Top Five Storylines To Watch At The Pete Struck Classic

It will be another great day of track and field action at Sandburg HS for the Pete Struck Classic (Tony Holler photo)

ORLAND PARK- The penultimate start to what is expected to be an exponentially better weekend than what has been displayed recently, both in quality of weather and strength of schedule. One such meet is the Pete Struck Invite named in honor of the distinguished former Eagles coach Pete Struck whose hall-of-fame career has spawned his great predecessor John O'Malley. There is no doubt that those in attendance will receive a Thursday evening treat. 
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2023
Time: Field- 4:30p I Track- 5:30p
How to follow: Twitter - @milesplitil #petestruck23


1. The 1600m- once an "OK" event has turned into one of the deepest in the state and that should once again be the case. There are three sections and the third and final one will be very fast. It took 4:27.00 to get in the fast section. Last year's winner was Dan Watcke of Hinsdale Central. The senior superstar will be in attendance at the Drake Relays to compete in a prestigious high school mile. His teammates Michael Skora (Jr) and Aden Bandukwala (Jr) are in the field and with seed marks of 4:17.78 and 4:19.00, they are expected to compete for the win. The top seed is Marcellus Mines (Jr., Joliet West) who appears healthy and back to his strong frontrunning prowess. Mines took sixth at the Distance Night In Palatine Mile last weekend. His 1600m time en route was 4:15.63 which is the top overall time. 

2. No Cael Hiser or Samuel Drey- They are not hurt according to Minooka head coach Nick Lundin. "They are getting a scheduled week off ahead of the last month." That means the Indians' sprint game will be severely depleted. The senior tandem of Hiser and Drey is among the state leaders in the 100m (10.67, 10.89). Hiser is also ranked fourth in the 200 (21.94) and he and Drey were on the state's fourth best 4x100 relay.

3. The 4x100 relay- We now know that Minooka will not be in the fast section or in contention to be among the scorers. However, the race will be very good with some stout teams on display. Keep an eye on section four where two teams have seeds under 43.00 led by Tinley Park Andrew at 42.52. Hillcrest, Thornwood, and Crete-Monee will battle strong as anything can happen

4. Edward Clark III- Who?? That's right he is the speedster headlining the show in three events. It is time for the Crete-Monee senior standout to emerge to a level that supplants on the state championship chatter stage. Clark has been on the conscious of Illinois track and field forever it seems. He is entered in four events and the one to watch is the 400m, his 49.31 could easily be in the 48s with the right start and good finish.

5. Javaris Ambrose- He is one of the nation's best shot putters and the heavy favorite. The U of Illinois bound Ambrose from Thornton HS is rated #2 in the state with a mark of 61-2. Ambrose has been toying around since his Arcadia Invite runner up finish. With the good enough weather on the scene, expect to see a threat on the state's top effort.