Boys track and field: Prospect takes 2nd at Cougar Classic
After his team posted a strong second at last weekend's Palatine Relays, Schaumburg boys track and field coach Ryan Senica echoed the sentiments of most coaches as they have started to take measure of their respective squads being a week away from the season-ending triple jump of events: the conference meet, IHSA sectional and state finals.
"Right now we're starting to get to that peak. It's good, especially with the last couple of years having been messed up (due to COVID-19) by not having that traditional season," Senica said. "This is the first year in a couple where we have an indoor season where we get a chance to jell as a team."
His Saxons along with 13 other schools joined host Conant Friday night in Hoffman Estates for the annual Ron Gummerson Cougar Track Classic. Everyone there sought another chance to get closer to personal as well as team bests while attempting to navigate and negotiate their way through temperatures in the high 40s under overcast skies that dropped rain on the Feutz Field track earlier in the day forcing cancellation of the pole vault.
By the time the last of over 50 events were completed, Minooka stood on top with 221.5 points, finishing 71 points ahead of runner-up Prospect (140). Glenbard West (105) took third while Glenbard East (74.5) and Schaumburg (70.5) rounded out the top five.
In capturing a meet-high 16 events, the Indians swept all 3 flights of the 800 and 1,600 meters, took 2 of 3 flights in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles and 2 of the 4 relay races, the 4x100 and the 4x800.
The Knights were paced by two wins each from seniors Ben Sahakian and Sam Tsagalis.
Sahakian took top honors in his long jump (19-11) and 100-meter contests while Tsagalis won both of his sections in the shot put (48-11) and discus (109-6). Prospect took six events overall.
Glenbard West took four events on the night to place third including the 4x200 relay (1:34.75). Truman Popp won his high jump division (5-7), and the Hilltoppers also got flight firsts from Andrew Dauksas (400 meters, 1:02.15) and Saed Masood (300 hurdles, 44.79).
As he held the second-place trophy, Prospect coach Jay Renaud saw his team's evening as a good tuneup heading into next week's MSL championships at Fremd.
"We reshuffled our lineup in different spots and a lot of our guys stepped up. It was a great meet for us to bring home another trophy," Renaud said.
Renaud also echoed Senica's sentiments regarding the track and field season's return to normalcy.
"I think we are very grateful to have a normal season. You kind of just deal with the weather because the other thing is getting stopped short like it did in 2020 and a different (scheduled) season last year. So we're just telling the guys to be thankful that we're out here each day competing with one another."