Boys track and field: Warren takes home 1st sectional crown
The heat was on Thursday night when 16 teams met for the Class 3A boys track sectional at Grayslake Central with a berth to the 2022 state meet next week in Charleston on the line.
And with numerous athletes contributing to the cause up, down and across the lineup, Warren was able to easily power its way past runner-up Palatine 101-71 to win its first sectional title in school history.
Barrington placed third with 63 points while rivals Grayslake North and the host Rams (49 points) tied for fourth place.
Junior Caleb Levy was one of many heroes for Warren as he posted a school record time of 1:54.37 in the 800 to beat the previous record by .43 seconds. Teammate Max Zeisler placed second to give the Blue Devils a 1-2 finish.
Senior Luke Wiley also continued to shine for Warren with a first-place finish in the 3,200 (9:19.72) as he easily outdistance runner-up Joey Furlong of Barrington.
The relay teams also came up big for the Blue Devils as the 4x100-meter team of Aaron Ayobami, Jaden Turner, Cassius Callahan and Jailen Duffie won in 42.57 to edge Stevenson (43.30) in second place. That same Warren foursome won the 4x200 relay in 1:28.77 to nip Vernon Hills in second place.
"We have never won the sectional meet in school history so that was one thing we were trying to accomplish," said Warren coach Josh Williams, whose team also won the 4x400 relay. "It's really a talented group of kids, and the distance guys are some of the top runners in the state."
After tying the school record last week at the Mid-Suburban League meet by jumping 7.16 meters, Palatine's Jacob Bostick set a school record in the long jump with a first-place leap of 7.17 meters as he outdistanced runner-up Jaden Turner of Warren (6.80 meters). The top two finishers in every event as well as any individuals who met the predetermined at-large times or distances also advanced to the state meet.
Palatine's 4x800 relay team of Riley Beasley, Angel Adaya, Mason Krieg and Jack Casaccio won in 8:13.06 while Buffalo Grove placed second.
"Jake (Bostick) beat the school record by one centimeter," said Palatine coach John Nalley. "We haven't run those four together (4x800). We thought it would be a battle to get in the top two so to win it was huge."
Barrington's Connor Lee was impressive in winning the 100-meter dash in 10.8 seconds while Lake Zurich's Ben Cooper won both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
"That is Connor's best time of the year," said Barrington coach Todd Kuklinski. "And that puts him second all-time in school history."
Other field events winners were Wauconda's Kosta Zografos (1.95 meters) in the high jump, Grayslake North's DeAndre Neely (13.60) in the triple jump, Grayslake Central's Sean Mullen (4.01 meters) in the pole vault, Palatine's Jhermari Mabry (17.85 meters) in the shot put, and Vernon Hills' David Mun (55.71 meters) in the discus.
Grayslake Central's Brannon Duffin will be heading downstate after winning the 100, 200 and 400-meter wheelchair races for the Rams.
"Sean (Mullen) is doing well, he PR'd today, and he's a young man who has a drive," said Grayslake Central coach Brent Pitt. "Brannon (Duffin) won three races at state last year, and overall the whole season we've been competitive."
Stevenson's squad was led by Jimmy Davis' first-place time of 49.68 seconds at 400 meters followed by Grayslake North's Zach Weitgenant in second place. Vernon Hills' Ryan Kuczynski won the 200-meter dash in 22.19 to edge Lee (22.41) in second.
"He (Davis) ran at state last year in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays," said Stevenson coach Andy Farrissey. "His previous best time I think (at 400 meters) was 50.4 and he ran a 49.68 so it was a great race for him."
Other second-place finishers were Turner (long jump), Mabry (discus), Stevenson's Mark Hellwig (high jump), Grayslake Central's Kaiden Miller (triple jump), Lake Zurich's Jaydon Taboada (pole vault), Barrington's Jose Mejia (shot put) and Stevenson's Marcus Caselberry (110 hurdles).