Pete Struck Invite Looks To Get Ahead Of Weather And Prom


Sandburg High School in Orland Park will be the scene of a good track and field invitational.

That's the easy part.

The hard part is the coaching staff's ability to navigate prom season, moody April weather, and the NFL draft.

The first thing item is prom. "One of the reasons that we have the Pete Struck on a Thursday is to avoid [the logistical issues] of prom," said one Sandburg coach. 

Secondly, the Pete Struck Invite is incredibly fortunate because it appears to avoid Friday's forecast of heavy thunderstorms slated for the Chicagoland area.

Lastly, all eyes will be on the NFL draft, which takes place Thursday evening, and Chicago is a football-crazy town with the top pick. The Bears will have several top picks to choose from. 

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There are several notable events to keep an eye on: 

Look no further than the long jump pit for one of the state's best in Vince Davero (Sr., Downers Grove North). Davero has leaped 23'6" (nwi) thus far on the season. Don't be surprised to see him clear 24 feet if he gets a favorable wind behind him. Davero is not entered in the triple jump in his bread and butter event.

Evan Gocmen (Sr., Stagg) is quietly modding into one of the top high jumpers in the state. He has cleared 6'4" several times and topped a personal best of 6'6.75" for IL#10.

Dejay Smith (Sr., Minooka) has run 14.77 for the 110HH but was into a -2.7 wind. Watch out if he catches a nice tailwind.

It doesn't appear that the speedy St. Laurence corps will be fully strapped for the meet. However, they did bring one relay group, the 4x100, and they are the top seed at 42.69.

The final section of the 1600m will be the race of the evening. See last year's barn burner below.

This year's field will feature some stout distance aces. Defending 3A state champion Aden Bandukwala (Sr., Hinsdale Central) is back to defend his crown. The runner-up, Marcellus Mines (Sr., Joliet West), is also featured. How about the 4:07 man Ryan Eddington (Sr., Downers Grove North)? He is here, and so is special guest "Mo" Mohamed Abdullahi (Sr., Chicago Mather).

Last year's boys fast section 1600m was epic and perhaps a precursor for what occurred in the 3A state final.