Everyone knew for more than a week when the forecast for Friday, June 18 was going to be a rough one. It might as well be "Friday The 13th" in "Chucktown." The Mercury hit 99F but the real feel was 105F along with high humidity making it an all-around miserable day if you were just hanging out. But there is a track and field championship to be won, so may the best athletes perform well and succeed!
Mascoutah won their first team title scoring 51 points, Eureka 45, ESL 41, Urbana 41
Event by Event-
Discus Throw: Barry Evans (Mascoutah) was the favorite coming in and he connected on his best effort on the first attempt that flew 176'8"- good for IL#2.
High Jump: The state leader and US#5 (7'0") CJ Shoaf (Mahomet-Seymour) played for the win in these very tough conditions. He attempted and cleared his first attempt at 6'4", the same height that runner-up Mason Clough (Herrin) had bowed out on. Shoaf's official mark in the standings was 2.07m (6'9.50") and we moved the bar up to 7'0". Shoaf would bow out there and get ready for his track events.
Long Jump: A bit of nerves wracked Daniel Mboyo of Urbana. He knew the target was on his back coming in as the state's leading performer. It was a devastating 14'6" effort followed by a scratch that called for desperate measures. Trailing Jayden McCulskie-Green (Sandwich) with one jump remaining, Mboyo launched his best attempt of the day and won with a 22'10.75.
Pole Vault: Perhaps the best competition of the day in the field. It was just two performers left in Malakai Schaad (Geneseo) and Colton Naffzinger (Normal U High). Both vaulters faced elimination at 4.88 but Schaad cleared his. The pressure was on Naffzinger to do the same and he did with ease. The bar was placed up to 4.93 (16-feet). Naffzinger cleared his first attempt but Schaad would bow out on three attempts. Naffzinger asked for the bar to be raised to 17'4" but it was a no-go.
This was one of the first events on the docket and the winner Jake Borman
of Burlington Central needed all of the strength he could muster. Borman fell ill prior to the competition but thanks to his supporting cast which provided much-needed electrolytes, he was able to pull through. Borman connected on his final attempt to beat Barry Evans with a mark of 54'7"
The multi-talented Jayden McCulskie-Green
has worked hard for this moment and he would not be denied. The senior from Sandwich had winning marks from every jump but his final attempt at #4 was measured at 47'9.50"
4x800: This championship proves that taking your foot off of the gas could be a fatal mistake. Mascoutah won the first section in 8:07.99 (1:58.86 anchor). Sycamore fought with St. Viator for the majority of the race and actually eased up at the finish line. They were fortunate to walk away with the win in 8:07.67.
4x100: Underdogs all season but Urbana came together at the right time. The Tigers took a huge bite out of the competition and roasted the track in a school record and classification best 42.11.
The question was 'what would Drew Rogers
do?' Well, he worked to conserve as much energy as possible for as long as possible. Sitting on the pace set by Chris Cherry
of Taylorville and Alex Partlow
of Carbondale, it would come down to a kick with 150m to go. Rogers opened it up and won comfortably in 9:13.23.
The closest race of the day by far. Devontae Ford
(E. St. Louis Sr) vs. CJ Shoaf. Add in Kevyere Mack
of Peoria Richwoods for suspense and you get this: 14.07, 14:07, 14.08! But it was the winner Ford's 14.065 that took the cake.
: Kyle Burgoni
of Tolono Unity has been in the limelight all season from indoor season to regular season and now it's the state's fastest man title that is all his. In a one-section run-off, Burgoni burst from his block and won very easily in 10.71 (-0.1). Burgoni's time is the state's top legal mark.
800: Brock Drengenberg
was a state champion for Dixon in the 4x800 two years ago. This time he stepped out solo and won a very spirited race vs. a good field. The final tally was a school record and class best 1:54.69.
4x200: Who knew... the upstart Kankakee quartet would be a year earlier with their sprint charges. The Kays spoiled the party meant for Mascoutah and E. St. Louis Sr. The time of 1:28.88 rates #1 in the class and fourth overall in the state.
: Micah Senior
from Eureka took the early charge and appeared to be on his way to a big win until he rigged up with 60m remaining. Fortunately, his teammate Aden Sears
come on late with a burst of speed to win in 49.42.
300H: It has been said to never count your chickens before they hatch. This sentiment applies to the hurdles in this instance. Devontae Ford was not only the heavy favorite but there was a watch on whether he could set the all-time record. The confident Ford set out to do just that but he hit the fourth hurdle well ahead of the field. Unfortunately, the crash was too much to overcome as he placed seventh in 39.70. Kevyere Mack stormed home from behind and took the win in 38.20.
1600: It would be another heart attack and panic attack closer from Drew Rogers. He appeared to bid his time sitting in the pack. Cadyn Grafton of Dixon made an attempt to steal the race on the bell lap but Rogers responded and with less than 200 to go, he closed under 60-seconds to set the classification record with a time of 4:13.26.
200: Perhaps a future star was born in Jeremiah Hamilton of Urbana. He anchored his team to the 4x100 earlier and then put his team in a position to earn a medal in the 4x200. But this was his race to lose and he would not relinquish the victory. The time 21.67 was good enough to hold off Kyle Burgoni.
4x400: The last race of the day went to the favorites from Eureka. The Hornets put it away on anchor Micah Senior's strong 49.42 leg and the spoils go 3:23.86.