Track and field: Naperville North sweeps Gus Scott titles
Neuqua Valley's Riley Ammenhauser nearly embarrassed her little brother in the ultimate manner Saturday in Naperville.
Fortunately for James Ammenhauser, he captured the triple jump as well in the boys division of the triple jump at the Gus Scott Track and Field Invitational.
Then again, no sibling in the country has an older sister like her in the event.
"I came out of indoor No. 1 in the nation in triple jump," Riley said after extending her national-best mark for outdoor at 12.55 meters (41 feet, 1.75 inches) as part of her unequaled three -- for either gender -- individual titles.
"I live in the shadow," said her sophomore brother, who claimed his title in 13.24 (43-4). "It's cool to have a sister who's that good. She really pushes me because I don't want her to be better than me."
Riley Ammenhauser, bound for Michigan, won back-to-back Class 3A state championships in the event as an underclassman.
"I have to stay positive and optimistic," Riley said of the pandemic sabotaging her from becoming a four-time state champion. "We're a track family. Today I broke a barrier and jumped from the 40- (foot) board. I want to get on top of the USA rankings."
Riley Ammenhauser eased to the long-jump title at 5.54 (18-1.75) and dusted the field in the 100-meter dash in 12.38 seconds.
But the Neuqua Valley track teams needed far more Ammenhausers to deny Naperville North.
The Huskies' programs captured both team titles as the girls bested Friday host Wheaton Warrenville South 126-94.
The Naperville North boys swept three events to turn back Neuqua Valley 185.5-163.
Naperville North junior transfer Maddie Andelbradt won the 300 hurdles on Friday before denying teammate Maeve Connelly on criteria to add the high jump (5-5) on Saturday.
"My goal this year is to get to 5-8 or 5-9," Andelbradt said.
Even without several distance linchpins from its four-time reigning state-championship cross country team, the Naperville North girls triumphed as senior Molly Morton won the 1,600 run in 5:26.83.
"It's just really fun to do our best and see where it gets us," Morton said.
The Huskies' Mackenzie Skeen won the 200.
But it was the Naperville Central sextet of Abby Wood, Sarah McCracken, Bella Calderon, Allison Comer, Deja Richardson and Emily Orth who collaborated for all three sprint-relay titles.
"There is a lot of teamwork in relays," said Wood, who was on all three championship quartets. "We are trying to see what works best."
WW South thrower Nicole Dudek anchored the Tigers' runner-up finish with second-place marks in the shot put and discus.
The Naperville North boys showcased athleticism and depth at both ends of the track spectrum.
Freshmen sprinters Muneeb Shaw and Carson Marlar swept the 200 dash to duplicate earlier accomplishments by Naperville North distance runners Chase Burrell and Gabe Ryan as well as Tommy Peltzer and Nicholas Williams in the 3,200 and 1,600 runs, respectively.
Brown-bound Naperville North sprinter Andrew Li dominated the 100 dash while also keying the 800 relay while placing in two other dashes.
"I am really looking to place at state in the 100," said Li, who clocked an 11.17. "We have so much potential (in the relays)."
Metea Valley junior Jalen Johnson was a gladiator over the two days.
Johnson was in a league of his own in his victorious wins in the 110 high and 300 intermediate hurdles in 15.06 and 41.03.
"Last week I did not run a great race, so I was forced into (a disadvantageous) lane one," Johnson said of the highs. "It was definitely great to come out and do my fair share."
Johnson and Illinois-bound Neuqua Valley senior Nicholas Dovalovsky led their 1,600 relay teams to the titles held at the conclusion of each day.
Neuqua Valley also received wins from Leif Anderson (800), Patrick Conniff (400), Max Mitchell (200), Goutham Baskaran (pole vault) and Martin Kiefer (discus).
WW South, a distant third at 87, received championship efforts from its 3,200 relay team and shot-putter Zach Marsino in the field.
St. Charles East scored 86 points to finish third in the girls 15-team field.
The Saints' quartet of Venezia Munoz, Gia Klaza, Amelia Bellizzi and Lauren Lewison secured the lone team gold medal with a Friday time of 4:15.91 in the 1,600 relay.
"I was just thinking that it was one lap and I could do it," said Lewison, the anchor.
"It's crazy," Munoz said of an almost unprecedented two-day regular-season invite. "We just went all in. Our coaches focused on our having fun. Our practices and times are always great, and it was reflected today."
The Saints' Lauren Swartz was runner-up in the 300 hurdles Friday evening at WW South.
The Cary-Grove girls featured discus champion Kelly Fletcher (32.7m or 107-.25).
The St. Charles East boys faced a severe handicap as the four stalwarts from their 2019 state-championship cross country team -- Luke Schildmeyer (Notre Dame), Micah Wilson, Zack Loomis and Connor Murphy -- skipped the competition for a distance-emphasis meet at Palatine.
The Saints were seventh with 37 points in the 11-team field.
Prospect junior Audrey Ginsburg, the last link to the Knights' Class 3A all-state 3,200 relay unit, won the open 800 in 2:23.17 at WW South.
The decidedly short-handed Knights were fifth overall with 65 points.
"The 800 is my favorite event," said Ginsburg, a freshman on the Knights' fifth-place 2019 relay. "It's really fun to run with my teammates, but I don't always run the four-by-eight. I have certain strategies to work on to find what's best for me in the (open) eight."