Lakes, Barrington set the pace at Palatine
Before he took off in the final of the 200-meter dash, Warren senior Joe Haight got a little friendly advice from fellow race mates Scotty Miller of Barrington and Corey Hertz of Lakes.
"They just told me to hang on to them -- to ride with the breeze," Haight said with a laugh. "It was fast but I tried to keep up with them."
Haight did more than that, as he and the Blue Devils competed at the Class 3A boys track and field sectional meet at Palatine on Thursday night.
For the second time in three weeks, Haight re-wrote the school record book, running 21.73 and qualifying individually for state for the first time.
"I just knew that if I stayed behind Scotty and Corey, they would drag me to state," Haight said. "After the 4x1 got disqualified, to come back and get in the 200 like that's even better."
Warren, which finished seventh in the team race behind sectional team champion Lakes (98 points), started and ended the meet with state-qualifying relay performances. The Blue Devils' 3,200 relay team of Jeff Abbott, Nathan Campbell, Jakob Martinez and Alex Delgado ran 7:56.31 to earn the trip to state.
To end the meet, the Devils 1,600 relay team also earned a state qualifying berth running a season best 3:22.65.
And the middle was pretty good, too, for the Devils. The 800 relay team of Haight, Isaac Walker, Hugo Flores and Nick Marcinkus ran 1:28.41 for the sectional title.
In the field, Warren earned its first shot put qualifier since Dawson came to the program 20 years ago. Matt Sladek placed second with a put of 55-8.5 -- just a half of an inch off the school record.
"I felt so good once I got the first one in," Sladek said. "From there I was so relaxed and just kept throwing with no pressure."
Warren junior Dustin Macuiba qualified for his first state meet running 9:22.71 in the 3,200-meter run.
Lakes had itself a fine evening as well. In winning the sectional title, the Eagles were led by seniors Corey Hertz and Ryan Mullen.
The Northern Iowa-bound Hertz captured the 400-meter dash in 47.81. He also placed second in the 200 (21.66) and second in the 100-meter dash (10.88) to earn a trio of individual state berths.
Mullen did his thing in the shot put, throwing 56-0 to win the event. Mullen also placed second in the discus to Brendan McKinney of Buffalo Grove in the discus but still qualified with a throw of 167-6. The Marquette-bound McKinney qualified with a school-record toss of 169-4.
To close the meet out, the Eagles 1,600 relay ran a season best 3:19.49.
Other qualifiers for the Eagles included Cameron Ruiz, who won the long jump with a leap of 23-0, and Cooper Jazo, who placed second in the pole vault by clearing 14-3.
Lake Zurich put together one of its best nights of the season, and it all started with a state qualifying performance in the 3,200 relay. Kyle Griffith, Brian Griffith, Justin Shim and Matt Pereira ran a season best 7:55.69 to qualify. Brian Griffith also qualified in the 800 (1:55.95).
Pereira then looked like the Pereira of old in winning the 1,600 in 4:16.95.
"This happened a few weeks ago when I ran on the 4x8 then came back and ran 4:16," Pereira said. "I hurt a little after that relay run but my legs feel real good after this race."
Libertyville earned a trio of state entrants. The Wildcats' 1,600 relay qualified with a run of 3:22.74. Keith Wilson, who contributed on the relay, qualified by winning the triple jump (46-11.5) and senior Max Roberts ran 39.74 to get through in the 300 hurdles.
Stevenson senior Aaron Lund felt he had a chance in the 110 high hurdles and he delivered on that opportunity. Lund ran 15.09 to edge out Rob Fekete of Palatine (15.19) to win the event and earn a first trip to state.
"My coach and I talked about focusing on my race only and not worry about the other runners," Lund said. "I concentrated on each hurdle at a time and it worked out for me."
Senior Tim Vestuto missed the entire 2014 football season for the Patriots after tearing his ACL. But he showed no ill effects of the injury and earned a spot in the state meet by running 49.55 in the 400.
Other Patriots qualifiers included Henry Sise in the shot put (53-9), and Jared Borowsky (9:21.16) and Sam Oh (9:21.61) in the 3,200 meter run. Oh also came back to complete the tough double, qualifying in the 1,600 (4:21.36).
Along with Oh was Kansas-bound Mundelein senior Bryce Richards. Richards won the 800 in 1:54.00 and finished second in the 1,600 (4:20.42).
Grayslake Central qualifiers included Elijah Eugene in the pole vault (13-9) and Jack Aho in the 3,200 (9:16.02) and in the 1,600 (4:20.43).
In the end, Barrington senior Scotty Miller did what he normally does -- run fast.
Miller came out of the meet with three first-place medals and a school record. He won the 100 (10.64) and the 200 (in a school-record 21.26). Miller contributed to a relay win in the 400 with Brendan Melynchuk, Terrance McGovern and Griffin Claes (42.14), and he also had a leg on the Broncos' 800 relay with Mark Landwer, Peter Jackowski, Miller and Melynchuk, which qualified in 1:29.16.
Barrington's big night started with the 3,200 relay, as Konrad Eiring, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Gensburg and Nash Pirie ran 7:50.89 to earn another trip to state in a workmanlike effort.
Even before the running events started, junior Scott Jonske leapt to a state meet berth in the long jump with a personal-best effort of 22-9.
While no one could seem to slow down the Broncos sprinters, Buffalo Grove junior Kevin Salvano wasn't about to be caught in the 3,200-meter run.
Salvano took a different race tactic as he went to the front of the pack and pulled away late to win in 9:11.91.
"No one else was going to set the pace so I had to do it," Salvano said. "I tried to slow it down a little the last few laps so I had some extra energy, and it worked out."
Right on the heels of Salvano was Palatine senior Graham Brown, who ran a season-best 9:14.76 to earn a state-qualifying berth for the Pirates. He also ran 4:20.47 in the 1,600, earning another state meet berth. Joining Brown in the 3,200 will be sophomore Brian Leonard, who ran a personal-best 9:23.36 to earn his first trip to state.
Palatine senior Jake LaRocca won the pole vault (15-9), and junior Dan Garcia won a tiebreaker to claim top honors in the high jump after clearing 6-3.
Fremd largely had a night it would like to forget, but salvaged some tough breaks with an impressive performance in the 1,600 relay. Kenny Lyke, Jawan Gaines, Kyle Lewis and Ryan McMahon ran a season-best 3:20.20 for the qualifying berth. Teammate Casey Wood cleared a personal best 14-3 earning a trip to state in the pole vault.
Wheeling earned state qualifiers in the pole vault, where senior Tyler Urban cleared 13-9, and in the triple jump as Evan Brown earned a repeat trip to state by jumping 43-1½.