Ed Worthem closes out the Milesplit Illinois 4x800 relay in a state leading 7:52.97 time for Fremd
No #1 Edwardsville. No problem. No Clayton Mendez. No problem. No Cameron Ruiz. No problem. Weather was not great. No problem.
The 49th Annual Wanner Knight Invitational hosted by Prospect turned out to be pretty solid despite Edwardsville not returning as a team. The #1 rated Tigers decided to stay closer to home this year. The Whitney Young junior distance whiz Clayton Mendez was in street close playing team manager and fan, enjoying the spoils of racing well over the past few weekends. Cameron Ruiz was held out as a precaution by his Lakes coaching staff. The future Northwestern University football product will be ready for track prime time soon enough. The weather was much better than originally predicted as temps were in the upper 50s and lower 60s early on. It did not get nippy until very late into the contest.
Compete don't pout-
More importantly than worry who was not here or try and cast a pessimistic weather spell like Tom Skilling, it was competing in less than idea conditions than we all wanted in late April was the message here. The first final of the evening was the MileSplit Illinois 4x800 relay. Of course this is where the top notched units usually target their best regular season effort. The at-large entry Palatine (Fremd) was eager to get after a good time for the first time outside. The Vikings veteran cast consisted of seniors Danny Peterson, Jack Buban, Ed Vogelgesang, and junior Ed Worthem took it to Zion-Benton Thomas Mosley who went out fast over the first 300. Peterson would finish his leg in 1:54.5 and it was a pursuit of the Vikings for the other key squads. Prospect would mount a valiant on the end of the third leg and anchor with James Riordan. However, the Vikings' cushion was too much to overcome as Worthem enjoyed the two lap tour with a 1:58 finishing split. The fast time puts Illinois back on the national map with a slick 7:52.97. Prospect earned the official victory with a season best and IL#2 7:55.60. Both schools will see one another more than enough leading up to the state championship.
The sprints and speed relays were momentarily marred by open lanes vacated by no show Proviso West. In the 4x100 it was Prospect that showed off some good finishing speed by dueling with Zion-Benton from the third exchange. It was the host Knights holding on by a smidge 43.09-43.11. Despite cool temps three other teams were under 43.80. Lyons turned back the hosts in the 4x200m 1:30.37-1:30.47. The final race of the day saw a thrilling anchor display between Lyons Twp and Minooka. Lyons took the handoff in first, but junior Brandon Adams did not fold even after stumbling in the first 100. Adams quickly regrouped and tracked the Lions ace. Finally, seconds before the finish on the homestretch Adams was able to zip to the front and polish off a 50.5 split and a solid 3:25.47 winning effort.
Wheeling senior Jason Shannon completed a great sprint double seizing the 100 and 200 over very fellow senior Colin Marchio of Minooka. Shannon copped the Century in 11.08. The half-lapper was good for 22.63.
Danny Kilrea (Jr., Downers Grove North) knew that he was going to be running solo after learning Clay Mendez was resting. So as it was Kilrea did not resign to running a tempo. He hit the first mile in just over 4:31 and held a football long lead for the remaining part of the race. The sub 9:00 effort fell when tightened up a bit on the final two laps but still ran a solid 9:03.98. Jackson Bode (Jr., York) finished a distant second 9:29.85.
State 800m leader Charlie Kern (Jr., York) was going after the sub 1:53 barrier. He and Thomas Mosley waged battle for a short time before Kern took over for good just after the first lap. Kern opened the cadience up on the field and pulled for the easy win in 1:53.21.
The race of the day was perhaps the 1600m. Alex Tam (Jr., Libertyville) wanted a school record and made the field sweat for a long while. Tam opened in 61.xx and then 2:06 at the half. Soren Knudsen (Sr., Minooka) finally tracked him down prior to the 1200 and stalled. It was as though he was toying with Tam. But with 300 to go Knudsen took off and showed that he is back to being the state championship threat everyone predicted. The end result was a school record 4:13.53.
The field events showed some life as well. One of the state's best throwers Jamir Gibson (Jr., Zion-Benton) put his name on the state map sweeping the discus (166-9) and shot put (56-9). Tom Saggau (Sr., Lyons) came from behind in the triple jump to win with a leap of 45-1.5. Tyrone Treadwell (Sr., Springfield) finished second ahead of David Oluyadi (Sr., Chicago Lane Tech) 44-6.5.