There’s a Zen parable called “Good Horse, Bad Horse” that comes to mind at the beginning of some seasons. It has to do with the value of pain and struggle. In the parable, a Zen master is touring a livery and learning about horses. The stable owner tells him that there are four types of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates the marrow of its bones.
“The bad horses feel the most pain,” said the stable owner. “They know the most suffering.”
“Yes,” said the Zen master. “And that is why THEY may actually be the best horses!”
The point of the parable is that when you learn too easily, you’re tempted not to work hard, and you’re surprised by struggle. The “worst” horse can be the best, for if it perseveres, it will have learned the art of running in every screaming nerve.
This is a good lesson to keep in mind after the shock of the first race, where a burning set of lungs and heavy pair of legs overwhelm the senses. Tough workouts and steady long runs are one thing, but there’s no substitute for the jolt of the gunshot. You feel it in the bones, and your bones are learning.
It helps, of course, if the weather is as nice as it was on Saturday, when we returned to the Hornet/Red Devil Invitational for the first time in two years. The day began with a blistering Varsity race, showcasing the defending State Champions. The Tigers looked every bit as dominant, as senior William Hauernstein edged out Nicolas Dovalovsky (14:55) by 0.3 of a second. Fellow Junior Aidan Stone (15:44) finished 16th in his first Varsity race, while senior Quinn Kennedy (34th, 16:10) and juniors Stephen Smilie (44th, 16:26) and Luke Mennecke (55th, 16:41) each ran impressively at different points of a race in which the Wildcats finished 4th. The top seven was capped by juniors Vasant Fong (16:44) and Daniel Gutierrez (16:49), who PRed by more than 40 seconds. Also notable in the opening tilt were Austin Burke (16:59), Josh Rodriguez (17:01), Ethan Lockwood (17:04), Sam Stuart (17:12), JD Hastings (17:18), Joey Spencer (17:30), Alex Majus (17:34), Dominick Gramarosso (17:52), Kyle Kretovic (18:31), Akshat Maheshwari (18:38), and Jack Wharton (18:48), and Ethan Smetana (19:56).
The sophomores had never run Katherine Legge before, and so every root, drumlin, and creekbed was a new shudder.But they picked up where they left off, showing courage and ambition. Led by the frequently mispronounced Noah Schalliol (4th, 16:04), the Wildcats placed five in the top 30 to finish 2nd overall. Charlie Rook (20th, 17:06) and Sachin Fong (22nd, 17:12) surged at key points, while Jacob “Stick Man” Nauman (28th, 17:27) and Nathanael Howard (30th, 17:30) stayed close enough to hold off our rivals. Strong races also came from Liam Dorsey (17:37), Iam Kim (18:00), Andrew Gutierrez (18:07), Henry Golden (18:08), Adam Johnson (18:16), Ben Serna (18:18), and Josh Kubicki (18:30).
But it was the freshmen who had the most to learn as they laced up for their first high school race. In one of the most talented fields in years, the neo-Wildcats earned their jerseys and a 6th place finish. Nico Castrillon (16th, 10:41) led the way, followed by Joseph Cyrus (30th, 10:58), Andres Lopez (41st, 11:07), Logan Brown (43rd, 11:13), and Connolly Corbin (52nd, 11:21). Also showing surprising moxie were Sam Hotchkiss (11:40), Connor Boehm (11:44), Ben Nylen (11:48), Matthew Gutierrez (11:52), and Nick Lapetino (11:53).
Perhaps the most exciting moment of the day was the first, when Nicolas Dovalovsky was edged out in a final lean. It’s the sort of moment that every runner despises, to have a fifteen minute gauntlet determined by a fraction of a second. But it’s often the best thing for a horse who wants to be the best. It hurts. But we remember and learn.
Mike Newman Recap Results MilesplitIL Recap NCTV Video
The link to register for fall sports has been opened early! This year all online registrations will be done on the 8 to18 website.
Go to the link located here and create an account to register.
First day of cross country practice will be Monday, August 12th from 8:00am-10:00am. We will meet at the NVHS track. Come ready to run and with a water bottle! Please note that we have changed the Tuesday, August 13th practice time. See XC Schedule tab above
Keep in mind, to be able to participate athletes need an updated physical on file with the school. If athletes do not, they will not be able to practice or race until they do.
Appointments fill up very quickly at this time of year so make sure to set up an appointment with your doctor/clinic at Walgreen's, CVS, etc. in plenty of time to get this completed before Aug. 12th. Be sure to KEEP A COPY for yourself before turning in the original physical form.
The $200 athletic participation fee will be paid on pushcoin.com. We will no longer be applying the $200 fee to PushCoin accounts – instead you will need to go to the “webstore” on PushCoin and SELECT the fee you want to pay.
1. Go to https://www.pushcoin.com/ and log in
2. Click on the webstore link underneath the student’s profile picture.
2. SELECT the fee (2019-20 Neuqua Girls Cross Country)
4. The $200 fee will be deposited into your cart and then you will need to check out as if you were purchasing something online.
1. If you choose to pay with a credit card – PushCoin will add a small fee.
2. If you choose to pay with an e-check/bank transfer there is NO FEE
Congratulations to Crete-Monee on their State Championship as well as Homewood-Flossmoor and Oak Park-River Forest for claiming the other two trophies! Even these top teams suffered some misfortunes at this meet, showing how unforgiving the State Meet can really be.
Matt Appel (Jr.), who came down to the State Meet last year for the first time but did not make finals, not only made the finals in both the Shot Put and the Discus, but scored in both and was two time All-State. Matt placed 4th in the Shot Put with his record setting throw from yesterday of 58’ 9”. In the Discus, Matt took 3rd place with a throw of 176’ 9”.
Despite coming into Day 2 with the best mark from Day 1, our 4 x 800 m relay team of Chris Keeley (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Michael O’Connor (Sr.), took 7th with a time of 7:52.76. In a race where every leg took it out fast for the first 400 m, our distance runners pushed themselves to catch up and had some admirable efforts even though this was not how the usually race. Regardless of position, they did not give up and their efforts proved enough for the relay team to earn All-State honors.
In the hurdles, Donovan Turner (Sr.) had a rough day. With a bad start in the 110 m High Hurdles, and going over some of the hurdles with the wrong leg, he struggled to regain ground on the field and finished 9th in a time of 14.84. He had similar issues on the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles where he could not find his rhythm early and took 8th in 40.17. However, Donovan earned All-State honors in both events for the second year in a row.
In the final event of the meet, the 4 x 400 m relay team of Kel Foley (Sr.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.) and Donovan Turner (Sr.) fought hard for every place to improve the team standing. At this point, we knew that a trophy was just out of reach, but the team charged ahead and took 6th place in 3:23.22. This team, which was made up of three of the legs from last year, repeated as All-State, adding to the large number of All-State 4 x 400 m teams from Neuqua Valley.
As we get ready to say goodbye to our Seniors, we hope that they have influenced the underclassmen to challenge themselves to be back to Charleston in one year to make their own stamp on the State Meet. The preparation for next season starts this Summer!
While everything did not happen as we had hoped for today, we had a great preliminary day at the State Track and Field Meet. We advance six events into Day 2 and are presently seeded to score 40 points, which would be the second highest point total in team history. However, what matters for us and all of the other teams is what happens tomorrow when the points actually matter.
In the pole vault, Trevor Lambert (Sr.) jumped 13’ 6” and just missed qualifying for the finals at 14’. Trevor and Alex Kiefer (Sr.) completed their high school careers today, but we know that their best jumps are somewhere in the future.
Matt Appel (Jr.) moved on to the finals in both the Shot Put and the Discus. His throw of 58’ 9” in the Shot Put is currently ranked 3rd and broke the school record in the Shot Put again! In the Discus, Matt is currently ranked 2nd with a throw of 176’ 9”. Hunter Danton (So.) had a respectable throw of 129’ 9” in his first State Meet and is determined to be back next year with his eyes on the finals.
The 4 x 800 m relay of Chris Keeley (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Michael O’Connor (Sr.) won their heat to automatically qualify for Day 2. Their time of 7:50.40 is the best mark going into the finals and Michael O’Connor and Michael Madiol did not run their open events today to stay fresh for the finals tomorrow.
Donovan Turner (Sr.) will return to the State Finals for the second year in a row in both hurdle events. Donovan is currently ranked 3rd in the 110 m High Hurdles with a mark of 14.25. Despite a rough start in the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles, Donovan ran 39.33 and is currently ranked 6th.
In our last event of the day, Kel Foley (Sr.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.) and Donovan Turner (Sr.) qualified for Day 2 with a courageous run in the 4 x 400 m relay. The team ran 3:22.40 and is presently ranked 6th.
Of course, no points are on the board. Tomorrow has to happen first. What is exciting about this team is the trajectory that they are on. We could not win the conference and we were not even ranked in the top 10 in the State. However, we dominated the Sectional meet as a team and now we are ready to compete and give our best showing among the best teams in the State. We are ready, and in less than 24 hours, we will be ready to look ourselves in the mirror, knowing that we will have given everything we had.
We did not win the Indoor Conference Championship. We did not win the Outdoor Conference Championship. However, last night at the IHSA Sectional Championship, our Varsity team captured the Sectional title, scoring 113 points, more than double the number of points of second place. The team qualified for the IHSA State Meet in nine events and had double qualifiers in two events. It looks like things are coming together at the right time.
Complete results can be found at the website below.
Right from the beginning of the meet, the State Qualifiers emerged. With the bar at 13’ 8”, Trevor Lambert (Sr.) would become the first Neuqua Valley athlete to qualify in the Pole Vault only to be joined by Alex Kiefer (Sr.) on the very next jump. Both would finish the night with jumps of 13’ 8”, with Alex taking 2nd place and Trevor taking 3rd place.
In the Discus, Matt Appel (Jr.) jumped to an early lead with his throw in the preliminaries, breaking the school record. Matt would break the same record three more times before the finals were through, finishing with a 30’ gap on the field by throwing 187’ 11” for the win, a State Qualification, and new school record. Hunter Danton (So.) joined the list of State Qualifiers in the Discus with a throw of 154’ 8”, which represents a personal best for Hunter and scored for the team with his 4th place finish.
The throwing domination would continue in the Shot Put, with Matt Appel’s (Jr.) 57’ 5” throw, breaking another school record and taking the top spot in another event. With this win, Matt punched his ticket to the State Meet in both throwing events for the second year in a row. Jacob Remack (Sr.) took 5th place, adding to the point total with a nearly 2 foot personal best throw of 49’ 11.5”. (I think someone may have double checked the tape to make sure that they were not off by half of an inch.)
In the horizontal jumps, EJ Oketona (So.) took 5th place with mark of 41’ 8.5”. While the younger group of jumpers did not finish like they wanted, it was obvious that by the end of the meet, that they possessed the resolve to return to the Sectional Meet in one year with a promise of a different outcome.
The 4 x 800 m relay team of Chris Keeley (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Michael O’Connor (Sr.) got us started on the track with a season best performance by almost 11 seconds and the win. Nicolas, Michael Madiol and Michael O’Connor all split in the 1:57’s to run 7:53.69 and to become the first runners of the evening to secure a place at the State Meet. With the meet time being moved up with the threat of weather, this meant that Michael O’Connor had to finish the AP Statistics Exam at Neuqua Valley, drive to Ottawa, warm up quickly and compete. From the sound of it, the exam went as a well as the race.
Both of our short sprint relays consisted of the same members, Max Rivera (So.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.), Christian Allen (So.) and Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.) and secured significant season bests in both the 4 x 100 m and the 4 x 200 m. The 4 x 100 m ran 43.81 to take 7th and the 4 x 200 m ran 1:31.47 to take 6th. Considering the losses that both of these teams experienced during the season, it was impressive to see these athletes run with heart from the slow heat to try to make their mark. They will be back.
In the 3200 m, Matt Jett (Sr.) stuck his nose into the top group, trying to make a bid for the State Meet. As the temperature climbed above 80 degrees as the pace increased, Matt held on for a 4th place finish in 10:00.90, missing the State Qualification but helping the cause for the team title.
With only one outdoor meet under his belt, Donovan Turner (Sr.) took the line in the 110 m High Hurdles. By the 5th hurdle, Donovan had pulled away from the field and would go on to win in a time of 14.71, making this the third year in a row that Donovan has qualified for the State Meet. Upon finishing the race, Donovan saw that Kyle Burke from Plainfield North became injured during the race and went back to support his fellow hurdler in a great display of sportsmanship. While Kyle was not able to compete for the rest of the night, we wish him the best for a speedy recovery and know that he do some great things next year at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Later in the meet, Donovan would again take the line for only the second time this season in the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles. Donovan pulled away from the field in the long stretch of the last straightaway and did not look back, covering the distance in 39.02 seconds and repeating as a State Qualifier in both hurdles for the second year in a row.
With the potential for weather, not only did the meet get moved up, but the meet was put onto a rolling schedule. This meant that Michael O’Connor (Sr.) and Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.) would not get much rest for the open 800 m after running in the 4 x 800 m relay. Despite a warm day, both athletes raced for the front and charged the entire way. Michael kicked with purpose down the last stretch to capture 2nd place in 2:00.67 and grab another State Qualification. Nicolas took fifth in 2:01.87 and both athletes added even more to the team point totals.
Often times at the Sectional Meet, we will place younger athletes into the meet so that they can have the experience of this meet so that they are ready when their time comes to qualify. However, Max Mitchell (Fr.) showed last night in the 400 m, that he is not that far away. Without being in the fast heat, Max ran a smart race and pushed hard over the last 150 m to run 53.09. When the marks from the fast heat came in, Max had secured 5th place. Not bad for a Freshman!
While two member of our 4 x 800 m relay team had already completed a double at the meet, it was now time for Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Chris Keeley (Sr.) to complete theirs in the 1600 m. Running in a tight pack at the front of the fast heat, both runners showed awesome strength as the race unfolded. As the race entered the final lap, it was going to come down to the last 300 m to sort out the places. In the end, Michael edged out Christian Knowlton from Plainfield South by .01 seconds for the win and the State Qualification in a time of 4:22.71. Chris took 3rd in 4:24.27, just missing the State Qualifying Mark, but adding 6 points to the team total.
As athletes stepped onto the track for the final event of the night, the skies looked like they were about to turn at any moment. Fortunately, the weather held off and our 4 x 400 m relay team of Kel Foley (Sr.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.) and Donovan Turner (Sr.) were ready. Kel got out quick but then as he entered the final stretch of his leg, a Plainfield South runner stepped onto the track right in his lane. Kel had to stop and run around this person and then finish his leg whose split was about 3 seconds off of what we had expected, putting us in serious trouble in terms of qualifying for the State Meet. The baton next went to Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), who put us back into the race with a 49.9 split, and reminded us of how he ran at the State Meet last year. Next came Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.), a man on a mission, whose 50.4 split represented a nearly 2 second personal best and put us back into contention to qualify in terms of time. Finally, Donovan Turner (Sr.) took over and charged hard to put us in the best possible position. Donovan pushed hard down the last straightaway and ran a 49.2 split to give us a total time of 3:23.72, good enough for second place and under the State Qualifying Mark. I told the team that while I have seen many 4 x 400 m races in the past, this one was my favorite. It represented resilience, tenacity and teamwork.
We now head to Charleston next week for the State Championships with a renewed sense that we can do something special when we get there. Regardless of the outcome, I am confident that this group will give it their all.
However, for some athletes, their season or their high school careers seemed to end last night. For those that will return next year, the challenge is to make the best of this next year. Train right, eat right and sleep right and it is incredible what can happen in a year. To those Seniors that completed their high school competitive career, we wish them the best and hope that they will continue to compete in the future and that their best performances are still ahead of them. However, remember that the athletes that we send to the State Meet are simply our representatives. Anything that they accomplish as a team belongs to everyone on this team. So to everyone that thought that they were done, you still have one week left with us! Be there to see what this team can do!
On Friday night, there was finally a break in the otherwise cold and rainy weather for the DuPage Valley Conference Outdoor Championships. Our Varsity team took 2nd place to Naperville Central and our Frosh-Soph team took 3rd place.
Complete results can be found at the link below.
In the throwing events, our throwers continue to show incredible progress and depth. In the Frosh-Soph Discus, Elijah Darden (So.) threw 129' 7", a personal best, to win the meet after coming back from injury, and Martin Kiefer (Fr.) took 4th with a throw of 114' 08". At the Varsity level, Matt Appel (Jr.) threw 171' 8", a personal best, for the win and was just over 2 feet from the school record. Matt's mark is well beyond the State Qualifying Mark in the Discus. Moving up a level for this meet was Hunter Danton (So.), who took 2nd with a throw of 150' 4" and was only a few feet away from the State Qualifying Mark with this personal best throw. In the Shot Put, Elijah Darden would return to throw 39' 11" and take 5th place with another personal best. In the Varsity Shot Put, Matt Appel took home another meet victory, another personal best and another mark surpassing the State Qualifying Mark with his throw of 55' 10". Matt was followed closely by Jacob Remack (Sr.) who threw 48' 1" to take 2nd place and Hunter Danton who took 4th place with another personal best of 46' 10".
In the vertical jumps, three of our Sophomores, Goutham Baskaran (So.), Jailen Poole (So.) and Jonathan Martinez (So.) took 2nd, 3rd and 6th places respectively in the Frosh-Soph Pole Vault with jumps of 11' 4", 10' 4" and 9' 4". Goutham and Jailen's marks were personal bests. Jonathan also placed 5th in the Frosh-Soph High Jump with a personal best jump of 5' 3". In the Varsity Pole Vault, Alex Kiefer (Sr.) won the event with an outdoor personal best of 13' 8" while Trevor Lambert (Sr.) took 4th with a jump of 13' 2, also a personal best.
In the horizontal jumps, Jailen Poole (So.) jumped 19' 11.25" for the win in the Frosh-Soph Long Jump, giving him a personal best and staked his claim as the top Neuqua Valley Long Jumper. Ethan Thomas (So.) took 4th with a jump of 18' 9". In the Varsity Long Jump, EJ Oketona (So.) took 3rd place with a personal best jump of 19' 8.75" and Alex Kiefer (Sr.) jumped 19' 2.75, which was good enough for 5th place. In the Frosh-Soph Triple Jump, Daniel Shin (So.) took 4th with a personal best jump of 36' 9.25". The Varsity Triple Jump would see EJ Oketona take 3rd with a jump of 41' 4" and yet another PR. Abood Armouti (Jr.) returned to competition after a slight hamstring issue to take 6th place with a mark of 39' 5".
On the track, the action got started with two distance relays. The Frosh-Soph 4 x 800 m relay team of Daniel Gutierrez (So.), Luke Suman (So.), Luke Mennecke (So.) and Kevin Saju (So.) took 3rd in a time of 8:57.73 and showed that there is still some room for improvement with pacing. In the Varsity 4 x 800 m relay, Max Mitchell (Fr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Michael O'Connor (Sr.) ran 8:04.90, with both Michaels running sub 1:58 splits, giving the team their season best time. Michael O'Connor would later run the open 800 m at the Varsity level and took 3rd in a time of 1:58.76, giving Michael an impressive double for the evening.
In the Frosh-Soph 4 x 100 m , Ethan Briones (So.), Daniel Shin (So.), Kieran Tharbs (Fr.), and Jailen Poole (So.) ran 45.94 to take 3rd in a season best time. The same relay members later reunited for a conference championship tie with Metea Valley in the 4 x 200 m relay with a time of 1:38.85. In the Varsity 4 x 100 m, Max Rivera (So.), Patrick Hoffman (Jr.), Michael Grawe (Sr.) and Christian Allen (So.) took 2nd in a time of 44.37 even with a few small mistakes in the exchanges. The Varsity team would also return later in the meet for another 2nd place in the 4 x 200 m relay in a time of 1:33.20. One of the Varsity sprint relay members, Christian Allen (So.) would also take 5th place in both the Varsity 100 m Dash and the Varsity 200 m Dash with marks of 11.45 and 23.68, both personal bests for Christian.
Returning to the distance events, Stephen Smilie (So.) and Aidan Stone (So.) both turned in personal best marks in the Frosh-Soph 3200 m with times of 10:00.24 and 10:00.74, respectively. In the Varsity 3200 m, Matt Jett (Sr.) took 2nd place, with a personal best time of 9:45.16. Later in the meet, the 1600 m would see more personal bests and top places as Vasant Fong (So.) took 3rd in 4:41.68, which is a season best, and Noah Schalliol (So.) took 4th in 4:42.62, which is also a personal best. At the Varsity level, Michael Madiol (Sr.) took 4th in 4:23.51, after running in the 4 x 800 m relay, combining for a solid double. Chris Keeley (Sr.) took 5th in 4:26.04, which is a personal best and shows that Chris is making huge progress after a lingering injury.
Enoch Kim (So.) placed in both the Frosh-Soph 110 m High Hurdles and the Frosh-Soph 300 m Intermediate Hurdles, taking 5th and 6th places respectively, with times of 17.22 and 45.32. Both of these marks are personal bests for Enoch. The Varsity hurdle events saw the return of Donovan Turner (Sr.) to competition after a hamstring injury. Because Donovan did not have a seed time from the season, he raced from the slow heat to win both Varsity hurdle events, running 15.08 in the 110 m High Hurdles and 41.32 in the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles.
The middle distance or long sprint events had Leif Anderson (So.) making a big move of the second lap of the Frosh-Soph 800 m to take 3rd in an outdoor personal best time of 2:09.75. Ethan Thomas (So.) would make a similar move in the Frosh-Soph 400 m Dash, where Ethan placed 6th in a time of 54.32, which is a personal best and earned him a spot on the sectional roster. The night closed with a 4th place finish from the Frosh-Soph 4 x 400 m relay team of Ethan Briones (So.), Ethan Thomas (So.), Brandon Do (So.) and Cory Papastathis (Fr.), running 3:42.96. The Varsity 4 x 400 m relay team of Max Mitchell (Fr.), Kel Foley (Sr.), EJ Oketona (So.) and Patrick Hoffmann (Sr.) closed out the night with a 3rd place finish in 3:36.90.
While the team outcome may not have been all that we hoped for, we are shaking off some injuries and getting ready to qualify as many athletes as possible for the State Meet in two weeks. However, at this time, we should not just be looking at the near future, but the far future as well. Looking at the results above, we moved up six Frosh-Soph athletes to the Varsity level. This shows that our future seasons have the potential to be bright ones. Also, when you look at how many personal bests were set, we see that our training gets athletes ready at the right time of the season. Therefore, as we look forward, we know that some athletes are done competing for the season, but they need to continue to train. We welcome them to continue to train with the Sectional and State Teams and to really make progress over the summer in our summer camps. If you have not yet registered, please make sure to do so soon at our website below.
This past Friday, our top Varsity and Frosh-Soph teams competed in the Red Ribbon Invitational at Waubonsie Valley High School. The meet was originally scheduled for Saturday, but due to some great planning on Waubonsie Valley's part, the meet was able to be moved up one day, avoiding the cold, rain and snow that would occur on Saturday. The Frosh-Soph team took 2nd place, only half of a point out of first behind Metea Valley, showing that our Frosh-Soph team is making great progress just before the conference meet. Our Varsity team, still not at full strength, took 4th, only one point away from 3rd. Complete results from the meet are at the link below.
The meet began with a complete Neuqua Valley sweep of the top spots in the throwing events. Hunter Danton (So.) took 1st place in both the Frosh-Soph Shot Put and Discus with marks of 46' 8.25" and 143' 2" respectively. Both of these marks are personal bests for Hunter. Matt Appel (Jr.) would accomplish the same task at the Varsity level, winning both throwing events with marks of 55' 8" and 156' 0". Matt's mark in the Shot Put is now just inches away from the school record and is another personal best. Adding to the point totals from the throws were Elijah Darden (So.), who placed 3rd in the Frosh-Soph Discus with a personal best throw of 120' 0" and Jake Dauod (So.) in the Frosh-Soph Shot Put, taking 5th with another personal best of 39' 5.25". Jacob Remack (Sr.) took 5th in the Varsity Shot Put with a throw of 46' 4".
In the jumping events, Jailen Poole (So.) took 2nd in the Frosh-Soph Long Jump with a leap of 18' 8", which is a personal best. Jailen took a break from the Pole Vault this meet, but our depth in the Pole Vault showed through when Goutham Baskaran (So.) and Jonathan Martinez (So.) took 4th and 6th respectively at the Frosh-Soph level with vaults of 9' 8" and 9' 2". In the Varsity Pole Vault, we had identical scoring as we did in the Frosh-Soph, with Alex Kiefer (Sr.) and Trevor Lambert (Sr.) taking 4th and 6th places with marks of 13' 2" and 12' 8".
With the wind picking up, we started the events on the track and Vasant Fong (So.), Daniel Gutierrez (So.), Luke Suman (So.) and Luke Mennecke (So.) turned in nearly identical 2:11 splits in the Frosh-Soph 4 x 800 m relay to take 2nd in a time of 8:47.01. The Varsity 4 x 800 m relay would face some stiff competition but Chris Keeley (Sr.), Michael Madiol (Sr.), Spencer Teske (Sr.) and Jack Orengo (Sr.) charged through to a time of 8:16.72, good enough for 3rd place and a season best. Vasant Fong would return about an hour later in the Frosh-Soph open 800 m to take 3rd in 2:10.14, a personal best. Michael Madiol would do the same at the Varsity level to take 4th in the open 800 m in 2:01.93, bettering his split in the relay.
The Varsity 4 x 100 m relay of Max Rivera (So.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.) and Christian Allen (So.) ran a season best 44.18 to take 6th against some tough teams. The same team returned in the 4 x 200 m relay with Max Rivera replaced by Michael Grawe (Sr.) and again took 6th in 1:33.27. Max Rivera also placed 6th in the 100 m dash with a time of 11.64. In the Frosh-Soph 110 m High Hurdles, Enoch Kim (So.) continues to improve and took 5th in 17.88.
In the Frosh-Soph 3200 m, Aidan Stone (So.) ran 10:16.26 to capture both 2nd place and a personal best. Nicholas Drechsler (Sr.) would also achieve an outdoor personal best in the Varsity 3200m, running 10:01.48 and taking 6th place.
As the night drew to a close, we were tired and cold, but despite this fact, our last relays of the night came through with some aggressive racing. Our Frosh-Soph 4 x 400 m relay team of Ethan Briones (So.), Ethan Thomas (So.), Brandon Do (So.) and Max Mitchell (Fr.) ran 3:48.01 to take 3rd place. For Ethan Thomas, this would be his second 400 m of the night as he took 3rd place in the open 400 m with a time of 54.59. The Varsity 4 x 400 m relay team of Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), EJ Oketona (So.) and Patrick Hoffman (Jr.) ran 3:31.32, a season best time, taking 3rd place.
We have just under two weeks before the DVC Championship Meet and now is the time to really focus on doing everything possible to get ready for a peak performance at the end of the season. Sleep right, eat right and train right and big things can happen in the next few weeks.
On that note, the Red Ribbon Invitational has always been the "Meet with a Message". The message being that of drinking and driving and the tragedies that our district has experienced as a result. As we move into next weekend and Senior Prom, we want all of our seniors to make positive decisions, not simply because it will help them perform at their best later, but so that we can see them safe and sound next Monday.
It was a cold, windy night at Downers Grove South High School on Friday as our Varsity team took a step forward, ready to end the season with a strong finish. The team took 3rd place at the Bob Cohoon Invitational and was within striking distance of Oak Park-River Forest and Minooka. Complete results from the meet can be found at the website below.
In an effort to simulate the State Meet, our throwers competed in back-to-back meets, competing both Thursday at the West Aurora Throws Meet and Friday at the Bob Cohoon Meet. Despite the tough schedule, Matt Appel (Jr.) was able to place 3rd in both the Shot Put and Discus. His throw of 52' 8" in the Shot Put is above the State Qualifying Mark and Matt was also able to throw 146' 10" in the Discus, despite a 30 mph head wind. That same wind was a crosswind in the Pole Vault, where Alex Kiefer (Sr.) took 3rd place with a jump of 12' 6".
Moving to the track, our 4 x 800 m relay team of Spencer Teske (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Michael Madiol (Sr.) and Michael O'Connor (Sr.) won the meet in an impressive fashion and with solid strategy in 8:25.58 as they battled the wind. Nicolas ran the fastest split in 2:02.3. With only about 45 minutes of rest, Nicolas and Michael O'Connor returned in the 800 m, where Michael placed 2nd in 1:58.16 and Nicolas placed 6th in a nearly identical time from the relay of 2:02.26. These would be solid marks without the wind! Michael Madiol would also return later in the meet in the 1600 m, where he took the lead in the last 100 m to win in 4:32.27. Michael was joined by Chris Keeley (Sr.) who continues his comeback and took 5th in 4:36.68. Matt Jett (Sr.), forging his own comeback trail, fought hard in the 3200 m and took 2nd in a time of 9:57.32 by running a very smart race.
Turning to the sprint events, Max Rivera (So.) continues to medal in the short sprints and took 6th in 11.39 in the 100 m dash. Max would run lead off on the 4 x 100 m and the 4 x 200 m relay. In the 4 x 200 m, Max was joined by Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Aditya Sathyaprakash (Sr.) and Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.) and took 2nd in 1:33.90, despite a pulled hamstring by Aditya where he still managed to finish the race. In the 4 x 400 m, Max Mitchell (Fr.), Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.), EJ Oketona (So.) and Patrick Hoffmann (Sr.) took 3rd in 3:36.78, showing that our 400 m runners are starting to get into racing shape.
This meet began to give us a sense of what is possible at the end of the season, something that we discussed at our team meeting this past Wednesday. The end of the season is within sight and we need to take care of the little things (sleep, nutrition, technique, etc.) now more than ever if we want to make our own luck.
This upcoming week has two more chances to take another step with our meet at home on Monday and the Red Ribbon Invitational at Waubonsie Valley on Saturday. After that, we begin our march to the end with the Conference, Sectional, and State Meets!
The conditions at Minooka's SmithStrong Invitational were far from perfect. For most of the morning, it was cold and windy, despite the fact that the sun was out and trying its best to warm us up. Our lineup was far from perfect. We were missing some key athletes for a myriad of reasons, from injury to college visits. Therefore, this meet presented us with the opportunity to face some adversity and see what we were made of. Despite an 8th place finish at the Varsity level and a 5th place finish at the Frosh-Soph level, we left the meet with a sense of promise that we would be ready to answer the call at the end of the season. Out of 54 individual performances, our athletes set 27 personal bests and 6 season bests. In other words, over half of our team had their best outdoor performance ever! The conditions may not have been perfect, but many of our athletes rose to the occasion.
Complete results from the meet can be found at the link below. As you check the results, look for "PR" or "SR' next to the mark to see if you have a personal record or a season record.
There were quite a few special performances and medal winners at the meet. In the throws, Jacob Remack (Sr.) took 4th place in the Varsity Shot Put with a throw of 48' 4", marking a personal best. Martin Kiefer (Fr.) would also set a personal best in the Frosh-Soph Discus, taking 2nd place with a throw of 115' 5". Martin's older brother Alex Kiefer (Sr.) would take another 2nd place, but this time in the Varsity Pole Vault with a jump of 13' 2". The Frosh-Soph Pole Vault would see a pair of Sophomores, Jailen Poole (So.) and Goutham Baskaran (So.), tie for 5th place and set outdoor personal bests with jumps of 10' 2". In the Long Jump, Abood Armouti (Jr.) took 6th place at the Varsity level with a jump of 19' 3.5" and Ethan Thomas (So.) took 5th place at the Frosh-Soph level with a jump of 18' 9". Both of these jumps represent outdoor personal bests.
On the track, the Frosh-Soph 4 x 800 m relay team of Daniel Gutierrez (So.), Luke Mennecke (So.), Kyle Kretovic (So.) and Vasant Fong (So.) took 4th place with a collective time of 8:53.90. Not long after this event, Stephen Smilie (So.) took 5th place in the Frosh-Soph 3200 m with a personal best time of 10:12.52. In the Varsity 3200 m, we saw the return of Chris Keeley (Sr.) after a long injury with Chris surpassing where he left off at the intra-squad meet, running 9:37.71 and taking 4th.
The Varsity 4 x 100 m relay team of Max Rivera (So.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.), Christian Allen (So.) and Michael Grawe (Sr.) took 6th place in 45.21, showing a great improvement in the exchanges even with the new addition to Christian Allen to the team. Christian was moved to the Varsity team for this relay but also placed 2nd in the Frosh-Soph 100 m in a time of 11. 74 and 6th in the Frosh-Soph 200 m in a season best 24.09. Christian would also join Ethan Briones (So.), Daniel Shin (So.) and Jailen Poole (So.) in the Frosh-Soph 4 x 200 m relay where the team would take 6th, clocking 1:39.64. The Varsity 4 x 200 m relay team would also take 6th and with nearly the same squad as the 4 x 100 m relay, with Dan Wu (Sr.) replacing Christian Allen in the 3rd leg. The team ran 1:35.68 which is a season best considering a dropped baton at the Schaumburg meet.
In the middle distance events, the Frosh-Soph 800 m would showcase an up-and-coming middle distance runner, Ethan Thomas (So.) who ran a personal best time of 2:10.44 to take 6th. The Varsity 800 m would see Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.) win the slow heat to take 5th overall in a season best time of 2:04.52. Michael Madiol (Sr.) ran a great last lap and had a great kick into the wind in the next heat to take 2nd in 2:03.05. Max Mitchell (Fr.) ran an impressive 400 m at the Frosh-Soph level and took 5th in 53.49, a personal best. Max was charging hard on the last stretch into the wind. Finally, despite the wind and the long day, our Varsity 4 x 400 m relay team of Jonah Covarrubias (Sr.), Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.), Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.) and EJ Oketona (So.) ran a season best time, even considering indoor and outdoor seasons, of 3:33.21 to take 5th.
This upcoming week is a busy one for us. We have an open meet on Monday, our Varsity team goals meeting on Wednesday, the West Aurora Throws meet on Thursday and the Bob Cohoon Invitational on Friday. Friday is the first Varsity-only invitational of the season and is our chance to show what the team can do. After all, the Conference Championship is only 4 weeks away, the Sectional Meet is only 5 weeks away and the State Meet is only 6 weeks away!
On Saturday, both our top Frosh-Soph and Varsity teams competed in the Mikias Tibebu Invitational Meet at Schaumburg High School. Our Varsity team took 3rd place and our Frosh-Soph team was invitational champions! This was a huge victory for our Frosh-Soph team and their first invitational victory in quite some time. Our younger athletes are starting to develop into serious competitors.
Complete results from the meet can be found at the link below.
The meet began with the field events and some solid performances in the throws. Hunter Danton (So.) won the Shot Put with a throw of 41' 8" and also took 2nd place in the Frosh-Soph Discus with a mark of 112' 3". Hunter was joined by Martin Kiefer (Fr.), who was filling in for Elijah Darden (So.). Martin took 3rd place in the Frosh-Soph Discus with a throw of 104' 8". Matt Appel (Jr.) won both the Shot Put and Discus at the Varsity level. In the Shot Put, Matt threw 55' 0", which is past the State Qualifying Mark and in the Discus, Matt threw 152' 4', less than 2 feet from the State Qualifying Mark.
In the Frosh-Soph Pole Vault, Jailen Poole (So.) and Jonathan Martinez (So.) took 3rd and 4th respectively, with jumps of 9' 6". Jonathan would later place 3rd in the Frosh-Soph High Jump with a leap of 5' 2" and Jailen would take 5th place in the Frosh-Soph Long Jump with a mark of 17' 11.75". Jailen would also later anchor two relays, giving him a total of four events for the day. In the Triple Jump, Abood Armouti (Jr.) took 4th place with an outdoor personal best of 40' 5.5".
Moving to the running events, our Frosh-Soph 4 x 800 m relay team of Ethan Thomas (So.), Ryan Horn (So.), Kevin Saju (So.) and Sachin Fong (Fr.) took 2nd place in a time of 8:55.00. Our Varsity team of Jordan Matthews (Sr.), Michael O'Connor (Sr.), Spencer Teske (Sr.) and Kel Foley (Sr.) won the meet in a time of 8:22.71. Michael O'Connor would record an 800 m split of 1:59.3, the fastest of the day.
In our sprint relays, the Frosh-Soph 4 x 100 m relay team of Christian Allen (So.), Ethan Briones (So.), Jack Wharton (So.) and Jailen Poole (So.) would run 47.21 to take 2nd place. Later the meet, the same group would return in the 4 x 200 m with a serious determination not to lose again and won the meet in a time of 1:39.83. Our Varsity sprint relays experienced some exchange issues and have resolved to have them fixed for the next meet.
Back to the distance events, Vasant Fong (So.) went wire to wire with Charlie Siebert from New Trier in the Frosh-Soph 3200 m, with Siebert just edging out Vasant for the win. Vasant's time of 9:53.86 would show that he is getting back to his old racing form. At the Varsity level, Matt Jett (Sr.) would return to invitational competition after injury with a time of 9:53.56 and 5th place. Quinn Kennedy (Jr.) took 6th place in 10:10.41.
In the Frosh-Soph 110 m High Hurdles, Paul Lee (Fr.) took 4th place in a time of 18.37 and Enoch Kim (So.) took 6th place in 19.32. The pair would later return in the 300 m Intermediate Hurdles with Enoch taking 2nd place in 46.11 and Paul taking 4th in 46.86. Before the meet, Paul was considering not competing because of a sore quadriceps muscle, but ended up placing in both of his events.
Besides both sprint relays, Christian Allen (So.) placed in both the Frosh-Soph 100 m and 200 m, taking 2nd in both, with times of 11.87 and 24.70 to round out an impressive day. Christian was joined in the 100 m dash by Max Mitchell (Fr.) who took 5th in 12.21. The Varsity 100 m featured Max Rivera (So.) taking 2nd in 11.73 and Aditya Sathyaprakash (Sr.) taking 4th in 11.76. Max and Aditya were also key members of both of our sprint relays.
The middle distance events were another place where our athletes scored big places. In the Frosh-Soph 800 m, Daniel Gutierrez took 2nd place in 2:10.76 and Luke Mennecke took 3rd in 2:11.32, adding 14 points to the total. Blake Storoe (Sr.) took 5th place at the Varsity level by winning the slow heat in a time of 2:05.53, which is a personal best for Blake. In the Frosh-Soph 400 m, Cory Papastathis took 5th place in 57.08. The 400 m at the Varsity level would see the duo of Kel Foley (Sr.) and Patrick Hoffmann (Jr.) double scoring 16 points by taking 1st and 3rd. Kel ran 51.33 and Patrick Hoffman ran 52.70, showing that these two athletes are quickly returning to racing form.
In the last distance event of the day, Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.) would run an impressive 4:31.45 to win the Frosh-Soph 1600 m. He was followed by Leif Anderson (So.), taking 3rd with a huge personal best of 4:37.46. The Varsity 1600 m would see another event win with Michael Madiol's (Sr.) kick bringing him across the finish line in 4:21.55 which is under the State Qualifying Mark in this event. Nicholas Drechsler (Sr.) would take 5th in 4:41.56.
In the final event of the day, the Frosh-Soph 4 x 400 m relay team of Ethan Thomas (So.), Max Mitchell (Fr.), Ethan Briones (So.), and Nicolas Dovalovsky (So.) would claim victory in 3:43.66. Ethan Thomas would end up competing in a distance event, a sprint event and a field event in the same meet, something that we have not seen on our team. For Ethan Briones, this would be his third event of the day and for Nicolas Dovalovsky, this event occurred only 20 minutes from the 1600 m. At the Varsity level, the team of EJ Oketona (So.), Aditya Sathyaprakash (Sr.), Michael Grawe (Sr.) and Kel Foley (Sr.) would take 3rd in 3:36.98. Aditya would record a split of 53.9 in his first ever Neuqua Valley 400 m and Kel Foley would record a split almost a second faster than his open 400 m. Michael Grawe and EJ Oketona would record outdoor personal best splits as well.
At the end of the meet, the sun was shining and we received a glimpse of what was to come in terms of weather and in performances from our athletes. We saw a young team start to come into their own. We are not there yet, but the marks are coming. Reflecting on the performances, it occurred to me that many of the athletes in this meet have committed to continuous improvement by training outside of the season. Whether it is through other sports or summer programs, we want to see all of our athletes commit to this same mission. Some of our athletes that were not part of invitational teams in the past have become part of them because of their dedication to training and improvement. The easiest way to do this is through our summer programs, which we will be discussing with our athletes this week. For more information and to register, click on the link below.
Next week, we have a meet at Metea Valley on Tuesday and an invitational meet at Minooka on Saturday. Let's continue showing the benefits of our training and come out to compete!