Over the past weekend, we competed in our first invitational meet, the Olivet Nazarene University High School Classic. Our team placed 2nd to Homewood-Flossmoor for the second week in a row with a score of 117 to Neuqua Valley’s 111. This is a smaller margin of victory for Homewood-Flossmoor than last week.
The meet began with some school records being broken within the preliminaries. In the 60 m High Hurdles, Mitch Donahue (Sr.) broke the record in that event with a mark of 9.49, but it would not last long. In the next heat, Donovan Turner (Jr.) would smash the record, running 8.32 to win the heat. Jacob Guthrie (Jr.) would also dip under the previous record with a time of 9.49. When it came to the finals, Donovan Turner would drop the record once again with a time of 8.21 and the meet victory. The 60 m Dash also saw a record fall with Myles Gascon (Sr.) resetting his own record by one hundredth of a second making the mark 7.10. In the finals of the 60 m, Myles would take 5th place among some of the top sprinters in the State. Myles and Donovan would later race in the 200 m dash, nearly tying with times of 23.64 and 23.67.
In the distance events, Zach Kinne (Jr.), Ryan Kennedy (Sr.) and Alex Johnson (Sr.) took the top three places in the 3200 m with Zach running 9:09.74, which is the fastest time in the State! Both Zach’s time and Ryan’s time of 9:28.50 would qualify for the State Meet, which is incredible considering that this was their first 3200 m of the season. Zach and Ryan would double back in the 600 m only 45 minutes later and run 1:26.48 and 1:29.46, respectively. Alex Johnson’s mark of 9:42.24 represents a huge personal best. Dakota Getty (Sr.) would place 4th in the 800 m with an indoor personal best time of 2:01.68. Dakota would later come back in the 4 x 400 m relay to post a split of 53.4, which was the fastest of the day. In the 1600 m, Tyler Bombacino (Sr.) would take the lead from the gun and would never relinquish, winning with a time of 4:24.53. Michael Madiol (Jr.) would take third with a time of 4:28.41, which is a personal best.
In the field events, history was made when Lockport’s John Meyer (Sr.) recorded the furthest Shot Put in indoor state history. Congratulations to John for his amazing mark of 68’ 4”. Matt Appel (So.) took third with a mark of 49’ 8.5”, which is less than a foot from the indoor Neuqua Valley Frosh-Soph record which was set by Babatunde “OJ” Oshinowo, who would later play in the NFL and was recently inducted into the Neuqua Valley Athletics Hall of Fame. In the Pole Vault, Matt Dziekan took fourth with a personal best jump of 12’ 0”. The Long Jump would see Ife Oketona (Sr.) and Joe Hanneman (Sr.) take 4th and 6th respectively, with jumps of 21’ 7” and 21’ 1”. Joe’s mark is an overall personal best and he followed it up later in the day with a great leg in the 4 x 400 m even with a troublesome hamstring. Mac Mitchell (Sr.) took 2nd in the Triple Jump with a leap of 43’ 9.5”, which is a season best. Considering that we do not have a pit in which to practice the horizontal jumps, our athletes are making great progress.
While the athletes and stories listed above are impressive and put many of the points toward our team score, what really stood out during the meet were the myriad of smaller stories. Many of the athletes that competed on Saturday may not have been our strongest athletes in an event, but they competed like they were and did not back down against strong competition. Here are some examples and we wish there was space for them all:
Spencer Teske (Jr.) and Jack Orengo (Jr.) ran impressive legs in the 4 x 800 m with Jack holding off a charge from a Homewood-Flossmoor anchor with another great kick. That is twice in two weeks for Jack!
After breaking the school record in the 60 m High Hurdles which was later bested by Donovan Turner (Sr.), Mitch Donahue completed a triple by setting indoor personal bests in the 400 m and 200 m.
Michael Dy (Sr.) competed in the triple of the 60 m High Hurdles, the 4 x 200 m and the 4 x 400 m, where he had some impressive splits in the relays.
Jonah Covarrubias (Jr.) competed in the triple of the 60 m Dash, the 4 x 200 m and the 4 x 400 m, with Jonah dipping under 54 seconds in the 400 m for the first time indoors.
Norman Dong (Sr.) competed in the triple of the Long Jump, the 4 x 200 m and the 4 x 400 m, keeping up with some of the top sprinters in the relays.
Paul McIntyre (Sr.) took control of his heat of the 600 m after running from behind to take the heat win in a time of 1:36.61.
Kel Foley (Jr.) would run an indoor personal best of 2:07.36 in the 800 m only to come back in the 4 x 400 m with a 54.3 split.
Then we had our Freshmen crew, which competed in this meet as Varsity athletes without fear. From Nicolas Dovalovsky (Fr.) and Vasant Fong (Fr.) in the 800 m posting times of 2:10.11 and 2:14.30 to Christian Allen (Fr.) in the 60 m to Ethan Briones (Fr.) in the Triple Jump to EJ Oketona (Fr.) running an overall personal best in the 400 m with a mark of 57.80, our Freshmen showed up. Christian and Ethan were both asked before the meet if they were interested in a spot if it came open, regardless of the event. They both quickly replied “Yes” and filled in for us. Ethan had never tried Triple Jump before and was able to make it past the minimum Varsity mark in his first time! Jack Wharton (Fr.) would compete in the 200 m and Hunter Danton (Fr.) would throw the second best Freshman mark in the meet in the Shot Put. Finally, Leif Anderson (Fr.), who normally competes as a distance runner, competed in the High Jump and was able to clear 5’ 0”.
These “smaller” stories are those of the athletes that are really the glue of our team. We know that no matter which athletes we send to a meet, we know that we can count on them to represent us well.
Complete results from the meet can be found at the website below.
This week we have an “open” meet on Thursday night at Plainfield East. We hope to see everyone there as the smaller stories grow into bigger ones.