We knew that it would be cold and windy on Friday at the DVC Outdoor Championships. We knew that the marks would not matter, only places. All that we needed to do was compete. And compete we did. For the third year in a row, our Varsity team captured the DVC Outdoor Championship title! For as long as we have been in the DVC, we have not lost an indoor or outdoor championship at the Varsity level. Our Varsity team scored a whopping 192 points in 17 out of the 18 events to better Wheaton North's second place score of 149.5. Our Frosh-Soph team took 5th place and with some hard work, they will be ready to take their place next year at the Varsity level.
In the field events, we started to score large numbers of points right away. The Long Jump saw Ife Oketona (Sr.) and Norman Dong (Sr.) take 1st and 2nd places with jumps 21' 7" and 20' 3" respectively. This quickly put 18 points on the board. On the Frosh-Soph level, Prakash Tata (So.) took 8th place with a jump of 17' 4.25". The Triple Jump saw nearly a repeat in the scoring with Mac Mitchell (Sr.) and Alex Xiong (Sr.) taking 1st and 3rd place with jumps of 43' 11.75" and 41' 9.75" and another 17 points. The Pole Vault had us double score at both levels. Alex Kiefer (Jr.) and Matt Dziekan (Sr.) took 4th place and 6th place with vaults of 13' 6" and 12' 0". Alex's jump of 13' 6" equals the State Qualifying Mark in the Pole Vault which is impressive considering the conditions. At the Frosh-Soph level, Paul Kiefer (So.) took 5th place with a vault of 9' 0". In the Frosh-Soph High Jump, Kalon Hale (So.) and Jailen Poole (Fr.) both scored with jumps of 5' 4" and 5' 2", good enough for 3rd and 5th place in slick conditions.
In the Throwing events, we continued to put points up and even had some impressive marks when you consider that a strong wind and wet implements do not help throwers. Matt Appel (So.) took 2nd place in both the Varsity Shot Put and Discus with throws of 53' 4" and 157' 2". Both of these marks are past the State Qualifying Mark. In the Frosh-Soph throws, a trio of young throwers scored points. Hunter Danton (Fr.) took 5th place in the Frosh-Soph Shot Put with a throw of 39' 10" and Elijah Darden (Fr.) and Sam Jourdan (So.) took 3rd and 5th in the Frosh-Soph Discus with throws of 118' 9" ans 103' 6". If we only scored in the field events, our Varsity team would have beaten three teams in the conference and been within a few points of two other teams. Clearly, we were on a roll.
Considering that we only had one conference champion at the DVC Indoor Championships, it was a good start to already have two conference champions in the field events alone. The momentum would continue in the running events as we quickly added more champions to the list as well as many points. The Frosh-Soph 4 x 800 m relay team of Leif Anderson (Fr.), Luke Mennecke (Fr.), William Fu (Fr.) and Quinn Kennedy (So.) took 5th place in a time of 9:19.64. The Varsity team of Jordan Matthews (Jr.), Danny Winek (Sr.), Tyler Bombacino (Sr.) and Kel Foley (Jr.) were conference champions in a time of 8:12.43. The 4 x 100 m would see similar results at the Varsity level with the team of Donovan Turner (Jr.), Kai Larson (Sr.), Patrick Hoffman (So.) and Myles Gascon capturing the DVC title with a time of 43.21.
The 3200 m saw some courageous racing with Vasant Fong (Fr.) pulling away from the field to a 10:01.10 time for the conference win. Ryan Horn (Fr.) charged hard during the entire race and took 4th in a time of 10:14.87. In the Varsity 3200 m, Alex Johnson (Sr.) and Chris Keeley (Jr.) stuck with the top pack and then late in the race, Alex took the lead in a bold move. Alex and Chris would finish 3rd and 5th both with season best times of 9:33.66 and 9:36.16. It was this bold take charge attitude that kept propelling our team forward throughout the night.
The 110 m High Hurdles saw another double score at the Varsity level as Donovan Turner (Jr.) took the win in an time of 14.52 and Jacob Guthrie (Jr.) took 7th with a mark of 17.41. Myles Gascon (Sr.) followed this up with a time of 11.25 in the Varsity 100 m, placing 4th in a tight group.
The 800 m showed another event where we could double score at both levels. At the Frosh-Soph level, David Tassone (So.) and Brandon Do (Fr.) placed 6th and 8th with marks of 2:14.18 and 2:16.74. The Varsity 800 m was one of the most loaded events and featured Dakota Getty (Sr.) and Ryan Kennedy (Sr.) running with some of the top 800 m returners in the State. Dakota took 3rd in a time of 1:58.98 while Ryan took 5th in a time of 2:00.03.
The temperature began to drop as the night went on, but our team kept powering through, competing and scoring. Joe Hanneman (Sr.), Ife Oketona (Sr.), Patrick Hoffman (So.) and Myles Gascon (Sr.) overcame some tough winds and were conference champions in a time of 1:32.74. The Frosh-Soph 400 m saw EJ Oketona (Fr.) back to his form in this event with a time of 56.69 seconds and a 7th place finish. The Varsity 400 m would have another double score with a Kai Larson (Sr.) and Michael Dy (Sr.) taking 2nd and 7th places. Michael ran 53.29 and Kai ran a season best 51.30 and both of these marks were in high wind. In the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles, Enoch Kim (Fr.) took 8th in a time of 47.87. However, even though he did not score, special mention has to be made of Ethan Briones (Fr.) who ran the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles for the first time and did so with an injured wrist. Ethan would later fill in for another athlete in the 4 x 400 m relay as well. Obviously, Ethan is a tough competitor. On the Varsity side, we captured another conference title for team and for Donovan Turner (Jr.) as he ran away from the competition in the last 50 m to win in a time of 38.79. Mitch Donahue (Sr.) has been wondering about his place on this team and has found it with a solid 4th place finish of 41.47 in high wind.
The 1600 m had another double conference champion with Freshman phenom Nicolas Dovalovsky (Fr.) taking the win at the Frosh-Soph level with a time of 4:42.25 and Zach Kinne (Jr.) pulling far from the pack early and running 4:18.78. Zach was nearly 8 seconds ahead of second place by the end of the race. Keeping with DVC tradition, Zach was awarded the travelling Gill Dodds trophy for winning the Varsity 1600 m. Since Neuqua Valley has been in the DVC, we have kept this trophy in the hands of the Neuqua Valley athlete.
By the last two events of the evening, our team was safely ahead in terms of points, but we were still on a mission to compete. In the Varsity 200 m, Myles Gascon (Sr.) and Patrick Hoffman (So.) double scored with 2nd and 4th places and marks of 22.91 and 23.01. Patrick’s strength in this event continues to grow as he was closing on the leaders for the last 50 meters. The Varsity 4 x 400 m relay of Ife Oketona (Sr.), Dakota Getty (Sr.) Kai Larson (Sr.) and Donovan Turner (Jr.) would round out the night with 3rd place in a time of 3:32.99.
When you consider how we scored as a team and how many events we scored in, it is safe to say that we would be a tough team to beat if any team in the state faced us in a dual meet. In fact, this is the most complete team that we have ever had. We are hard-working, talented and deep. As we move to the Sectional Championship this week, we will do our best to put ourselves in the best possible position to score well at the State Meet. This could be an exciting post season and we hope that you will join us at our last two meets! Come join us at Plainfield South on Thursday for the Sectional Championship!
Complete results from the DVC Outdoor Championship can be found at the website below.