15 schools meeting up on a hot and muggy afternoon for the Naperville North boys track and field sectional meet. Excitement in the air as a chance to punch a ticket to state for the first time in over two years is on the line.
Long jump starts us off, Downers Grove South senior Rashon Murff impresses the crowd with a leap of 6.62 meters to qualify for state.
Hinsdale Central senior Henry Jonas has that beat with a leap of 6.80 meters to win the sectional event.
Now to the triple jump, James Ammenhauser from Neuqua Valley gets going and leaps a distance of 13.40 meters. For the moment it puts him in a state qualifying position.
But Sam Bowerman from Downers Grove North jumps 13.47 meters to move into second and Justin Gnade from Naperville North jumps 13.53 meters to win the triple jump sectional medal.
Throwers in action starting with the discus. Metea Valley junior Jake Paulline gets off a throw of 42.88 meters. While he won’t be heading to state, Paulline is excited by setting a new PR and school record.
Neuqua Valley senior Elijah Darden with a throw of 43.30 meters. That’s not quite the state qualifying distance, but he does advance by finishing second in the event.
One week after winning the DVC championship, Naperville Central freshman Maverick Ohle shows that his win was far from a fluke. Always a good sign when the people measuring have to run backwards. The Redhawk wins the sectional with a distance of 48.37 meters.
Let’s head to the North track for the first long distance event of the sectional. The 3200 is a strong event with runners like Owen Hays from Lyons, Chase Burrell and Gabe Ryan from Naperville North and Niklas Anderson from Benet Academy.
Anderson had to drop out of the race midway through due to a leg injury, but the front of the pack remains tight throughout.
At the end Declan Tunney from Sandburg wins at 9:23.95. Chase Burrell in second, Gabe Ryan takes 5th and just makes the state qualifying time. Owen Hays and Tim Neuman from Downers Grove South also make it taking 3rd and 4th.
Speaking of Julian Head, here is the finish of the 800. The Huskie takes 4th place and does qualify for state. Daniel Watcke, Jocqael Thorpe, and Brett Wasick go 1,2,3.
110 Meter Hurdles
The 110 meter hurdles, always a fast and fun race. Jason Huang from Benet Academy in 5th place in lane 6. Jordan Phillips from Sandburg takes third. It’s neck and neck between Jaylen Johnson from Metea Valley and Gabe Czako from Lockport. At the line it’s Czako who wins at 14.36, just six tenths of a second ahead of the Mustang. Both are heading to state.
The fastest race is the 100 meters, Naperville North senior Andrew Li takes the sectional win at 10.96, just ahead of Jaquan Howard from Bolingbrook.
Stretching it out to one lap around the track for the 400. Neuqua Valley junior Max Mitchell bursting to the front. Nobody is going to catch him. Owen Takashi from Benet takes 5th, Austin Belle from Neuqua Valley in 4th, Foster Shelbert from Naperville Central 3rd and Ryan Guerin from Downers North 2nd. Mitchell wins at 49.17.
4X200 Meter Relay
The 4X200 is the third relay of the night. Neuqua Valley takes 1st in the 4X100 and 2nd in the 4X800 while North was second in the 4X100. Lockport is the 4X200 winner ahead of Neuqua Valley in 2nd and Naperville North in 3rd. All three will be going to state.
300 Meter Hurdles
The 300 hurdles now and we have another rematch between Jalen Johnson and Gabe Czako. This time Johnson gets out to a lead and does not let it go. The Mustang junior has his first sectional win at 38.93. Graham McAnich from Naperville Central in third and Jake Landowne from Neuqua Valley in 4th.
The 1600 has some powerhouse competitors led by Nicolas Dovalovsky from Neuqua Valley. Arthur Graham from Naperville Central and Tommy Paltzer from Naperville North right there with Brock Rice from Sandburg, Wil Kiley from Lockport and Roy Llewellyn from Downers North. Dovalovsky wins with a blazing time of 4:13.25. The top six are all heading to state in a very fast event.
Second to last race is the 200 meters, it’s a two person race between Max Mitchell from Neuqua Valley and Andrew Li from North. Mitchell takes the win at 22.17. His third win of the sectional to go with the 4X100 and the 400.
We conclude as always with the 4X400. Neuqua Valley track hoping to hang on for the team sectional lead ahead of Lockport, Naperville North and Naperville Central.
Hinsdale Central wins the 4X400 with a strong time of 3:21.63. Neuqua Valley takes second place to secure the team sectional championship. The Wildcats are sending all four relays to Eastern next Saturday. Naperville North is the team runner up ahead of Lockport and Naperville Central.
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