Pete Struck Classic Churned Out Some Amazing Performances

The St. Laurence Vikings quartet came to Carl Sanburg on their horses and mounted the competitions (Tony Jones photo)




Orland Park-- The prior decisions by the Sandburg coaches to host their meet on a Thursday vs. the traditional Friday or a Saturday paid off.

The weather played into the hands of the jumping events, particularly the long jump. Six of the top eight performers either scored a personal or season best. One of the state's top long jumpers, Vince Davero (Sr., Downers Grove North), enjoyed the favorable tailwind, a crosswind that blew west. The long jump pit faced west. 

"Dinero Davero" connected on a 7.60-meter leap, translating into a massive 24'11" foot performance that sent everyone around the pit into a furry. Even the usually reserved Davero showed emotion: " Let's go... let's get 25 feet!" That was an understatement, with athletes and fans buzzing with their phones out, and someone even got a selfie with Davero. 


The first big event on the track was the 4x100 relay, and all eyes were on the Vikings of Burbank St. Laurence. During the indoor season, they run all over the competition in the 60m. What would they do on Friday evening, fully stacked? The goal was to go sub 42.00 without one of their aces, junior John Hannah. The Vikings quickly broke stagger, and the second leg, Harley Rizzs (Jr.) roared down the backstretch, and it was over. It was a matter of the stick being passed around the track successfully. The anchor came home strong in 42.38- good for IL#4.

The final big event of the evening was section three, which was loaded at 1600m: Aden Bandukwala (Sr., Hinsdale Central), Ryan Eddington (Sr., Downers Grove North), Marcellus Mines (Sr., Joliet West), and Mohamed Abdullahi (Sr., Chicago Mather).

The first 400m was negotiated by Eddington, Bandukwala, and Sam Berlinghof (Sr., Chicago Jones) in 63.5.

Eddington hit the halfway point in 2:08, along with Bandukwala. The entire field ran under 2:11.

Eddington, Bandukwala, Abdullahi, and Mines were on the bell lap at 3:13. That's a dangerous spot because Bandukwala lurked and appeared strong. With 250m to go, he made his decisive move. He would cruise home in a season-best 4:11.73. It was a stark difference from a weekend before at Distance Night in Palatine. Eddington and Abdullahi closed out their races well in 4:12.95 and 4:13.30.

Downers Grove North may soon be gearing up for a fast 4x800 based on impressive 1600m results. Phil Cupial (So.) clocked 4:15.88, Grant Schroder (Jr.), Zachary Bender (Sr.), and Brady Travers (Jr.) were all under 4:20.