1A Salt Fork Puts The Folk In It's Foes For First Team Title

Mason Barr of Ridgeview nearly broke the 1A 110HH record; Caine Wilson of Salt Fork takes second

Charleston- Under the backdrop of a day, that on the surface appeared picture perfect for a state championship. O'Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, the sun was mixed with part gusty winds and humidity that fans and athletes go through pleasure and pain.

Salt Fork earned points all around the track-

#1 Salt Fork came in as the team to beat for the title despite not having a true individual superstar. The Storm had been the definition of a team all season long. The action started in the field with junior Payton Taylor in the shot put and discus throw. New Berlin junior Greg Zellers did not improve on his prelim mark of 55-9.25 but he was good enough be crowned champion. Taylor contributed six points with a fourth-place finish throw that measured 53-8.25. Taylor later competed in his second event where Joe Kingery (Sr., Teutopolis) won with a sailing effort of 179-10. Taylor took sixth with a mark of 161-7.

The track action was led by standout senior Caine Wilson who earned four gold medals on the day. He knew he had to be a workhorse in order for his team to win to take home the first place trophy. Wilson's day started with a strong anchor leg in the 4x100 that netted four points for fourth place in 44.00. Spring Valley Hall pulled the fastest time in the classification with a slick 42.74. A short time later it was the exploits of senior Mason Barr of Ridgeview in the 110HH. Barr made it known that he wanted the longtime record held by Phil Sikengga of Elmhurst (Timothy Christian) at 13.92. Barr was possessed as soon as the gun went off. He did not have a perfect race, he hit a few hurdles hard in the beginning but still ran a blistering 13.93 (+1.9). Wilson was able to take third in 15.06... several hours later Barr was victorious in the 300H in 37.70- the second fastest merged time. Wilson busted through as well with a runner up 39.19.

Cody Klein (Sr., Pana) joined track and field for the first this season and he has been sensational. That sentiment reared its head twice on the day. The first was a surprising 100m win in 10.85 over a stellar field. The second win was a resounding personal best 21.57 and the wind-legal time puts him in a class by himself among his classification peers. Wilson's vital eight points with a second place finish are the final nail in the coffin for the Storm who indeed scored 40 points which overrode #2 Duquoin (36) and Pana (36) who split the runner up trophy. There was no third place team.

The best of the rest-

Christopher Collet (Sr., Seneca) swept the 3200m and 1600m with very strategic planning in adverse conditions. The first was noted that Negus Bogard (Jr., Robinson) had set the pace in section 1 with a time of 9:48.29. Collet and his peers went to work in the championship section with modest pacing. It wasn't until the bell lap that Collet was able to pull away with a strong circuit and ultimately win in 9:36.99. Collet was able to hold off Noah McIntyre (Jr., Athens) for the "mile" win 4:24.71-4:26.06.

Perhaps the surprise of the day was Samuel Herenton (Sr., Chicago Providence St. Mel) winning the 400m. He had run some swift times leading into the state meet, but hardly anyone outside of the city knew of his exploits. After clocking the #1 seed for the final, Herenton immediately went to work against the field. Makail Stanley (Jr., Argenta-Oreana) tried to stay close but Herenton kept pulling away. The final verdict was a massive personal best and #3 overall time merged wise in 48.16. The best is yet to come for this stallion.

It was a thrilling finish for Boston Stewart (Sr., Decatur McArthur) ended up with the second fastest time in the 800m on the day. The favorite Shane Yamco (Sr., Riverton) went to work against the field in a hectic pace that took him through in 54.8. However, he began to rig up tremendously with 150m to go. On the homestretch, it appeared as though the finish line was pushed back and the chasers Stewart and Hunter Newman (Fr., Morrison) hunted Yamco down. Stewart was the first to pass and then Stewart. The winning time was 1:54.92 and the newcomer clocked the fastest for a yearling at 1:55.25.

Kyle Kruthoff (Sr., Erie) proved to be the best vaulter in the state all season long. He matched it with an effort of 16-8 and later attempted 17-0 for good measure. Overall, he is the US#11 performer.