Boys track and field: Naperville Central running well in DVC repeat bid
Naperville Central's boys track and field team features a number of athletes recording excellent times as the Redhawks look to defend their 2019 DVC title.
Senior Arthur Graham has hit the state qualifying mark in all three distance events (800, 1,600, 3,200). Senior Brandon Kamp has reached near qualifying times in the 1,600 and 3,200.
In the shorter races, senior Eddie Carlsen came out before COVID hit last winter and has been a spark in the sprints along with senior newcomer Austin Jacobs, according to coach Steven Stack, who said junior Chris Comer has been "a rock" in the sprint events.
Junior Nicholas Keeling is coming on strong after returning from a lingering injury from the end of cross country last fall. Foster Shelbert just broke the school's freshman record in the 400 with a 51.85 time on Saturday.
In the field events, junior Sterling Sawicki and freshman Maverick Ohle lead the throws. Ohle broke the school record in the discus and is currently the No. 1 freshman thrower in the state in both events.
"Overall we are most excited at the continual and consistent growth we've had and PRs each week," said Stack, whose team finished second last Saturday at its first true invite in rainy weather at Wheaton North, capping the meet with a win in the 1,600 relay.
"With the pandemic rules keeping us mostly separated and taking away a lot of the team building things, these guys keep finding ways to support and cheer each other on. And this keeps our PRs coming and bodes really well for a strong finish to the season."
Neuqua Valley update:
Junior Max Mitchell is currently ranked third in the state in the 400 and sixth in the 200. Senior Nicolas Dovalovsky, who also is ranked third in the state (800), will run at Illinois next year. Junior Martin Kiefer is sixth in the discus.
Dovalovsky and Mitchell also run on the 3,200 relay that has the fastest time in the state. They are joined by Nick Rohlwing and Austin Burke (Marquette).
Dovalovsky, Burke and Mitchell are on the 1,600 relay that has the fourth best time. Kevin Saju also is on that relay.
Waubonsie Valley update:
Senior Sean Kirkwood is currently ranked 11th in the state in the 110 hurdles and 12th in the 300 hurdles having won all of his races so far, usually multiple hurdles ahead of the runner-up.
Unfortunately for Kirkwood, he will not be able to race at state because he has an 11 a.m. flight to leave for college on June 19 -- the same day as state at Eastern Illinois University.
Senior teammate Alex Wiley is currently seeded third in the 110 hurdles at the Warriors' sectional.
"My junior crew is doing great," Waubonsie Valley coach Kevin Rafferty said. "Jaisnav Rajesh is still in the top 10 in the high jump and looks like he should earn a trip downstate if he performs at sectionals like he has all year. My sprinter Jamir Harris has had a great year and I expect him to drop time at Minooka (on Friday). Sam Mika keeps moving up the rankings in the shot and the discus. We're in the mix to win the sectional meet with a good collective team effort."
Metea Valley update:
Mustangs coach Aaron Lewis called his team's fourth-place finish at the Gus Scott Invitational -- behind Naperville North, Neuqua Valley and Wheaton Warrenville South -- their most impressive this spring. They did that missing a few of their key athletes taking a standardized test.
Junior Jalen Johnson leads the way. He ranks fifth in the state and third in Class 3A in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.75. In the 300 hurdles he's seventh in the state and fourth in Class 3A with a 39.87.
Johnson, who has committed to Northern Illinois for football, also a member of the 1,600 relay which is ranked sixth in the Naperville North sectional complex.
"He is running lights out right now after a successful football season as our top receiver," Lewis said. "He is the true epitome of a multisport athlete who will still focus on both sports for his high school career."
Glenbard West update:
The Hilltoppers are coming off a win at the West Suburban invite, not an official conference meet but 12 of the 14 schools were there.
Senior Sean Hopkins has run a 10.99 in the 100, 22.68 in the 200, gone 23-9 in the long jump and 45-1 in the triple jump. He will be running next year at Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
In addition to running on the sprint relays, senior Matthew Travers has a best of 6-4 in the high jump.
Senior Mykhail Sandacz has gone 12-6 in the pole vault in and 6-0 in the high jump while Pierce Cousins has run a 9:19 in the 3,200 and 4:23 in the 1,600.
While T.J. Artman is above all happy to have a season, like other track coaches he notes the adjustments.
"Different atmosphere with COVID protocols and workout pods, and everything we are doing to be safe and keep healthy and competing, but very positive atmosphere the athletes bring every day to practice and competitions," Artman said.
"They are having a blast, making the most out of every second. Willowbrook track and field has a tight bond with each other because we are all going through a different experience with this, but all are here to do it together and not alone."
The senior throwing combination of Enrique Cruz and Sergio Ayala has been a highlight working under coach Mike Warren. Cruz is earning marks into the school's top ten for shot put while getting closer to state marks each week. Ayala has won several discus competitions.
Senior distance runner Tyler King is nearing the two-minute barrier in the 800. Mike Wangler leads the team in the 100 along with junior Josh Brown. Both also are key on relays.
Junior Alex Simmons and sophomore Charlie Drury are ones to watch in the jumps.
Coach Charlie Kern said there's been a number of highlights include seeing his athletes train and compete and doing it with enthusiasm, that the West Suburban Conference is relaxing the constraints on competing with other schools, and the ability for parents and fans to come watch the meets.
Individually, senior Christopher Radcliff has run a 21.89 in the 200. Senior Mickey Vreeland, who will run at Bradley, has a 9:26 in the 3,200. Senior Colin Hill, who has a 1:57.0 relay split, will attend and compete for Iowa.
Lake Park update:
With a jump of 46-9, junior Desmond Horton headed into the week with the second best triple jump in the state.
Several other Lancers have marks in the top 20 in the state: junior Myles Towbridge in the 110 hurdles (15.44) and 300 hurdles (42.42); junior Aidan Killmer in the 110 hurdles (15.94) and 300 hurdles (41.74); junior Kyle Varga in the pole vault (13-6); and junior Lucah Jones in the discus (147-8).
"We are still waiting to have a full strength team as different athletes have been out for different reasons at our first couple of invites," Lancers coach Tom Kaberna said.
"I am looking forward to having everyone competing next week at the DuPage County meet to get an idea of where we stand when at full strength. Our strength is in our junior class so hopefully we get enough of them downstate this year to get them ready to make a run for next year."
Glenbard South update:
Coach Doug Gorski said despite a smaller roster, the Raiders' goal remains to win the Upstate Eight championship June 3 at Elgin and qualify as many events as possible to state.
Senior Ryan Alspach is a distance runner who will run cross country and track at Hope College in Mich. Senior Ryan Daca has one of the top times in the conference the two hurdle races, and also runs on the 1,600 relay. Gorski said senior Faiz Hammed should compete for the conference championship in the shot and discus with a chance in qualifying for state in both events.
"All these seniors have been part of the track program for four years and are great leaders and have outstanding work ethics and competitive attitudes," Gorski said. "We will need a few more guys to step up and fill in our lineup. We have a few more weeks to improve our team for the championship time."
Glenbard East update:
The Rams' season includes a fourth-place finish at the Grayslake Central Invitational.
"There was a lot of really tough competition at that meet, so I was extremely proud with how well our athletes competed and where we ended up finishing as a team," coach Dan Greco said. "By far, that has been our most complete meet of the season."
That meet included junior Alonso Perkins finishing fifth in the 100, fourth in the 200, sixth in the high jump, and third in long jump.
Junior Tyrese Buffkin won the high jump, senior Zander Romano finished second in the shot and fifth in the discus, junior Matt Schager was second in the discus, and freshman David Hernandez took fifth in the 400.
Overall this year, Buffkin has a best of 6-2 in the high jump, Schager's top in the discus is 135-5, and Hernandez ran a 54.94 in the 400.
IC Catholic Prep update:
Coach Bob Cronin's squad has been led by junior sprinter Antonio Richardson's 11.07 in the 100, sophomore Quinn Colbert's triple jump of 39-6, and sophomore AJ Walsh's high jump of 5-11.
Wheaton Academy update:
It's a smaller squad this year for the Warriors, one that includes Sheldon Powell, who has lowered his time in the 3,200 to 10:26. After not having a sophomore season last year, Powell has dropped over 40 seconds since his freshman year, and hopes to break 10:10 by the end of the season.
Two distance runners will run in college next year. Blake Wittstock has run a 4:48 mile, and is going to Westminster College in Utah.
Shaun Yun is running in college at Cedarville University in Ohio, but has been injured this year. With his mileage being so low, he has run a couple of miles and the 300 hurdles, according to coach Chris Felinski.
Coach Pat Woyna has a number of athletes looking to peak at the upcoming conference and sectional meets.
They include sophomore Jahki Gray who currently has the third best mark in the triple jump in conference and second bet mark in the sectional.
Jonathan Sears has the second best throw in conference and first in discus.
Sophomore Eric Horvath has the third best conference time in the 3,200 as does Tyshawn Watson in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
With his 25.26, Octavius Peterson-Turner has the second best conference time in the 200 and fourth in the sectional field.