Naperville Central lands DVC title
Naperville Central boys track coach Steve Wiesbrook couldn't pinpoint the Redhawks' last DuPage Valley Conference indoor title.
But he knew what it meant.
"Obviously, it means the kids believe in themselves," Wiesbrook said Friday at North Central College's Al B. Carius Track in Naperville.
"I've got great leaders, I've got great captains, I've got great assistants," he said. "Everybody believes in what we're doing, they believe in each other. It just feeds on itself. Tonight's a perfect example."
A prime example was senior captain Cade McDonald. After finishing second to Neuqua Valley's all-state hurdler Donovan Turner in the 55-meter highs, he returned shortly to top Turner and others to win the 55 dash at 6.65 seconds.
"I wasn't necessarily expecting to win that hurdles race because I knew he was just a great hurdler, a better hurdler than me. But I thought I'd get as close as I can. Coming back in the 55, I just knew I had to beat him to get that sweet revenge, and that's really what it was," said McDonald, who also anchored a winning 800 relay and placed third in the 200.
Someone finally gained revenge on defending Class 3A champion Neuqua Valley, which had won five straight indoor titles spanning Upstate Eight and DuPage Valley conference meets.
Naperville Central won with 131 points to Neuqua's 107. Metea Valley (86), invitee and future DVC squad DeKalb (62), Naperville North (52.50) and Waubonsie Valley (25.50) rounded out the field.
Naperville Central led the Wildcats by 16 points before its meet-capping 1,600 relay win with Justin Agema, 3,200 winner Thomas Shilgalis, Patrick Julian and anchor Thomas Codo.
"Not a fan" of second place, Wildcats coach Mike Kennedy will continue to build depth with his vast squad of 163 athletes, including Matt Appel, shot put winner at 54 feet, 5 inches.
"I think if we bond more as a team we'll be more successful overall, in all of the events," said Turner, who won the 55 hurdles at 7.61 seconds and won the 200 at 23.13. "We'll really have more a sense of a drive to win, for each other and everything."
Metea Valley's Michael Varzino claimed both the 400 and 800. The Mustangs' Pryce Giwa-Osagie took high jump at 6-3. After finishing second in long jump, on his last try Metea senior Temi Osobamiro topped Naperville North's Will deBolt in triple jump by 4 inches, winning at 44-7.
"On this last jump I really wanted to focus on stretching out my final phase and making sure I pop up for my final phase," Osobamiro said.
Naperville North's Nick Trattner and Jake Allen ran much of the 1,600 by themselves, handily finishing 1-2.
"It's good to have a teammate in there. It's good to have anyone, but especially a teammate," Trattner said.
Asked if it mattered who won, both runners shrugged their shoulders. Their goal was time, not necessarily position. Trattner went 4:24.83, Allen 4:26.20.
"It's a lot easier going fast when it's just you and someone who you know is working with, kind of going for the same goal," Allen said.
Setting goals is hard with a collapsed lung. Waubonsie Valley pole vaulter Aden Stapleton realized that last summer but got big air on Friday. He added 2 feet to his indoor personal record and topped his outdoor best by 18 inches, winning at 14-6.
"Great, great day," Stapleton said. "The new poles, everything just clicked. Fast runway, good coaching from my coach (Mike Schmelzle), I love him. Everything just clicked today."