It is hard to believe that the Bob Cohoon Invitational is our first outdoor invitational meet with our full team. Weather forced four meets to be cancelled and you never know how the team will respond to its first taste of intense competition. However, earlier in the week, our team got together to set some exciting and lofty personal and team goals. Quite frankly, our athletes are aiming for the top. And while the Bob Cohoon Invitational lived up to its reputation for having outstanding competition, our team took another big step forward as we captured the invitational title with a score of 120.5 over Minooka’s 2nd place score of 96.5.
We started the meet off with success and kept it up throughout the entire night. In fact, out of 18 events, there was only one event in which we did not score. In 8 of the events, we took either 1st or 2nd place and we double scored in 6 events.
In the jumping events, Ife Oketona (Sr.) put us on the board early with a huge jump of 22’ 4.5” on his first attempt to take 1st place with a mark that is further than the State Qualifying Mark. Norman Dong (Sr.) took 7th place with a jump of 20’ 8.5” for our first double score of the night. Later in the meet, we would double score again in a horizontal jump when Mac Mitchell (Sr.) would take 2nd place with season best jump of 44’ 4” which equals the State Qualifying Mark. Alex Xiong (Sr.) would complete the double score with a jump of 41’ 6” which is an outdoor personal best. The pole vault would continue our set of double scoring events with Alex Kiefer (Jr.) taking 5th with a jump of 13’ 0” and Matt Dziekan (Sr.) taking 6th with a jump of 12’ 6”.
The throwing events would see history made when Matt Appel (So.) threw three consecutive throws in the Shot Put where each was further than the last and all were past the Frosh-Soph School Record. This record has been in place since 1999 and was held by Babatunde “OJ” Oshinowo, an athlete that would be All-State in the Shot Put and Discus several times and would later play professional football for the Bears and the Browns. Matt would take 2nd place in the Shot Put to Lockport’s John Meyer, the current State Record Holder. Matt would return in the discus to score again with a personal best throw of 146’ 1” to take 4th place. This was an impressive set of throws for a Sophomore competing at the Varsity level.
On the track, we opened up with the 4 x 800 m relay team of Nicolas Dovalovsky (Fr.), Chris Keeley (Jr.), Zach Kinne (Jr.) and Dakota Getty (Sr.) taking 3rd place with a time of 8:04.13. Nicolas split 2:02.2 which is very impressive for a Freshman and both Zach and Dakota both split under 1:59.
The 4 x 100 m relay team of Donovan Turner (Jr.), Kai Larson (Sr.), Patrick Hoffman (So.) and Myles Gascon (Sr.) finished in 2nd place with a time of 42.74, which was only .07 seconds out of first place and only .01 seconds away from the State Qualifying Mark. This would be the first event of four for both Myles and Donovan. In their second event of the evening, Donovan and Myles would race in the 110 m High Hurdles and the 100 m Dash respectively. Donovan placed 2nd in the hurdles with a mark of 14.40, which is the second fastest time in school history. In the 100 m, Myles would win the event with a mark of 11.10. However, both of these athletes were only half complete with their events at this point.
Returning to the distance events, the 3200 m saw another score with Ryan Kennedy (Sr.) taking 5th with an impressive last 800 m to cross the finish line in 9:21.12, which is a personal best and is well under the State Qualifying Mark. The 800 m would see more double scoring and more personal bests with Michael Madiol (Jr.) and Kel Foley (Jr.) taking 5th and 7th place respectively. Michael’s mark of 2:00.33 and Kel’s mark of 2:02.17 both represent big improvements and considering that neither of these athletes was in the 4 x 800 m, it shows how deep we are in this event.
The 4 x 200 m relay team of Norman Dong (Sr.), Ife Oketona (Sr.), Patrick Hoffman (So.) and Myles Gascon (Sr.) got off to a rough start as Norman was suffering from a tight back, but Ife, Patrick and Myles charged ahead to a time of 1:32.85 which was good enough for 6th place and a scoring position. This was the third event of the night for Myles, who ran an anchor split of 22.2.
After a week-long illness, Kai Larson (Sr.) was beginning to look a little like his old self in the 400 m where he finished 7th in a time of 51.44. The 300 m Intermediate Hurdles would have the rematch of Donovan Tuner (Jr.) and Batavia’s Sam Conger only this time the places were reversed with Donovan taking 1st place in a school-record setting time of 38.74, making this the second school record that was broken. When we were a younger program, we used to go out for Krispy Kreme doughnuts when three records were broken at this meet. However, our records are much harder to break now. Not to be outdone, Mitch Donahue (Sr.) would complete the double score in the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles with a mark of 41.37, which is a personal best by over 2 seconds! Mitch exclaimed after the race that he is going to state and his attitude is what we are looking for from everyone.
Zach Kinne (Jr.) and Dakota Getty (Sr.) completed their double event with another double score in the 1600 m. In another loaded field, Zach and Dakota were not afraid to mix it up and kicked hard to take 3rd and 5th place respectively. Zach’s time of 4:17.13 and Dakota’s time of 4:22.74 represent personal bests for both runners in the outdoor open 1600 m.
The meet drew to a close with two athletes completing a quadruple event meet. In the 200 m, Myles Gascon took 2nd place and would demonstrate that even after three events, he still had fire in his legs. Myles would run 22.88 which is yet another personal best. The 4 x 400 m relay of Kel Foley (Jr.), Donovan Turner (Jr.), Ife Oketona (Sr.) and Michael Dy (Sr.) would complete the quadruple for Donovan where the team ran 3:28.61 and Donovan, Ife, and Michael would post personal bests for their 400 m relay splits. We have not had an athlete even complete a quadruple at this meet since 2004, when Coach Ragusa was an athlete on the team and managed the feat himself.
This meet used to represent our Sectional Lineup preview. Even though that is not the case anymore, if we have a night like this at the Sectional Meet, we will have an amazing showing. However, the coaches and athletes know that we did not have a perfect night and there is still good work to be done. Our motto going into the next few weeks is “Make every rep count.” After all, there are only 5 weeks until the State Meet!
Complete results from the meet can be found at the website below.