Boys Track: Bartlett wins first sectional crown
By Gene Chamberlain For Sun-Times Media May 19, 2012 12:06AM
St. Charles North's Oshay Hodges competes in the long jump during the Class 3A boys track sectional at St. Charles North on Friday. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 19, 2012 7:50PM
As the Class 3A St. Charles North Sectional track meet concluded Friday night, state qualifiers from Elgin School District U-46 teams all posed together for parents to take a group photo.
They really needed a wide-angle lens for this one, as U-46 athletes turned back the clock to a time when they were dominant in sprints all over the track. They earned 14 state meet berths total, and that included Elgin High’s first state-qualifying relay teams since 2006. Of course, it helped having the powerhouse of the meet within their district — the Bartlett Hawks.
Bartlett won the school’s first sectional championship easily, with 94 points to 62 for runners-up Geneva and Metea Valley. In the process, Bartlett earned eight of U-46’s 14 state berths.
“Looks like we’ll be taking a bus downstate,” Bartlett sprinter Aaron Everson said.
Perhaps a caravan.
“To be honest, our coaching staff since Day 1 told these kids our goal is to win this meet,” Bartlett coach Eric Kramer said. “And the hard work over the entire season, through January and February — the hard months of the indoor season — guys working on their own over spring break when we didn’t have practices, and guys just putting in the time and believing in each other ... it all paid off. It’s just unbelievable how much this team has changed in a year because of how much they bought into track and field.”
Then, seeing all the U-46 qualifiers together, Kramer added, “I think this is a great thing because of all the bad light that’s being shined on U-46 all the time. To see kids buy in that much even when it’s not the most advertised sport is amazing.”
Everson will be a busy man in Charleston next week. He finished second in the 200 (22.53 seconds), second in the 100 (11.18), and ran with Tony Tran, Nick Simich and Zach Karys to take second in a wild 400 relay (42.66) behind upset winner South Elgin.
Bartlett’s 3,200 relay team of Vince Zipparro, Brandon Smith, Connor Rachford and Mitch Sullivan ran 7:58.56 for second, knocking 9.03 seconds off their previous best. And the Hawks’ 1,600 relay team of Rachford, Charles Mosley, Smith and Karys hung tough for fourth in 3:23.74 to make state by beating the standard.
“It’s like it all came together for us as a team today,” Everson said. “I’m so proud of this team.”
Kevin Bauers’ wins in the shot (53 feet, 11 inches) and discus (165-08), and Alex Bailey’s second-place finish in the 110 high hurdles (15.4 seconds) were the Hawks’ other state berths.
Elgin put both its 400 and 800 relay teams at state, South Elgin’s 400 runner Jeff Broger and the Storm 400 relay team, and Streamwood’s Blake Holder in the 100 (10.96 seconds) and Jhoan Lion in the 1,600 (4:27.83) were the other U-46 qualifiers. But the Sabres had the meet’s biggest disappointment when their favored 400 relay team botched a handoff and was disqualified.
For Elgin, the victory in the 800 relay by Terrell Campbell, Derek Moorman, Dennis Moore and Devante King in a school-record time of 1:27.83 erased a bad memory from two years ago.
“When we made it in the 4 by 100 first, it put a little less pressure on us in the 4 by 200 and we came through,” Moore said. “It feels amazing. My sophomore year we missed it in both, but were so close. Almost these same guys were with me and Geneva and Batavia beat us and we missed state by .03 of a second.”
Campbell was the only addition over the 2010 team that missed.
“Our coach told us this week that the record and state were the only thing we were focused on,” Campbell said.
The same four on the Elgin 400 team ran 42.69 for third, but made state by .15 of a second under qualifying time. South Elgin was a surprise winner in 42.43 with Zach Gross, Tommy Asa, Adolfo Pacheco and Broger carrying the baton.
“We’ve been working all season for this,” Gross said. “We just put Adolfo in a week ago and we just got into our speed phase, so our time has been dropping back.”
Broger’s win in the 400 meters came in 49.32, and he was quickly looking ahead to state afterward.
“Time-wise, it wasn’t that satisfying because last week I ran 49.2,” he said. “I’m satisfied I got the sectional championship — so that’s a plus.”
While the Sabres’ Holder had been the favorite in the 100, his teammate, Lino, wasn’t expected to qualify. He ran 4:27.83, coming from behind in the home stretch to get the second place berth.
“That’s six seconds off my previous best,” he said. “I’m going for more downstate. I thought this was possible.”
Oshay Hodges led St. Charles North to fourth in the meet with 55 points and qualified with seconds in the high jump (6-7) and the triple jump (44-11), and ran behind Zach Kirby, Jack Feeney and Connor Larson for second in the 1,600 relay (3:21.86). The Stars’ 800 relay team of Jack Feeney, Grant Loess, Larson and Josh Phelan advanced in second (1:29.33). North’s other berth was from Zach Kirby (49.65) in the 400.
Jake Mazanke and Nick Devor helped carry St. Charles East to seventh (47). Mazanke took second in the 800 (1:54.04) and Devor won the 300 hurdles (39.46). The two teamed up with Carter Reading and Danny Newman to win the 1,600 relay (3:18.46). Newman, Reading, Charlie Fisher and Alec Jacquot took third in the 800 relay (1:29.55) to qualify.