CHARLESTON – Dundee-Crown never has won a boys track state medal in a race in which the competitors ran less than 300 meters.
That is about to change.
The Chargers qualified their 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays Friday in the Class 3A portion of the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
“We came out really strong,” said junior Jason Miller, who anchored both relays. “We came here focused. We haven’t been here in the (sprint) relays, and we wanted to make Dundee-Crown and our team proud.”
Dylan Becker, Meante Foster, Alex Miller and Jason Miller ran a school-record 42.12 seconds to qualify in the 4x100. Becker, Trevor Fed and the Millers then came back with a 1:28.24 to advance in the 4x200. Both times are school records.
“We did way better,” Fed said. “Tomorrow, we’re going to take off. We’re going to go crazy.”
“We ain’t made the finals in years,” Becker added. “It’s a big change for us.”
Other local Class 3A qualifiers from Friday were Huntley’s 4x800 relay team, Prairie Ridge 800 runners Ethan Baker and Grant Jensen, Cary-Grove’s Jason Petko (shot put and discus) and Crystal Lake Central’s Jack Munn (discus).
D-C's Anthony Hurgoi, Joey DeVita, Jorge Hernandez and Adam Swanson took third in the 4x800 last year. But the previous shortest race in which a Charger had medaled was Tom Zozokos’ fourth-place finishes in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 2005 and 2006.
Huntley came in as a favorite in the 4x800 but had to endure a little drama in that race. Leadoff man Jeremy Roe got stuck in the pack and handed off to second man Chris Simek in 11th place. Simek worked his way up, Ian Geisler gained ground on the third leg, and anchor man Jadon Conroy finished the heat in second place at 7:56.94.
“It did not go as planned at all,” Roe said. “I was back behind the pack. Now I know what to do tomorrow. That was the first time I’ve had that many in a pack in one meet. Tomorrow will be better.”
Geisler expended a lot making up ground and later jogged in on his 1,600 heat to conserve energy for the finals. The temperatures reached 88 degrees Friday afternoon.
“I know I’m one of the fastest third legs in the state and could catch a lot of those guys,” Geisler said. “My motivation was to hand off to Jadon in as good of a place as I could.”
Baker won his 800 heat, which is an automatic qualifier, in 1:56.73. Jensen was fourth in his at 1:56.74.
“Once I had the first lap in under 58, I was in a good spot,” Baker said. “I knew that my kick at the end could help me a lot.”
Two runners passed Baker on the second lap, but he passed them back in the final 100 meters for the win. Jensen had more traffic to deal with.
“There was a lot of battling,” Jensen said. “Fortunately, I was able to make it to the finals. It worked out. I just had to kick, kick, kick and get up there.”
Petko was thrilled to make the finals in both throws. He took seventh in the discus last year but did not throw shot, as C-G had two other shot putters. Petko sits in fourth place in the discus at 172 feet, 8 inches and Munn is in seventh at 164-11.
“It felt nice to throw the shot again,” Petko said. “From the sectional and this week in practice, I feel a lot more confident about my shot. The whole season it was coming off my hand weird and hurting my knuckle. I figured something out at the sectional meet and in practice.”
Class 3A State Meet
4x800 relay: Huntley-* (Jeremy Roe, Chris Simek, Ian Geisler, Jadon Conroy) 7:56.94.
4x100 relay: Dundee-Crown-* (Dylan Becker, Meante Foster, Alex Miller, Jason Miller) 42.12.
110 high hurdles: Tommy Subaric (Jacobs) 15.09, DeShawn Smith (CL Central) 15.34, Jack Michalski (D-C) 15.40.
100 meters: Antonio Passarelli (Hunt) 10.93.
800 meters: Ethan Baker-* (Prairie Ridge) 1:56.73, Grant Jensen-* (PR) 1:56.74.
4x200 relay: Dundee-Crown-* (Becker, Trevor Fed, A. Miller, J. Miller) 1:28.24, Huntley (Passarelli, Zach Tepper, Ron Noll, Paul Kerber) 1:30.19.
400 meters: Cam Reedy (Hampshire) 51.25.
300 int. hurdles: Andrew Lewis (Cary-Grove) 40.23, Subaric (Jac) 40.84.
1,600 meters: Geisler (Hunt) 4:35.94.
200 meters: Passarelli (Hunt) 22.76, J. Miller (D-C) scratched.
Shot put: Jason Petko-* (CG) 56-0.25.
Discus: Petko-* (CG) 172-8, Jack Munn-* (CL Central) 164-11.
High jump: Michalski (D-C) 6-2, Andy Maye (McHenry) 6-2.
Long jump: Fed (D-C) 21-2.25.
Triple jump: Josh Guyer (Hunt) 43-2.
Pole vault: Michael Benner (Hunt) 12-6.
*-Qualified for finals.