Boys track and field: Hersey's Methner adds 3,200 title to his stellar year
CHARLESTON -- As Hersey junior Josh Methner cruised down the final straightaway of the Class 3A 3,200 meters Saturday afternoon, he stole a few looks back at the rest of the field.
"I was thinking about when me and (Young's Sam) Rivera battled at the Wanner Invite," Methner said. "I just wanted to make sure I knew where I was compared to every other person. I just wanted to give myself more of a lead going into the last 200."
Rivera beat Methner at that regular-season meet, but no one caught Methner on Saturday at Eastern Illinois' O'Brien Field. The Class 3A cross country champ last fall added another distance title to his résume, winning the 3,200 in 9 minutes. 6.89 seconds.
"It's kind of surreal," Methner said. "My teammates really helped me through this. They're like the backbone of my training."
It also was a good day for Rolling Meadows' Joe Boyer, who wrapped up a memorable senior year.
After playing right guard for the Mustangs' 10-1 football team, Boyer had the best day at state by a Mustangs thrower since the 1970s.
Boyer was runner-up in both the Class 3A shot put and discus, throwing 60 feet, 6.5 inches in the former and 179-6 in the latter.
Rolling Meadows' only other top-two finishes in those events were John Sloan's shot put title in 1974 and Scott Jennings' second in the shot in 1978.
"It feels great because, honestly, at the beginning of the year I didn't know if I'd go to state in disc or not," said Boyer, who plans to throw at Illinois State next season. "My PR last year was 133 (feet), so to improve 40 feet to get here on its own was an accomplishment."
Boyer was fifth in the shot after Friday's preliminaries at 167-10, and then threw more than 11 feet farther on Saturday, setting a PR.
"I did not think I was going to finish that high," he said.
Boyer moved up even more in the shot after standing 10th after the prelims at 54-6.75.
"Friday was a struggle," he said. "I wasn't happy with that. I woke up (Saturday) morning and I decided it wasn't going to go well if I went at it mad or sad."
Boyer wasn't the only Northwest suburbs' thrower to win a pair of second-place medals. St. Viator's Athan Huelskamp did the same in Class 2A, throwing 58-7.5 in the shot and 177-6 in the discus.
It was a historic day for the Lions' boys, who had never won a medal in a field event.
"I was going for a PR (in the discus)," Huelskamp said. "A 6-foot PR was maybe more than I bargained for."
That also was a school record. "That was something we put out at the beginning of the season, that 'OK, we're going to catch that,' " Huelskamp said. "It has taken so long, but I let that one go and I knew it (would break the record)."
The shot put medal came a year after Huelskamp finished sixth in his sectional in the event. Since then, he spent time in the weight room as a two-way starter for St. Viator's football team and worked with Lions assistant track coach Paul Costello.
"He really helped me," Huelskamp said. "I owe a lot of my success to him."
Also taking second in 3A was Maine West high jumper Damon Street, who cleared 6-7.
Junior John Moellenkamp took third in the 3A long jump with a PR and program record of 23-3, and also anchored Prospect's sixth-place 800 relay team.
"That was my first jump (of the day)," Moellenkamp said. "I was all fresh."
It helped that he focused on recovery after a busy day in the prelims. "(Friday) night I took two ice baths," Moellenkamp said.
Also placing in Class 3A were Fremd's Justin King (fifth in the 300 hurdles) and Luke Fissinger (seventh in the pole vault), Hoffman Estates' Jonah Walton (fifth in the high jump) and Rolling Meadows' Tim Szylak (fifth in the 110 hurdles).
St. Viator's Patric Natindim took fourth in the 2A 800.