Friars chase first sectional title in boys track

All-Stater Pasquesi targets return for sectional; others instrumental in team's success

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Bill Stone

Contributing Reporter

Instead of preparing with the Fenwick High School boys track and field team for its annual invitational Saturday at Concordia University, senior Anthony Pasquesi was taking attendance.

The returning Class 2A all-stater and school record holder in long jump experienced shin pain during the Niles North Invitational April 21 but hopes to return by the Fenwick Sectional May 18.

"I started feeling it a couple of weeks ago and it just didn't go away," Pasquesi said. "We're looking for our first sectional championship ever. That's kind of what our whole team has been training for."

Pasquesi's record 22 feet-8 1/2 inches has been among the Friars' numerous highlights.

Senior Jack Darrow dropped his 1,600-meter personal best to 4:22.29 at the Distance Night in Palatine Invite April 22 after winning in 4:24.69 at Niles North.

Juniors Joshua Harris, Lorenzano Blakeney and Lorente Blakeney, who return from the 2016 state-qualifying 800 relay, junior Nick Tolimieri and Pasquesi have been challenging school records in that (1:31.2) and the 400 relay (43.7).

At Niles North, the 400 relay was third (45.20) and 800 relay fifth (1:36.72). Senior Will Flaherty was fourth (135-0 in discus), freshman Joe Wermes was fifth (1,600 in 4:32.57), junior Matt Augustyn was seventh (36-3 in triple jump) and Harris was eighth (100 in 11.54). Pasquesi still was second (20-7 3/4).

Saturday's invite was canceled by bad weather. In a triangular at Concordia April 4, Pasquesi set his record, beating the mark of 22-6 from 1976.

"It was a big deal," Pasquesi said. "I couldn't believe it, the first meet of the (outdoor) season. It was a day like this – 50 degrees, cloudy." 

Fenwick girls track and field

Fenwick sophomore Claire Gatermann has taken pole vaulting much more seriously this season.

In her first meet, the Riverside resident tied the school record of 9 feet. At the Lake Park Invitational April 22, she improved her record by clearing 10-0 for the first time to finish third.

"It was a really great feeling. I've had to work up to that height," Gatermann said. "I've been doing 9-6 the whole outdoor season. I wanted to believe in myself and be confident I could do it because I kind of struggle with that sometimes."

The Friars compete at the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Championships Saturday and the Class 2A Glenbard South Sectional May 11.

Sophomore Colleen Grogan, a 2016 state qualifier in the 300-meter low hurdles, was second at Lake Park (46.86) and won the 100 high hurdles (15.90). Grogan also was fifth in the 100 (12.77).

Junior Margaret O'Brien was fourth in the 3,200 (11:30.59) and fifth in the 1,600 (5:21.59), both personal bests.

At Saturday's New Trier Invite, Grogan was second in the 300 hurdles (48.16) and junior Emma Hackett (85-1 in discus) and sophomore Delaney Gibbons (800 in 2:28.89) were fourth.

Last season, Gatermann pole vaulted for the first time, clearing 7-6. Now she has surpassed the automatic state-qualifying standard for 2A sectionals of 9-6.

"I put in a lot of hard work over the summer and I really put my mind to it and really started to focus," Gatermann said. "One of my goals is to qualify for the state meet and then maybe set a new school record in the next two weeks."

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