Jones and Co. keep Fenwick at bay

• Friars qualify for state in seven events.

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By MICHAEL McCORMICK

The OPRF boys' track and field team narrowly edged out Fenwick to win the Oak Park Sectional on Friday, 96-90. The Huskies won three events and qualified for State in five events.

State qualifying aside, every team member contributed to the Huskies' victory by working hard for fifth and sixth place finishes at Friday's tournament, which was held at Concordia University in River Forest.

"We performed as a team," said OPRF distance and relay runner Jamal Taylor. "The third and fourth places really helped us out tremendously and got us points that we didn't think that we needed but that we did end up needing."

In the track events, 400 meters was an especially good distance for the Huskies. Antonio Jones won the individual dash in a time of 49.77 seconds, and he then teamed up in the 4x400 relay to win again, in 3:25.65. Michael Walden also placed for OPRF in the 400, with a fifth-best time of :52.20.

Jones was also able to rack up points for OPRF in two more individual events in both of which he finished third, missing the State qualifying cutoff. The senior ran the 100-meter dash in 11.11 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 22.83 seconds. As part of the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relays, he finished sixth and third, respectively.

"Antonio has a great chance of being at the very top at State and being All-State," said Luke Whalen, who finished third in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:41.96.

Brendan Murphy finished fifth in the same event in 4:50.79. Murphy won the 3200-meter run, with a time of 9:55.56. Whalen was also a part of the Huskies' 4x800 relay team which qualified for State with a time of 8:14.11, good for second place.

"We hope to run a team-best time and possibly qualify for the finals," said Whalen about the relay's goals for State.

Taylor and Kris Rey-Talley, two of the other members of the 4x800 relay, also placed second and fourth, respectively, in the 800-meter run. Taylor finished in 2:01.26, and Rey-Talley followed closely at 2:03.60.

The Huskies are looking to carry their momentum with them to State.

"I'm thrilled," said OPRF head coach Tim Hasso. "They showed up really focused at sectionals. We've got a couple of kids that can place at State, like in the 4x400 and the 400. I'd be really happy if we can get some kids to place."

The Huskies also had a very strong day in the field events, which was a problem spot all season. Tom Geraghty had the highest finish for the Huskies in a field event by placing third in the pole vault. In the discus throw, Dan Leiner finished fourth.

Seven's the number for Fenwick

Fenwick may have finished runner-up to its cross-town rival, but the Friars qualified for State in seven events.

Sean Aldridge won the pole vault with a vault of 13-0. John Pezza tripled jumped his way to second place (42-2.75), while Dan Kurtz took second in the discus throw with a toss of 129-10.

Pat Erfort won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:00.56, and Jordan Kramer finished first in the 1600-meter run in 4:35.92. Mark Spadavecchia finished second in the 3200-meter run with a time of 9:56.43.

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