Fremd's Stewart has to adjust his goals after qualifying in 2 finals races at state track
CHARLESTON -- Fremd senior Will Stewart flashed a pair of colorful reactions to equal his colorful performances on the blue track Friday afternoon. Stewart was his normal talkative, happy self after a pair of strong races at the Class 3A state track and field meet at Eastern Illinois University.
Stewart, a Saint Louis University recruit, clocked the fastest preliminary time at 10.57 seconds in the 100-meter dash to advance to Saturday's finals. He closed out his memorable afternoon by hitting the finish line in 22.11 seconds in the 200-meter dash to complete his 2-for-2 day.
"I don't know what to say because I've been battling all season to 10.57," Stewart said. "My goals were to make finals. I got seventh last year in the 100. I really wanted to come in and do better than that time. I've got my family, my girlfriend, just everyone is up there in the stands. It's amazing to do this in front of them."
Stewart joked his two solid races have caused him to readjust his goals.
"My goals now are to win," he said. "I'm happy to get here. I'm happy that I made the finals in the 200."
Glenbrook South senior Noah Shapiro had a busy day, but he gained a measure of luck by avoiding the heavy rains. By the time Shapiro was set to compete in the first of his two events, the rain stopped, though a strong wind and cold remained. Shapiro missed the cut in the 200 (22.57) but helped the 400-meter relay team advance to the finals in a time of 42.65.
"That was fun," Shapiro said. "Any race I did here, I would've felt great about because it's fun to be here. This is my second time at state. Last year I did all right, but I'm hoping to break all-state this year (in the relays)."
Wheeling senior Daylan Berger had to wait a few extra minutes before learning he advanced to the finals in the 300 hurdles (39.96). After placing second in sectionals last weekend, Berger got into the final race by earning the last qualifying spot, nudging out Glenbrook South's Ryan Schaefer (40.18).
A first-time state qualifier, Berger said he's been waiting to show off his skills at the state meet for his entire career. Against a talented field, Berger finished strong in the 300 hurdles. Rolling Meadows' Michael Campbell also advanced to the 300 finals in 39.46. Earlier in the days, Campbell made the cut in the 110 hurdles (14.44).
"It's the state meet, running against the best of the best and it was great competition," Berger said. "I think I ran pretty good. I'm happy with that. It feels great to make state. Last year I hit a hurdle really bad and almost tripped and fell at sectionals.
"The whole past year, it has been in my mind. I've been wanting to get back on the track and run my heart out. I have to get my mindset ready for the finals, and keep pushing forward."
Warren senior Luke Wiley, a University of North Carolina recruit, is on track to top last season's sixth-place medal in the 1,600. Wiley cruised to a second-place finish in his preliminary heat on Friday in a time of 4:14.02. Teammate Caleb Levy made the finals in the 800 in 1:56.87.
"I felt really good, and wanted to get to the finals, but didn't want to run a crazy time because I still had the relay to run," Levy said. "I looked around near the end of the race, and knew I was in the finals. There's no limit in the 800. I'm going to try and win the thing. It just feels really good to be back after dealing with injuries last year."