Boys track and field: Burlington Central ends Huntley's 5-year FVC streak
The newcomer dethroned the perennial champion at the Fox Valley Conference boys track and field meet.
Burlington Central, the smallest FVC school and a traditional track power, ended Huntley's string of conference titles at five on Friday at Crystal Lake Central's Owen Metcalf Field.
The Rockets were everywhere, often doubling up in events, to finish with 120 points. Huntley (106) was second, while Crystal Lake Central and Dundee-Crown tied for third with 62.
This is Burlington's second year in the FVC, but there were no spring sports last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Burlington's girls won the FVC title last Saturday and now the boys have one as well.
"Times were out of the question today," said junior Yusuf Baig, who won the 3,200 and 1,600 in 90-plus degree heat. "I just wanted to get wins for my team to win the conference. That's awesome. Everyone did their part. It's awesome to be a part of this team."
Jake Borman was the Rockets' other double champion, taking the shot put (53-11 3/4) and the discus (166-10). Sophomore Nolan Milas scored 32 individual points, winning the 300 intermediate hurdles, taking seconds in the triple jump and 100 and third in the 200.
"We knew Huntley's a really good program and we'd have our hands full," Burlington coach Mike Schmidt said. "We had a couple kids (Baig and Borman) who really shined, but I want to give a shout-out to Nolan Milas. In a meet like this, those type of kids are huge."
The Rockets have won a conference or sectional title (sometimes both) every season since 1999.
"I love conference because it's a true team effort," Schmidt said. "Not one or two kids can pull you through, you have to have everybody. Getting in the Fox Valley, a great conference, and we're real happy.
"I felt like we could compete with everybody but Huntley because of their numbers (an enrollment of more than 3,000). I thought their depth would get us. We have a very good group this year, we've had a good group for a long time."
Borman and Dundee-Crown pole vaulter Sebastian Waz, who will be teammates at Illinois State next year, were two of the meet's early stars, winning their field events. Borman threw his career-best 166-10 to win a tough discus, while Waz vaulted 14-8 to win.
"I felt good. I had some really good competition today and I felt like I got after it, got over the pressure and went after my goals," Borman said. "The discus felt good. This week in practice it was just my coach and (teammate) Eric (Metz) and we really focused on discus. I really worked on my right foot and that's what got it to the farthest mark."
Waz narrowly missed at 15-1, which would have been a meet mark.
"I'm pretty happy. The last two days I was having trouble in practice because my hands were sweating," Waz said. "I started putting water and then chalk and got the grip and it worked.
"I got completely upside-down (on the 14-8 vault) and saw it and hit it and was like, 'Oh, wow!' "
Evan Gronewold had three firsts and a second to help Huntley to second place. Gronewold won the 100 and 400 and ran a leg of the Red Raiders' winning 4x100 relay with Talon Sargent, Jacob Zastrow and Paul Kerber. He also anchored the Raiders' second-place finish in the 4x400.
"It was a little hot," said Gronewold, who ran 11.22 to win the 100 and 50.74 to win the 400. "I definitely packed a bunch of extra water and Gatorade, it was gone in the first 30 minutes. In the 400, I've been consistently under 51 and I broke 50 last week.
"The 100 was good. I came out of the blocks well. I'm always faster in the second part of the race. It was neck-and-neck and I pulled away in the last 30, 40 meters. I usually get faster the longer I run in all my races."