The Oak Park and River Forest High School boys track and field team has enjoyed a successful run all spring. The Huskies, who won the indoor and outdoor West Suburban Conference championships, added a sectional title to their impressive list of accomplishments over the weekend.
OPRF cruised to the Proviso East Sectional championship, outscoring runner-up Lane Tech 198-65. The Huskies dominated the competition with seven winners and multiple runners-up in the individual events, plus strong relays, which are headed to the state finals.
“The team obviously performed well at sectionals,” OPRF coach Tim Hasso said. “Our goal as a program is to produce at state. We’ve got some pieces in place to do that, but we’ve got to put our season-best numbers in the book on Friday (state meet preliminaries) to punch our tickets for Saturday’s finals.”
On the track, OPRF dominated the hurdles races. Junior JT Lowder won the 110 hurdles (14.37 seconds) and junior Koren Leonard placed first in the 300 hurdles at 38.83. Lowder also notched second in the 300 hurdles (39.68), while Leonard returned the favor with a second-place showing in the 110 (14.68). The versatile Lowder qualified for a third state meet event by taking second in the long jump at 22 feet, 6 inches.
In the middle and distance running events, Owen Savoy claimed the 800-meter title (1 minute, 58 seconds), while Matthew Vietzen recorded a time of 4:19.81 as a runner-up in the 1,600.
In field events, senior Noah Kowal and sophomore Josh Cotter both cleared 14-0 in pole vault to share first place.
The Huskies finished first and second in several other field events, including the shot put, triple jump and discus throw. Juniors Keon Gilbert (50-05) and Mykolas Saloninas (48-08) took the top two spots in shot put, while senior Kevin Gilbert (136-10) and junior Izaiah Ruffin (134-10) finished the same in discus. In the triple jump, junior Kwesi Yeboah won with a jump of 44-11, followed by teammate Myles Molette-Hughes at 44-9.5.
Promising freshman Nahlyee Bryant came in second in the 100 (11.39) and 200 (22.87) races.
OPRF garnered a first-place finish in the 400 relay (42.35) and a pair of seconds in the 800 relay (1:29.38) and 1,600 relay (3:23.86).
Although the Huskies finished 61st in the team standings at the Class 3A state meet, several athletes performed well in their respective events.
OPRF produced a pair of top 10 finishers in the pole vault as senior Margaret Dring and freshman Yasmin Ruff both cleared 11-0. In another field event, sophomore Passion Worsham placed 10th in the triple jump (37-6.5). The versatile Worsham also qualified for state in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
Junior Violet Harper earned 28th in the 3,200 with a time of 12:13.03.
The Fenwick boys team finished eighth (31 points) at the Glenbard South Sectional.
St. Laurence (125) won the sectional, followed by Montini (79), Evergreen Park (66), St. Rita (56) and Glenbard South (51).
Fenwick qualified its 3,200 relay team and triple-jumper Matthew Augustyn for the state finals.
Augustyn, a senior, came in second with a triple jump measure of 43-5.
“Matt set a personal-best by 2 feet and qualified by time and mark with a jump of 43 feet, 5 inches,” said Fenwick coach Marcus McKinley. “Considering that he missed winning the triple jump by about 3 inches as the fifth seed, it was a remarkable accomplishment.”
The 3,200 team placed first with a time of 8:33.24.
“The 3,200 relay team will be spending our short week working on speed,” McKinley said. “Matt [Augustyn] will be able to focus on triple jump, which should help him with his goal of setting a new school record and making it into the finals on Saturday.”
The Friars scored eight points at state to earn a share of 29th place with four other schools.
Junior pole vaulter Claire Gatermann set a new school record, clearing 11-0 in the preliminaries Friday. She cleared 10-6 to finish 13th in the finals.
Fenwick excelled in the 3,200 as a relay and individuals. In the 3,200 relay, freshman Maria Quinn, junior Laura Durkin, sophomore Marie O’Brien and junior Maggie Van Ermen recorded a time of 9:42.81 to earn sixth in the state.
Senior Margaret O’Brien (11:19.20) and freshman Katie Cahill (12:33.99) placed sixth and 18th, respectively, in the 3,200.
Other notable results in the prelims included junior Colleen Grogan’s 48.19 in the 300 hurdles and senior Emma Hackett’s 90-03 in discus.
“Colleen is just starting to hurdle again after an injury,” Fenwick coach Dale Heidloff said. “Her [prelim] time at state was two seconds better than her season best.”