Luke Winder Leads ‘The Gone With The Wind’ Charge At Hinsdale Relays

Even the ultra-talented Luke Winder (Jr., Plainfield Central) knew this absurdly windy day would not be a day to try and be Superman.  “I knew with the weather conditions that it would be best I use this time as practice,” he said.  The head pole vault judge characterized the hurricane like conditions as “a crosswind” that really didn’t bother the vaulters. But in reality the warm climes (middle 60s) were accompanied by 30 mph winds the entire meet. Winder won with a modest effort of 14-0, but he attempted 15-0 and could not clear the usually attainable height due to the aforementioned reasons.

Oak Park sprints dominated the track-

Oak Park-River Forest will only go as far as their talented sprinters will take them this season.  When the Huskies breezed past the competition in the 4x1r and 4x2r head coach Tim Hasso had no reaction.  But when his throwers and shot putters won the weight men 4x100r, he reacted with a cheese smile and comment: “times don’t matter until the end of the year.”  Hasso may be correct with that statement when the state series begin next month.

Oak Park made their first statement by winning the 4x1 in 42.6.  The quartet of Jamal Baggett (Jr.), Lionel Towns (Jr.), Zach Booth (Sr.), and Tariq Taylor (Sr.) flew through the teeth of the wind and well ahead of runner-up Chicago Lane Tech and third place LaGrange Lyons Township.

The Huskies later returned to win the 4x2 just as convincing in 1:29.6.  The same quartet used a different order of Towns, Taylor, Booth, and Baggett to show how diverse they can and will be. It is this kind of diversity that is going to be needed for the Chicago-area #2 team if they hope for another state plaque.

Lyons Twp. depth proves too strong in winning the overall title-

Lyons Twp. has always prided themselves in being a complete team.  The Lions once again came away with the overall team championship when the frosh-soph and varsity scores were tallied.  Coach Mike Danner’s team scored big points in all areas of the competition.  The diverse bunch tallied numerous first, second, and third place finishes.  Among the key efforts were the Distance Medley Relay, 4x1600m, 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x800m, 4x110m Shuttle Hurdle, and 4x400m. 

Other key meet performances-

Lane Tech finished third in the overall team standings but collected several event victories. 

The Indians started the morning off winning the 4x1600m in 18:23 [4:38.7, 4:29.2, 4:41.2, 4:35.4].  Sophomore Christian Badillo was given the chore of leading off.  Badillo hung tough with Hinsdale Central’s lead runner and Lyons Twp. Mike Matusiak (Sr.).  The trio worked together for the first two laps in approximately 2:12-2:13.  Matusiak is one of the state’s top distance runners and demonstrated that fact when stretched out a tiny margin to over seven seconds on the first exchange.

Lane’s Marcelo Burbano (Sr.) immediately took flight after Lyons on the second leg. It took Burbano 800m to close down the Lyons lead, and finally he went in front with 700m remaining.  Oswaldo Lorenzana (Jr.) battled with Lyons and also Hinsdale Central, but was able to hang on for anchor Pavlo Hutsalyuk (So.).  Hutsalyuk ran a strong leg despite a good challenge from Hinsdale Central’s Ryan Somerfield (Sr.).

Lane Tech returned later to win the DMR in 10:44.4.  Burbano led off and used a strong 1200m leg (3:14.4) to give his teammate Tony Abreu (Sr.) a comfortable margin for his 400m dash.  Abreu stretch things out with his speedy 50.5 tote.  The momentum continued with Hutsalyuk and his 800m portion.  The emerging sophomore ran a controlled first lap before putting up on final burst the over the final 200m to run 2:05.8.  Jon Vara (Jr.) completed the final task- trotting 4:33.9 for his 1600m leg.

As mentioned earlier Lyons Twp. performed well in a variety of events.  The 4x400r was perhaps the team’s stellar performance.  The Lions battled with Oak Park River Forest throughout the four leg race.  It wasn’t until the start of the anchor leg that the Lions got some breathing room before winning 3:27.7-3:33.5.

Lyons’ did not limit their solid performances to the track.  Jimmy Mitchell (Sr.) continued his undefeated season by taking top honors in the shot put (53-1.25) and winning by almost four-feet.  Matt Harris (Sr.) did not have his greatest effort in the long jump but he still won comfortably in 22-11.75.  Apparently, Harris wasn’t able to connect well on his steps due to the weather conditions and moving from the field to the track events several times.

Nick Piker (Sr., Hinsdale Central) opened his final outdoor campaign with a near personal best 157-10 in winning the discus throw.