Boys track and field: At York it's a rush to get the right numbers
Wheaton North senior Kevin Boehm, running late from an advanced-placement statistics test, had a phone that was blowing up. His 3,200-meter relay teammates at Thursday's Class 3A York boys track sectional were getting worried.
"It got out 3:30-ish and I got out and I got my phone out of my backpack and I was getting texts from people and Instagram DMs (direct messages) from my teammates, like, They moved the race up an hour, you've got to get here."
He hurried home, grabbed his track stuff, dad dropped him off in Elmhurst. No warmup possible with all that chaos, Boehm, Henry Frye, Mauricio Xochitecatl and John Logan cut 13 seconds off their seed time to qualify for next weekend's state finals.
"It was wacky that we all had wonderful days at the same time," Boehm said.
Such are the wonderful stories to be found at a track sectional.
Wheaton Warrenville South's Josh Browning stammered after his 10-foot personal-best discus throw of 154-8, sent him to Charleston along with Rolling Meadows' Joe Boyer, Wheaton North's Jake Johnson and Rick Hummel, and Elk Grove's Devaughn Tillman.
"I don't have the words, to be honest," Browning said. "It's just one of those things, I was looking forward to it. It came out of the blue, really."
Boyer won shot put at 62 feet and set a new program record in discus at 174-10, eclipsing Jared Diaz's mark by 4 inches.
"It was a nice throw. There's more in there, but it's always nice to go in there and prove it to everyone, I guess," Boyer said.
"I'm trying to go (downstate) and compete and hopefully win the shot put, is the goal at the end of the day. So, do whatever it takes to do that."
Glenbard North's Xavier Curtis got the rug pulled out from under him in long jump when Wheaton North's Evan Lendy topped him on his last attempt, 21-9¾ to 21-9½ for the second qualifying spot.
Curtis still was smiling after joining WW South's Cedric Rowzee, Glenbard West's Tyquan Cox and Lake Park's Adam Wiatr all as both 100- and 200-meter qualifiers.
"It's a great day," said Curtis, a junior and first-time qualifier. "I enjoyed it, came out here to have fun. Basically just focused, that was it."
Rowzee and Cox had great days. Rowzee qualified in the two sprints plus the 400 and 800 relays. Cox got down in the sprints, the 400 relay and in long jump, where he broke a 38-year-old Glenbard West record at 22-10¼. Hilltoppers teammate Diego Villalobos won triple jump at 46-0½ to break Alec Pierce's 2018 triple jump record by three-quarters of an inch.
"Coach Webs (Tim Weber), he's such a great coach, he's the one who really helped me break that record," Cox said. "I hit the board, I felt like I was on, I did all the little things that he told me to do."
Secured late by Villalobos in triple jump and Adam Dau's qualifying second-place shot put, Glenbard West won a second straight sectional title with 108 points to 98 for WW South, 87.33 for Wheaton North.
"Three years and beyond we were like 80th place, so we'll take it," said Hilltoppers coach Jon Schweighardt.
Earlier, Glenbard West's Rory Cavan and Stephen Moody took the 3,200 run out fast and brought Wheaton North's Connor Zydek and WW South's Billy Hauenstein with them to qualification. In the 1,600 Cavan also finished a close second to WW South's Sean Maison.
Wheaton North Josh James won the 110 hurdles in 14.68 and joined Falcon Eli Odell to make it in the 300s along with Rolling Meadows' Tim Szylak, who qualified in both hurdles events.
"That was the plan," Szylak said.
Each of the 300-meter qualifiers took a lead over the last 40 meters before Odell pulled it out.
"I was just focusing on staying with the two guys who were next to me, Odell and James, because I knew they ran state-qualifying so I had to stick with them if I wanted to make it."
Glenbard West's Will O'Brien won the 800 with York's Michael Moriarty close behind. Going downstate with 400-meter winner Eric Sylvester, Moriarty also helped the Dukes' 3,200 relay to the title at 7:56.64.
Hoffman Estates' Alan Wagner followed Sylvester in the 400, his first individual qualification after running as part of the school's 1,600 relay last season.
"I was expecting it a little bit for the most part because I trusted my training, I trusted my coaches, I trusted myself and I had feel like I had a good chance of going down," Wagner said.
The pole vaulter joined shot put with the most qualifiers, five apiece. Lake Park's Zach Frye won at 15-6, bringing WW South's Jake MacConnachie, Lake Park's Michael Shuff, York's Brendan Hill and Rolling Meadows' Charlie Svoboda with him to Charleston.
"(MacConnachie) definitely pushed me up to those higher heights, I thank him a lot for that," Frye said.
In the final race, the 1,600 relay, Wheaton North's Ryan Schreiner, Briggs Cecil, Jayson Rucker and Odell ran a crisp 3:22.70 time. WW South capped its night qualifying its fourth relay.
"It means a lot to me because it's been something I've been looking forward to since freshman year and it's been a big part of our program," the Tigers' Matt Rice said. "And to finally be a part of it my senior year and qualify for state, it definitely means a lot."
Maine West's Damon Street outlasted Hoffman Estates' Jonah Walton in high jump, 6-4 to 6-3. Both will jump in Charleston.
Street, who will play receiver at Dubuque next year in addition to track, topped out at 5-10 as a junior. On Friday he was a little disappointed.
"My PR in 3A is 6-8, so in 3A I'm favored to win it, so if I don't clear 6-5 with ease, then I don't know. I think I can win it, I just expect a lot out of myself," Street said.