Pete Struck Classic: The Metric Mile Is Put On Display

Watch the thrilling fast section #3 "mile" race at the Pete Struck Invite


Orland Park IL-

The Pete Struck Invitational was not a distance running carnival as some tried to coin it. There were some quality performances of note before the main event (section 3 1600m).


Cael Hiser (Jr., Minooka) took the 100m spotlight in the absence of his star teammate Tyler Colwell (Sr., Minooka) in 11.01.

Danny Olsen (Jr., Chicago Marist) ran an all-time best 50.77 in winning the 400m and dropped over two seconds from his previous best.

Collin Forrest (Sr., Minooka) enjoyed a good day in the hurdles. In the short variety, Forrest easily won the 110HH in 14.79. Later in the 300H, Forrest took the victory by nearly two seconds in 40.73.

Crete-Monee and Andrew traded several positions in the relays. Andrew won the 4x100 in 42.96 and Crete-Monee was victorious in the 4x200, running the fourth-fastest time in the state 1:29.30.

Chicago Marist won the 4x800 in 8:13.09 on the strength of senior Tim Phillips' 2:01.3 anchor leg. It's the 15th best time in the state.

Sam Bowerman (Sr., Downers Grove North) improved on his triple jump personal best and got the win with a 45'5" effort which is now IL#5.

Jonathan Young (Sr., Andrew) is the state leader in the discus throw and he produced another 170-foot plus performance (170'1"). 

The main event was nothing short of spectacular-

Sandburg coach John O'Malley made a retort over the past weekend that the 1600m field at the Pete Struck would be as equally as deep in terms of quality and performances as anyone assembled this season short of the state championship. He was correct.

Section three got off fast as if there was a rabbit leading the way. Oh wait, the typical front-running senior Roy Llewellyn of Downers Grove North took it upon himself as usual to lead. Llewellyn led at the first three checkpoints: 400- 60.9, 800- 2:05.0, 1200- 3:10.

Mixed into the race was Daniel Watcke (Jr., Hinsdale Central) who has dominated the 400 and 800 fields over the past several years. Although he had a 4:15-4:16 on his resume, many have doubted his ability to roll with the big dogs. Watcke was right with Declan Tunney (Sr., Sandburg) and Llewellyn when it got very serious on the bell lap.

Watcke moved into the lead for the first time with 250m remaining. Tunney was not light work though as he clung to Watcke and made the challenge one that the middle-distance star would not forget. Watcke won in a personal best 4:12.43 but was hurting as if he were in a 15-round bout with Mike Tyson. Needless to say that he punched out the competition and decisions will have to be made on this second-best performance in the state will be added to his event log for the state series.