Boys track and field: Prospect brings home MSL indoor title
Prospect's John Moellenkamp knows how important a break is. But it is not the break that most people would do.
Moellenkamp's break is break dancing. And the Prospect junior uses it to train when he is not competing for his school's track team.
"Other guys play other sports," Moellenkamp said. "I like break dancing. I have been doing it for five years. We do a bunch of natural body works, like core and push ups, planks and like that. Plus all the dancing we do. It really helps with the breathing and endurance."
That training worked wonders for Moellenkamp and Prospect Saturday at the Mid-Suburban League boys indoor track meet at North Central College in Naperville.
Moellenkamp won two events, finished second in another and was part of a winning relay team to help lead the Knights' to the conference title with 115 points. Barrington was second with 96 points, Rolling Meadows third with 91 and Fremd fourth with 84.
"It was a pretty amazing day for him," Prospect coach Jay Reynaud said of Moellenkamp. "He scored a lot of points for the team. He is always a team guy. He does whatever he can to help our team."
Moellenkamp won the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, .75 inches. He also won the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.67 seconds and was part of the winning 4x200 relay team. Moellenkamp, along with Tim Zalinski, Michael Shafis and Will Horvath won the event with a time of 1:32.74.
Moellenkamp's only personal disappointment of the day came when Rolling Meadows's Tim Slyzak edged him 22.89 seconds to 22.98 seconds in the 200-meter dash.
"I was close," Moellenkamp said. "I just couldn't catch up with the last guy."
Prospect also got other individual field event wins by Shafis, who captured the high jump in 6-3 and Zalinski, who won the long jump with a 21-6. Logan Mertes had a second-place finish in the 800-meter run and Erik Snell was second in the 3,200 run to give the Knights some extra points.
Along with Szylak, Rolling Meadows had two other winners. Nate Orlyk won the 800 run in a time of 2:02.15 while Joseph Boyer, one of the top shot putters in the state, won the event with a throw of 58-00.5. Despite the win, Boyer was a bit disappointed.
"I wanted to throw 60 feet," Boyer said. "I went 62 in warmups. I just got tense. I just have to learn to relax better."
Not relaxing was Buffalo Grove's Jon Peici. The senior got off to a quick start in the 400, but was stopped just as fast when officials ruled there was an unfair start by one of the competitors. On the second start, Peici bolted off even more quickly and won the event with school-record 52.05.
"I was ready to get that school record," Peici said. "I was pushing myself. I was worried after the false start. It changed my mood but I got back into it."
Barrington won two relays and was second in another to catapult the Broncos to second place. They won the 4x800 with Aaron Sarkar, Sean Cleary, Reese Palm and Patrick Furlong finishing in 8:08.88. Sarkar and Furlong were joined by John Palumbo and Greg Van Holden to win the 4x400 relay in 3:40.95.
Fremd also had a pair of winners. Justin King won the 55 hurdles in 7.94 while James Leahy held off teammate Luke Fissinger in the pole vault.
Hersey's Josh Metnher, the Class 3A state cross country champion, won both of the long distance races. He won the 1,600 in 4:30.56 and the 3,200 9:22.59.
Girls meet: Wheeling's Alexis Knight had a day.
Knight set both conference and school records in two events while winning three races Saturday at the Mid-Suburban League indoor track and field conference meet at North Central College in Naperville.
"I actually knew it was pretty good this week because (Friday) my legs felt amazing," said Knight, a senior who will attend Columbia University next year.
"Everything was lining up and I felt so ready for the meet today. My main goal today was the 400. After I got that one, I thought I could get both of them."
Things began slowly for Knight, who finished second in the long jump to teammate Nicole Nguyen, who won the event with a leap of 18 feet, 3.5 inches. From there, Knight never slowed down.
Knight won the 55-meter dash in 7.37 seconds, tying a school-record in the process. She then picked up more speed, winning the 400-meter dash in a conference-record 56.87, shattering the 30-year old record of 58.7 set by Wheeling's Nancy Goldman in 1989.
Knight wasn't done.
On her final event of the day, she easily outraced the field in the 200-meter dash in a record-breaking 25.19 seconds. That eclipsed the mark of 25.69 set by Prospect's Annie Walsh set in 2017.
"I came out here today, aiming for three records," Knight said. "I didn't necessarily get the three I wanted, but I got three records."
"It was an awesome day for her," Wheeling coach Tim Nowicki said. "She works hard and deserves it."
Along with Knight and Nguyen, Wheeling also got a winning performance from Christina Pierini in the 3,200 with a time of 11:27.59. Nosa Igiehon had a second and two thirds for the Wildcats.
With those performances, Wheeling easily won the conference meet with a score of 124 points Barrington was second with 100 points followed by Prospect with 90 and Hoffman Estates with 63.
"Not much went wrong for us today," Nowicki said. "Today was our day. We were really on."
Barrington was able to win all three of the relays to help vault the Fillies to a second-place finish.
They won the 4x800 in 9:36.87 thanks to Molly FitzPatrick, Alyssa Norris, Gaby Andrews and Morgan Magro. The Fillies followed with a win in the 4x200 in a time of 1:45.50 with Kathleen Baker, Olivia Helmer, Reagan Pokorny and Gabby Cossio running.
The Fillies completed the sweep of the relays with a win in the 4x400. Baker, Helmer and Cossio were joined by Breanne Dunn to win in 4:08.97. FitzPatrick also had an individual win in the 1,600 run with a time of 5:09.03 outlasting Norris, who was second.
Erin Oleksak was a huge performer for Palatine. The senior won the high jump (5-05) and the 55-meter hurdles in 8.21 seconds.
"I was really happy the way I ran in the hurdles," said Oleksak, who the event last year. "I went back to high jump right after and I won that and that was pretty cool."
University of Illinois recruit Jess Streepy of Palatine won the pole vault, clearing 10-09.
Hoffman Estates had a trio of winners. Makiya Blackwell won the shot put with a throw of 41 feet. Ashley Oliver won the triple jump in 35-11.75 and Anna Miller won the 800-meter run in 2:19.88.