Boys track and field: Glenbard East edges Glenbard South by a point to win UEC meet
With a Thursday evening forecast of partly cloudy skies and a light wind with temperatures in the 70s, the Upstate Eight Conference boys track and field championships at Glenbard South had the perfect ingredients for a wide-open contest for the UEC team title plus opportunities galore for the competitors to post their best possible showings heading into next week's sectionals.
"It's (going to be) a great (evening) for a meet," Glenbard South coach Doug Gorski said as he welcomed the teams at the Raider Stadium entrance gate Thursday afternoon.
Gorski, who also doubled as meet director, also used a bicycle to move around the event when dusk arrived just before 8 p.m. to get the stadium's lights turned on.
"That's how we do it at Glenbard South," Gorski said with a laugh as he also added filming his athletes during competition.
In that capacity he would see his team battle with Glenbard East for the UEC title. It came down to the final event, the 4x400 relay to determine the crown where by virtue of earning 6 points in a third-place finish, 2 points behind runner-up Glenbard South, it allowed the Rams to earn its first Upstate Eight crown, 115-114.
Bartlett (84 points) took the bronze, while Elgin (74 points) placed fourth and two-time defending UEC champ South Elgin (58 points) finished fifth.
"I'm at a loss for words right now obviously," a dazed but happy Glenbard East coach Dan Greco said as the final standings were announced over the P.A. microphone.
"That was the most exciting track meet (ever). I knew this team was special from when we started (the) indoor (season). They got along. They jelled together, they encouraged each other right off the bat. I could tell. A lot of underclassmen talent-wise that we brought up and tonight things fell into place and we had a lot of great performances."
Those performances were led by junior Joey Rosenthal whose wins in both the 100 (11.21 seconds) and 200 (22.71 seconds) earned him the unofficial title of the UEC's fastest man.
"It's awesome," Rosenthal said of his performances. "I knew (the races) would be close. (It) really made it more competitive. (It) really pushed me to run more (because) the breeze was a little bit not in my favor. I'm for sure a heat guy with a little breeze at (my) back."
Fellow East junior Eric McLain (long jump, 22-01.5) and senior Terrell Hatter (triple jump, 41-01) added individual wins plus the Rams added a first-place finish (43.39) in the 4x100 relay.
Leading the Raiders' runner-up effort after a victory in the 4x800 relay (8:10.46) were a trio of first-place finishes led by senior Ryan Chung's win in the 800 meters with a time of 1:58.48. South juniors Harper Bryan (39.99) and Tim Jochum (4:28.88) added victories in the 300 and 1600 meter runs, respectively.