and Tom Ciupka in the 400 relay (43.3), Lee Duhs in the discus and a pair of wins in the jumps from Smith as he took the long and triple jumps.
Prospect repeats in East: This is typically the time of year when Prospect start to find its groove.
Right at the edge of the championship season, just ahead of the Wanner Invitational, the Knights tend to start off the championship season by winning the MSL East Division — and they did so again Wednesday night on their home track.
Prospect totaled 173 points to 127 points for second-place Hersey. Buffalo Grove had a strong showing, finishing third with 105 points.
Leading the way for the Knights was the guy they call "Super Dave." That would be senior Dave Kendziera, who won all four of his events, including the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediates. His winning times of 14.1 and 37.9 are the fastest in the state so far this spring. Couple that with a personal best 22-5.5 jump in the long jump and a winning leap in the triple, and it's easy to see how the Knights conquered the division.
The Knights finished first or second in all but five events. Senior Quentin Schaffer pulled off the distance double, taking the 3,200 (9:42.0) and the 1,600 (4:26.1).
Hersey captured the 400 relay in a quick 43.9. Elk Grove Sophomore Paul Ifianayi took the 400 (49.4) and helped the Grenadiers to a win in the 1,600 relay (3:31.4).
Other champions included Cameron Decoursey of Wheeling taking the 200, 100, and contributing to the Wildcats' win in the 800 relay, Kevin Newman from Buffalo Grove winning the high jump (6-1) and his teammate Nick Bernardo won the 800 in 1:58.3.
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