OPRF’s Ian Kelley crossses the finish line first in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at IHSA Class 3A state track finals on May 28. (Photo by Minore Johnson)

Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Ian Kelley hasn’t removed the blue ALS awareness bracelet from his right wrist for more than two years.

Before the IHSA Class 3A boys track and field state meet, Kelley told the team about joining as a sophomore after his father, Mark, died Sept.28, 2019 battling ALS. 

Kelley was among the primary caregivers.

“I use that happening as a way to kind of kick into another setting of my life of concentration and control,” Kelley said. “I feel like I really did do everything that I said I would and I feel like my dad would be proud.”  

Kelley could be especially proud May 28. He became the Huskies’ first state champion in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a personal-best 37.99 seconds. It was Kelley’s fastest time by 0.61 seconds and won by 0.23.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Kelley said. “I really felt like on that final stretch I was pushing it like I hadn’t before.” 

Kelley also earned top-nine, all-state honors with sixth place in the 110 high hurdles (14.84).

Sophomore Kaden Garland became the Huskies’ first all-stater in discus since 1977 with a fifth-place, personal-best 51.58 meters/169 feet-2.75 inches on his first throw in Friday’s preliminaries. His previous best was 149-9.75.

“I don’t know how I got it. I got a really good release and then it just went,” Garland said. 

In Class 2A, Fenwick senior Lee O’Bryan and sophomore brother Dean shared one last great running moment.

Fenwick’s 3,200-meter relay team of (from left) Dean O’Bryan, Grayden Rill, Lee O’Bryan and Carl Lukas celebrate their fourth-place, all-state finish at the IHSA Class 2A state track and field championships on May 28 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. | Bill Stone/Contributor

The Friars’ 3,200-meter relay with them, senior Carl Lukas and junior Grayden Rill finished an all-state fourth place (8:05.01). 

Last November, they contributed to the Friars winning their first state team title in boys cross country. 

“Like I said at cross, it was great to do it with my brother,” Lee O’Bryan said. “These other two are like my brothers, my best friends. There’s nothing like this, really.” 

Junior Will Shannon was an all-state sixth in triple jump (lifetime-best 13.27m/43-6.6). Shannon has significantly improved since Gail Casey recently joined as jumps coach.    

“It’s awesome. I’m going to practice over the summer, now that I have a coach, and I’m excited for next year,” Shannon said.

Rill came back for an all-state eighth in the 1,600 (4:26.95). In 2021, Rill was an all-state fourth in the 800 but scratched Friday after the 3,200 relay advanced.

OPRF junior Josh Meister shared 14th in pole vault (4.10m/13-5). Senior Patrick Diakite (1.83m/6-0 in high jump) was 21st, senior Lou Delano (800 in 2:08.80) was 22nd and senior Nzube Nwafo (6.04m/19-9 3/4 in triple jump) was 24th. 

The Huskies’ 3,200 relay of senior Ryan Leonard, junior Owen Augustine, sophomore Michael Michelotti and Delano was 19th (8:09.84) and the 1,600 relay of sophomore Santiago Valle and seniors Leo Rooney, Wes Morrison and Derrick Reed was 25th (3:32.73). Sophomore Liam Moroney, junior Elijah Mowatt, sophomore Kevin McGovern and freshman Caleb Schulz were 23rd in the 400 relay (43.68) and disqualified in the 800 relay.

For Fenwick, Lee O’Bryan also was 20th in the 800 (2:06.21). In the 3,200, senior Zac Daley was 15th (10:05.57) and sophomore Nate McKillop scratched.

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