Boys track and field: Barrington takes the crown at Buffalo Grove
After losing the sectional crown to Fremd by 2 points on the final event of the meet last year, the Barrington boys track team had some unfinished business to tend to Thursday afternoon at the Class 3A Buffalo Grove sectional.
And while severe rainstorms forced the meet to start earlier than originally scheduled, the Broncos plowed through what turned out to be a very hot and sunny day en route to the team title with 102 points. Fremd and Stevenson (79 points) tied for second place followed by Warren (59.25 points) in fourth.
Now Barrington and many other area qualifiers will be heading south for the state meet next weekend at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston for what is always a dogfight of a challenge to close out the 2019 season.
The Broncos' troops were led to the championship by numerous athletes starting with Ryan Dykes, who won both the long jump competition (21 feet, 3½ inches) as well as the high jump (6-1). Barrington's Joey Gurskis was the runner-up in long jump while Grayslake Central's Nick Mallon placed second in the high jump.
"Last year Fremd beat us in the 4x400 relay, and because of that we finished two points behind them," said elated Barrington coach Todd Kuklinski. "It was absolutely a total team effort today. We got a lot of third, fourth, and fifth places, and that's how you win a meet."
Fremd went 1-2 in the pole vault competition behind winner Jim Leahy (14-2), and runner-up Luke Fissinger while Lakes' Colin Kao also qualified for state in third place.
The Vikings got first-place finishes from Justin King in the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles as he edged teammate Munkhorgil Tuvden by .16 seconds in the 110-meter race. Lake Zurich's Marek Enters placed second to reach state in the 300-meter hurdles.
Fremd's Xaiver Andrews won the triple jump over Warren's Cortez Albarran to both reach state while the Vikings also won the 4x400-meter relay race over Grayslake Central.
"I'm just really happy that a lot of our kids showed up and had their best day today which is all we can ask," said Fremd coach Jeff Williams. "This is King's first opportunity to get downstate along with Munkhorgil and Fissinger so we have some new faces that will be competing in the state meet."
Stevenson also had a ton of success in the powerful 17-team meet as sophomore David Smolensky won the 200-meter dash (22.54), took second despite posting an identical 11.18 time as teammate Jaheel Perrin in the 100-meter dash, and was a member of the Patriots' first-place 4x100, and 4x200-meter relay teams.
"I felt really good on the curve, and I just kept my stride," said an exhausted Smolensky following the 200-meter dash. "I thought it was a great day, it was the first time with good weather, and next week we're definitely going to place in the 4x200 relay."
Stevenson's team of Perrin, Smolensky, Shane Johnson, and Jordan Vincent won the 4x100 relay while Stevenson's Maema Njongmeta (168-03) took first place in the discus throw over Vernon Hills' Hunter Matuch, who will head to state after placing second.
"It was a season-best time in the 4x100 and 4x200, they ran really well, and this is only the second week they've all run together," said Stevenson coach Andy Farrissey. "They (Perrin and Smolensky) both had the same time in the 100 dash, those guys compete week to week, and they've done a nice job."
Stevenson's Anand Batbaatar toppled Barrington's Mark Di Iorio for the shot put title while Barrington's E.J. Darlington placed second at 200 meters.
Mundelein got first-place finishes from Mikey Parduhn in the 800-meter run, and teammate Dillon Blake in the 3,200-meter run while Grayslake North's Connor Riss was the 1,600-meter champ.
"I expected both of them to win quite honestly," said Mundelein coach Kurt Rutz. "Mikey is a double qualifier again being on the 4x800 relay team."
Buffalo Grove's Jon Peici nipped Vernon Hills' Tyler Gonzalez for first place at 400 meters while Lake Zurich's Jake Myers placed second at 1,600 meters.
Warren won the 4x800-meter relay race over Mundelein while Barrington placed second in the 4x200-meter relay. Palatine's Richie Jacobo placed second to reach state at 3,200 meters as did teammate Jorge Corona to qualify at 800 meters. Lakes also reached state in the 4x800 relay by placing third. Barrington's Luke Goodwin also reached state in the shot put.
"Our kids competed hard, we had PR's in just about every event even though we fell just short with a lot of third places in a lot of events," said Warren coach Josh Williams. "The 4x800 was very impressive, the same four guys were sectional champions last year, and they are just a hungry, motivated group."