Boys track and field: Gennarelli, St. Charles North cruise to title at Meadows Invite
At this point, St. Charles North's Paolo Gennarelli is already an established name in one sport.
Gennarelli, a starter on the North Stars' offensive and defensive lines, is one of the fast rising junior football recruits in Chicagoland.
He currently has offers from Army, Eastern Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Yet, Gennarelli is working on adding another sport to his resume. Gennarelli, in his first varsity outdoor track season, is proving to be a quick learner.
He notched first place in discus and shot put in Friday's Mustang Invite at Rolling Meadows High School. Gennarelli won the discus with a heave of 149 feet, 9 inches and added first-place in the shot put with a toss of 54-9½.
Competing in just his "fourth or fifth" career outdoor career meet, Gennarelli walked away with a pair of memorable performances.
"I came just short of a personal record in the discus today," Gennarelli said. "I'm working on technique and getting back in the groove since this is my first year of outdoor track. Since last year, I found out I could take track more serious and be good at this, so this year and next year will be important for me in track."
Led by a number of quality efforts in the field events, St. Charles North cruised to first place in the team standings with 143 points in the eight-team meet. Huntley claimed second (84) followed by Rolling Meadows (81), Fremd (67), Maine South (61), Highland Park (44), Conant (38) and Warren (36).
In total, the North Stars notched five individual first-place medals.
St. Charles North senior Joshua Kolodziej, who competed in the state meet his freshman year, won the pole vault with a top leap of 14-0.
The 5-foot-5 Kolodziej said he's been relying on his improved speed to succeed early in the outdoor track season.
"I was three inches off my personal best, but I've been working on my form and things are coming together," Kolodziej said. "Things have been coming together for me. My speed helps, but the energy of the team has been helpful because we're all helping each other out."
Teammate Max Galvan, a senior, notched first in the triple jump (42-6½) and placed second in the long jump (19-11½).
"I wanted to get two first places, but I'm happy with a personal record in the triple jump," Galvan said. "I'm hoping better results in the future. We brought a lot of energy, which made us all do better."
A week after earning third place in the Huntley Invite, the Red Raiders had another all-around solid showing. Sophomore Dylan Schmidt, a linebacker on the varsity football team, is turning out to be a potential breakout track athlete. Schmidt joined the track team late in the spring. He's showing that he's a quick study, notching first-place in the long jump (20-9½).
Schmidt said he was cleared to compete just eight days ago after being forced to quarantine for a brief period.
"I think I did pretty good, for this is just my second week doing track," Schmidt said. "I had nothing to do, and wanted to get out of the house, so I joined track. I did all the events, and found out which one I was best at. This is just my second outdoor meet. I'm just trying to have fun."
After placing third in the 100 at last week's Huntley Invite, Fremd sophomore Will Stewart bounced back by capturing first place in the 100 (11.13) and 200 (22.93).
"I really put in the work in the offseason, so I was happy to see it come out and show," Stewart said. "I still have some work on my starts. I'm trying to get downstate in the 100 and 200, to see what I can do down there. I'm excited for the rest of the season. It's been an awesome season so far."
Rolling Meadows junior Michael Campbell, for the second Friday in a row, won both hurdle events, while teammate Stephen Barretto took first in the 1,600 (4:19.27).