Downers Grove South Mustang Relays Recap: Checkmate!

“There is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in win." This was the sentiment of one coach after an amazing evening of top notch performances at the Al B. Carius Indoor Track and Field on the campus of North Central College in Naperville. The “I" simply refers to one getting check mated like a chess match. Game over. Now there is plenty of data for the forthcoming season at the disposal for teams in attendance and not in attendance. It will be interesting to see how things go as the season progresses to outdoor in a few weeks.


Here is post-script of each event:

Girls 4x800 Meter Relay


School Finals


1 Loyola Academy 9:25.02- [2:20.0 2:22.4 2:22.8, 2:19.8

2 Downers North 9:25.54- [2:14.3, 2:21.6, 2:25.7, 2:23.4]

3 Yorkville 9:28.59- [2:16.1, 2:23.9, 2:20.2, 2:28.4]

4 Lane Tech 9:30.87- [2:18.9, 2:24.7, 2:16.8, 2:30.2]

5 Minooka 9:33.47

6 Hoffman Estates 9:34.20

7 St.Charles East 9:35.96

8 Geneva 9:44.89

9 Downers South 9:45.62

Analysis: St. Ignatius won the 1st section of 3 in 9:56.81. That solid time from the cringing term “slow heat" seemed to produce a feeling of what was to come. Schaumburg continued the ride with a come from behind 9:46.40 section 2 victory over Lombard (Glenbard East) who ran 9:50.50… the championship girls jostled to the line with the clerk of the meet like they were in a championship prized fight. The only thing missing was their theme music. Lane Tech's Imani Davis came into high school dreamed of being the next Allyson Felix. However that dream was shattered when the coaching staff told her what type of work had to be put in. More importantly, though, one had to be a born sprinter on the international level. Davis has slowly emerged into a top middle-distance runner with her more than adequate leg speed. So it was not a surprise to see her move to the front of the melee with Emma Moravec of Downers Grove North. Both girls separated themselves and pushed the pace to an insane pitch. Surprisingly, Moravec pulled away from Davis and then the field in a mind boggling 2:14.4. Downers North continued to lead big on the second leg and it appeared as though they would run and hide. But on the third leg Yorkville and Lane behind Maddie Monticello, both girls closed the gap. Monticello actually took the lead. The duo athlete (club soccer player) ran third because her teammate Ro Mulkerrins was out of action. Anna Baltudis would be set up nicely on anchor for the Indians. Meanwhile, Loyola Academy quietly crept back into the race. So, the final two circuits it would be Downers Grove North's Zayna Jan and Kathryn House of Loyola battling for the victory. House's final surge and determination over the final 100m was the difference in the win. It would be the state's #1 time and school record according to Coach Chris Jon Simon who pried away two kids from soccer.

The 4x800 is always the most competitive event at DGS Mustang Relays

Boys 4x800 Meter Relay


School Finals


1 Sandburg 7:53.49- [1:59.7, 2:02.2 1:56.2 1:55.4]

2 Neuqua Valley 7:55.42- [2:05.1, 2:00.2, 1:58.2, 1:51.9]

3 Lyons Township 7:56.29- [1:58.1, 2:00.7, 2:00.7, 1:56.8]

4 Glenbard West 7:56.54- [1:58.7, 2:00.4, 1:58.7, 1:58.8]

5 Lane Tech 7:57.64- [2:00.4, 1:59.9, 1:54.5, 2:02.6]

6 Whitney Young 7:59.48

7 Downers North 8:03.87

8 Hinsdale Central 8:08.31

9 Yorkville 8:09.22

Analysis: Just like the girls, the boys' preceding races opened with season bests from a bevy of teams. Lombard (Glenbard East) won the first section in 8:30.41. St. Charles East dropped the watermark to 8:10.95 in section two. It wasn't easy for the Saints in the early going with the state 800m leader Connor McCue dropping a 1:56.5 opener for his West Aurora team who led for the opening two legs… finally, it was time for the main event. The race itself was not overly hyped because the seed times suggested the final time would be in the neighborhood of 8:00- a mark typical for Illinois at this time of the year. Whitney Young standout Kevin Ma immediately took charge of the lead off role with 56.9 and 1:56.9 checkpoint marks. The race officially was going to be fast! Whitney Young held serve for the next two circuits before giving way to Lyons Township's Ben Gawthorp and Glenbard West's Nate Crail. Both young men separated themselves from the pack and were clocked in the 2:01 range. Meanwhile, Sandburg and Neuqua Valley were seemingly out of the picture (literally for Neuqua Valley). Lane Tech put ace Pavlo Hutsalyuk in at the third position to gain momentum and hopefully provide a nice set up for anchor Luis Ramirez. The ploy appeared to work as Hutsalyuk motored past Glenbard West and Lyons into the lead. Hutsalyuk continued to surge opening up with a 53.8 first 400. Despite having tired legs from three meets in five days (“hell week" schedule), he appeared strong and determined to assist his team's cause. He hit 600m in 1:23.6 and was not about to slow down. He would give his team Ramirez a sizable lead. Sandburg moved into third on the strength of Sean Torpy's monster third leg. His twin brother Chris Torpy had the perfect set for his anchoring role. Chris worked with Glenbard West for a very short period before moving into second place and aiming for Ramirez who was still leading, but obviously laboring after a hard 57-second opening 400. Chris took the lead away from Ramirez followed by Glenbard West; Ty Moss from Neuqua Valley crept back into the race from at least sixth or seventh place. He had rescued his mates from the grave. Moss ran a sickening 1:51.9 split but it was too little too late as Chris Torpy held on for the victory in a record time of 7:53.49. The feeling in the air immediately afterwards was “wow!"

Girls 4x200 Meter Relay


School Finals



1 Lincoln-Way East 1:41.90

2 Bolingbrook 1:45.21

3 Kaneland 1:45.90

4 Downers North 1:47.81

5 Downers South 1:48.30

6 Loyola Academy 1:48.69

7 Whitney Young 1:48.92

8 Minooka 1:49.12

9 Lyons Township 1:49.23

10 Yorkville 1:49.97

Analysis: Initially it was supposed to be a showdown between Lincoln-Way East and Homewood-Flossmoor. HF decided to pack their bags for New York City and the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Fine. The Griffins had no choice but to do a solo time trial. No that's not true but it seemed like it after winning their championship section by more than eight seconds. There were several mishaps in the race including a lazy first exchange between lead-off Alexis Pierre-Antoine and Ololade Ayoola. Ayoola moved into the right lane nearly impeding Whitney Young. If this were a state championship with more officials watching LWE would have been disqualified. However, the Griffins got their act together and won easily. It was unfortunate that Young, Batavia, and another team were involved in a nasty crash at the second exchange. Batavia was disqualified for their infractions. As well the meet marshall was in the way which did not help matters. Bolingbrook stiffed themselves with a low seed time that kept them out of the money race. The Raiders mark could hold up for second overall out of section 5 which by the way had four of the top five fastest times.

The Bengals of Plainfield East won the 4x200

Boys 4x200 Meter Relay


School Finals


1 Plainfield East 1:31.26

2 Minooka 1:31.98

3 Metea Valley 1:32.60

4 Bloom Twp 1:33.59

5 Niles North 1:33.89

Analysis: The boy's race was nowhere near as exciting as the girls. In fact it was a little boring aside from favorite Plainfield East chugging it out against Minooka. The Bengals wanted the meet record of 1:30.50. Instead they got a victory slower than their season best of 1:30.42.

Asia Brown put the finishing touches on a record run in the 4x400

Girls 4x400 Meter Relay


School Finals


1 Lincoln-Way East 3:55.95

2 Neuqua Valley 3:59.43

3 St.Charles East 4:00.10

4 Lane Tech 4:02.24

5 Downers North 4:04.54

6 Yorkville 4:06.67

7 Downers South 4:07.18

8 Lyons Township 4:07.66

9 Hoffman Estates 4:08.23

10 Minooka 4:08.85

11 Loyola Academy 4:10.59

Analysis: A large crowd actually stayed to the end to watch the girl's showstopper. Lincoln-Way East ran their “A" line up this year and they did not want to disappoint the faithful. St. Charles East ran their best with a new line up (large graduation losses) and battled with Lane Tech for second. Lincoln-Way East despite less than stellar transitions like hopping around on each handoff. But the talented Griffins clicked off 57.6, 58.9, 59.7, 59.7 splits unopposed. They want to ultimately break the long standing 4x4 all-time best of 3:44.9 by East St. Louis Lincoln. They will get their shot at the Arcadia Invitational in April. Neuqua Valley actually set the stage in section four running a surprising 3:59.43. Senior Maya Neal clocked 58.8 for her Wildcat mates.

Ty Moss' 48.9 anchor stroll slammed the door for Neuqua Valley

Boys 4x400 Meter Relay


School Finals


1 Neuqua Valley 3:25.13

2 Lyons Township 3:28.74

3 St.Charles East 3:29.12

4 Plainfield East 3:29.98

5 Plainfield South 3:30.44

6 Plainfield Central 3:30.91

7 Lane Tech 3:31.16

8 Glenbard West 3:31.46

9 Metea Valley 3:31.81

Analysis: The last event of the day was actually good to view from the third section of six. Lane Tech and Plainfield Central battled strong before giving way to St. Charles East who won section 5. But the race that the remaining fans wanted to see was the championship 6 section. Neuqua Valley did not help themselves when it appeared as though Michael Duy ran hurt from either a sore hamstring or cramps. His carry put his team in a big hole with a 54.3 split that resulted in a dead last position. Lyons and Hinsdale Central played around with the lead for two legs until Neuqua Valley's Zac Espinosa and Ty Moss came to the rescue. Espinosa closed the lead down with his 49.3 stroll that put the Wildcats in front for Moss. It was all over after that as Moss slammed the down shut on any attempt by Lyons or St. Charles trying to sneak in for the win. “The Golden Child" laced the track with a scorching 48.9 #showstopping tote.