Glenbard South's Plavsic finds unusual way to state
In the age of the specialist, Stevan Plavsic stands out for his unique skill set.
A senior at Glenbard South, Plavsic showed off his versatility by winning two field events in wholly unorthodox fashion with a rare double of capturing the high jump and the shot put.
He also finished third in the 100-meter hurdles.
"I was just behind the guy for second, and I honestly thought for a moment about diving, and then I decided I needed to preserve my body," Plavsic said.
With Plavsic charting his unusual path, the Raiders won five of the six field events in running away with the team championship of the Class 2A Elmwood Park sectional on Friday night.
Glenbard South qualified two relays and 12 individuals for next week's state championship at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
The Raiders earned 162.5 points to glide past runner-up Elmwood Park (84) and Montini (75).
"I started with the hurdles and then the long jump and then the shot put," Plavsic said. "My older brother Nikola was a hurdler, and he introduced me to track. I also loved playing basketball and I could touch the rim, so from there I started high jumping."
The shot put has become his personal favorite.
"I like it, because at the end I get to explode and give a yell," he said. "It all started with gaining weight and learning how to use it and leverage the power from my legs."
On his second attempt, Plavsic unfurled a personal best 47-11½. He admits his actual numbers are modest compared to the best qualifiers in the state. That is almost beside the point.
"I just want to be able to do all the events," he said.
Senior sprinter Dejon McAdory, a transfer from Walther Christian, captured the 400 meters and anchored the Raiders' 1,600-meter relay team that closed out the meet by winning the event with a time of 3:37.06.
He exploded off the final turn to win the 400 meters with a time of 52.58. His performance was particularly gratifying because an illness forced him to miss the Upstate Eight Conference meet.
"I had a terrible start in the 400," he said. "I stood straight up and I came out and my 200 (split) time was slower than I wanted and I could hear my coach. When it came to the last 150 (meters), I just thought about it and asked myself how badly I really wanted it, and I went and got it."
Montini junior sprinter Johnny Palumbo sparked the Broncos' third-place finish. He edged teammate Nick Fedanzo by winning the 100 meters with a time of 11.22, just ahead of the 11.36 run by Fedanzo.
"It was really my start, something I have been working on," he said.
Palumbo was influenced by the bittersweet experience of being edged at the finish line to just miss qualifying last year.
"I was pretty mad about that, and I was so close last year and today I was just motivated to do it today. Last year, I got caught right at the end and that has haunted me ever since."
Palumbo also got the Broncos off to a fast start as the lead runner in the Montini's 400-meter relay team. Fedanzo anchored the winning time of 43.64.