Boys track and field: Burlington Central finishes 6th in 2A
CHARLESTON -- Larkin's Jahari Stubbs was in a spot but had no doubt what he was going to do about it.
"I knew if I made the finals I wouldn't be able to attend graduation today," the senior said.
On Friday he did make the finals of the Class 3A 300-meter hurdles, and Saturday he proved he made the right decision at the 125th boys track and field state finals at Eastern Illinois University.
Supported in his position "100 percent" by his parents, he said, on Saturday Stubbs finished second in the 300 hurdles at 38.76 seconds, .62 seconds behind Robert Williams of Springfield.
According to Illinois High School Association records Stubbs became Larkin's first boy to earn all-state honors in track since 1,600-meter runner Ellis Dotson in 1991. Stubbs was presented with his diploma on the awards stand.
"I don't really think it's a big deal. Everyone graduates," said Stubbs, who will run at Illinois-Chicago.
"I've still got my diploma, so graduation really wasn't a big deal for me. Being here was, because I put a lot of work into this. Either way it goes, I was going to get my diploma, if I walked the stage or didn't."
Crete-Monee won Class 3A with 66 points to Homewood-Flossmoor's 53. Closer was the Class 3A 3,200-meter relay, where first Lane Tech then York then Batavia then St. Charles East and finally Naperville Central led the race.
"Watching the first two legs and watching the last one was pretty fun," said St. Charles East senior Mitch Gansemer. "And racing the third one, I had no idea how I was going to finish, honestly. One kid would just take the lead and then 10 meters later another kid would go in front. It was crazy."
St. Charles East's second-place foursome of senior Bennett Melone, sophomore Luke Schildmeyer and seniors Gansemer and Charles Murphy set a program record at 7 minutes, 46.16 seconds.
As did third-place Batavia at 7:46.79. Juniors Joseph Knanishu, Damian Rodriguez and Adam Kennedy and senior Chris Levario got that done.
"For Batavia it means a lot for us, because there's been a record up on our board for over 30 years now, and a record that's been standing for over 30 years gets kind of annoying," said Bulldogs anchor Kennedy. He also ran on Batavia's ninth-place 1,600 relay; the Bulldogs took seventh in the 800 relay of Artavian Taylor, Trevor Tousana, Steven Koif and Julian Davis.
"Our main goal this whole season has been to hit that record. And it might have taken all the way to 3A state finals, at finals, to get there, but we got there and that was a big goal for us," Kennedy said.
In 2018 Dundee-Crown finished third in the 3,200 relay. Saturday the Chargers brought the speed to O'Brien Field's blue track. They finished third in the 400-meter relay and fourth in the 800 relay.
Junior twins Jason and Alex Miller and senior Dylan Becker ran on both, with senior Meante Foster, who overcame injuries to both knees, joining the 400 relay with junior Trevor Fed on the 800.
If nothing else the Chargers' baton handoffs should be clean.
"Our chemistry's on point," Alex Miller said.
"We've been running since sixth grade and we did some clubs together for track, and we've been running from sixth grade all the way till now, six years," twin brother Jason added.
Marmion junior Andrew Saloga competed in what he called an "intimidating" Class 3A pole vault competition, eight vaulters remaining at 14 feet, 6 inches. Saloga's previous personal-record was 14-10 before his vaults of 15-0 and 15-3. He finished second to Lake Park's Zach Frye, also at 15-3 but with one less miss at the height. St. Charles North's Gilbert Braglia earned an all-state ninth-place.
"I've only really been consistent at 14-6 all year," Saloga said, "so having eight other people clear it was pretty nerve-wracking. But as we went up they started dropping. It was a good competition for me, a double-PR."
This is only Kaneland's second season in Class 3A. Austin Adams showed he belonged. The junior ran in second place halfway through the 800-meter run and finished fourth in 1:56.48.
"Super-happy with how it went," he said. "I got out and was in second for awhile and just tried to hold on as best I could. Going through the 400 mark I knew I had enough left to bring it home in a good time."
In discus, Cary-Grove's Jason Petko moved up to fifth from seventh with a throw of 175 feet, 5 inches, and placed ninth in shot put at 56-¼. Geneva's Lawi Djuma and West Aurora's Moshe Rogers finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in triple jump.
In Class 2A Burlington Central tied for sixth behind winner East St. Louis. Senior Connor Wagner placed fourth in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and joined freshman Zac Schmidt -- coach Mike Schmidt's son -- Tommy Zettl and Adam Kreis on a fourth-place 1,600 relay.
In the 3,200 relay, Burlington Central entered as the fifth seed after Friday's preliminaries. In the final Zettl, Logan Anderson, Anthony Farmer and Kreis shot up to second with a 10-second PR of 7:56.07, leading much of the way.
"That was awesome," Kreis said. "We knew coming into it that the field wasn't going to be that fast, like prelims and sectionals. So we kind of held off our guys a little bit and then at finals we were just going to let it loose. That was just awesome for us."
Mike Schmidt said: "We always say it's hard to celebrate second when it's that close, but it'll all sink in after a day or two, then they'll all enjoy it for the rest of their lives."
In Class 1A, won by Catlin, St. Edward's Zach Olenek finished second in triple jump and fourth in long jump. IMSA's Daniel Chen won the 1,600 at 4:20.91.