Normal W Boys Invite Puts An Imprint On The Central IL Map

Hunter Hendershot details his big victory in the shot up at the "Shirk"


The Illinois Wesleyan Shirk Center was in full action for the Normal Boys West Invitational which featured about 30 teams including standouts East St. Louis Sr., Plainfield North, and Eureka.

The 4x800s kicked off in full-force, as Plainfield North showed their depth by winning both the freshman/sophomore and varsity races in 8:56.30 and 8:31.11 respectively. In the varsity, Eureka and Normal University also ran solid races behind the Tigers.

In the 3200m, junior Luke Manolakes from Champaign Centennial broke the 10-minute barrier in a convincing manner after a slow start to the race- clocking 9:58.17. Later in the distance events, one of the best performances of the day was 1600 winner senior Nick Doud from Bloomington who broke out to cross the line in a state-best 4:24.84. Senior Micha Reed from Decatur MacArthur won the 800 in 2:01.39.

In the sprints, Andrew junior John Bickel swept both the 60 and the 200 clocking 7.12 and 23.19. Plainfield North junior superstar Marcellus Moore took a break from his signature short sprints to run the 400 for the first time indoors. Moore got out exceptionally well on the field in under 23 seconds. He would close things out in a solid 50.84.

In the 60m hurdles, senior Andrew Johnson from East St. Louis edged out senior Robert Williams from Springfield 8.26 to 8.27. 

Morris was awarded the 4x200 win in 1:35.22, after East St. Louis's would be IL #1 but was disqualified. 

Over in the shot put, Mahomet-Seymour junior Hunter Hendershot demonstrated his talent and hard work, throwing 56-10 to win the finals.

In the high jump, seven boys jumped 6 feet, but senior Jason Oliver from Chicago Leo Catholic won in 6-2.

Drew Crooks of Bloomington captured the long jump title (21-9.25) and Kahlil Ross from Springfield Lanphier the triple jump (43-6.5).

Both vaulting 14 feet, Reed Wilson from Normal beat crosstown rival Liam Mcgill of Bloomington. 

The final event of the meet, the 4x400, the race director turned on music as the teams raced to win the hammer that traditionally is given to the winner of the 4x400. East St. Louis and Eureka ran a thriller against each other, trading leads until East St. Louis finally pulled away to barely miss breaking their own IL #1 but still running 3:26.7.