Boys track and field: Metea Valley makes history at SCN sectional
Metea Valley "worked the process" all the way to the Class 3A St. Charles North boys track and field sectional title Thursday.
The first sectional win in the 10-year-old program's history was the next step in an already accomplished season for coach Aaron Lewis and the Mustangs, the DuPage Valley Conference indoor and outdoor champs.
"It's a great feeling because I knew this was a special team coming into this season," said Lewis, the only coach the program has known.
The Mustangs used a strong showing in field events, individual performances on the track and a pair of qualifying relay teams to finish with 81.5 points, just ahead of Batavia (76). Geneva was third with 72 points, followed by Dundee-Crown (56), St. Charles East (54) and Kaneland (51).
Metea Valley junior Virgil Steward won the 100-meter dash in 11.21 seconds to nip Joshua DiNatale of St. Charles North (11.27). It was his first state qualification.
Steward placed second in the 200 behind sectional champion Jason Miller. The Dundee-Crown junior won in 22.64. Miller also anchored the winning 800-meter relay team (1:28.39).
The Mustangs qualified two relay teams for the state meet. The 800-meter team took second (1:28.67); the 3,200-meter team finished third (7:56.91).
The Mustangs gained 37.5 points via field events. Senior Pryce Giwa-Osagie beat his personal best in the high jump by an inch when he cleared 6 feet, 6 inches on his second attempt. He won the event by 5 inches over second-place qualifier Jack Michalski of Dundee-Crown.
Batavia junior Adam Kennedy won the 800 in 1:58.09. "I knew since I qualified last year in the 800 that I could do it again because it was a lot of the same people," he said.
Kennedy later anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay team of Julian Davis, Trevor Tousana and Joseph Knanishu (3:23.12). Kaneland took second in 3:24.28.
West Aurora senior Moshe Rogers hopped, skipped and jumped to his second straight sectional title. The three-time triple jump state qualifier soared 45 feet, 1 inch to take the title. He seeks a top-five podium finish next Saturday in Charleston.
"I'm really excited this year," Rogers said. "I've had a chance to make it to finals but I've been choking the last two years. This year is my year."
Double sectional champion Jason Petko of Cary-Grove prevailed in shot put in dramatic style. A senior who started on the offensive line for a Class 6A state champion football team last fall, Petko had already won the discus competition with a throw of 171 feet, 4 inches.
He stepped into the ring as the final shot put competitor, needing to beat the 54-2 posted by Pauline from Metea. With the assembled crowd clapping for him, Petko twirled in the ring, heaved and yelled "Come on" while the shot was in flight. When his winning effort of 56-1 landed, he immediately clapped his hands in celebration and yelled "Yes."
"I just had that adrenaline going through my body," Petko said. "I could just feel it. Before it even leaves my hand, I could feel it's a good throw. I've never felt that way before."
South Elgin's 400-meter relay team triumphed with its best time yet. The Kane County champion foursome of seniors Royce Robinson, Matt Jacobson and Jacob Todd and sophomore Davion Cherwin won in 42.17 seconds to reach the state meet for the second straight spring. They aim for better results at the state meet.
"Last year we missed Day 2 by .06 seconds," Cherwin said. "This year we're really going to go after it because we really want to make it."
South Elgin sophomore Elijah Patrick won the 400 in 50.37, followed to state by St. Charles North junior Ben Cook (50.81).
Larkin senior Jahari Stubbs needed only 38.77 seconds to win the 300-meter intermediate hurdles by more than a second over Cary-Grove senior Andrew Lewis (39.98).
"I didn't really have a plan or anything," said Stubbs, who qualified last year in the 110-meter hurdles. "My goal was to just go out and run as hard as possible without letting up."
Geneva junior Onyi Ukaobasi won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.39, just ahead of two-time qualifier Michalski of Dundee-Crown (15.70).
"I had one of the greatest starts of my life," Ukaobasi said while chewing on the gold chain he wears around his neck. "As soon as I hit that first hurdle good, I felt good the rest of the race."
Geneva senior Ryan Kredell won the 3,200 by passing state-qualifying St. Charles East runners Micah Wilson and Bob Liking on the final lap.
St. Charles East junior Aidan King won the 1,600 in 4:22.77, ahead of second-place finisher Dan Occhipini of Kaneland (4:23.76).
Batavia senior Matt Dauksha and Kaneland junior Nate Bermes led a parade of six qualifying pole vaulters who cleared 14 feet, 2 inches. They will be joined at state by Marmion junior Andrew Saloga (13-8), Batavia senior Robbie Mansfield (13-8), St. Charles North sophomore Joshua Kolodziej (13-8) and St. Charles North senior Gilbert Braglia (13-8).
St. Charles East won the 3,200-meter relay. The team of Mitch Gansemer, Bennett Melone, Charles Murphy and Luke Schildmeyer finished in 7:59. 45, nearly five seconds faster than state qualifier Batavia. Metea Valley, Marmion and West Aurora also qualified.
Kaneland junior Colton Doll won the long jump. His distance of 22 feet, 11 inches edged Metea's Osobarmiro by an inch. Kaneland senior Drew Hahn took third in shot put but qualified with a throw of 52 feet, 11 inches.