2A boys track: Aidan Wyzard, Dylan Hodges’ 4 wins each lead Sycamore to sectional crown

Sycamore tops runner-up Sterling by 7 team points

Sycamore’s Aidan Wyzard runs the anchor leg of the 4x100 meter relay Thursday, May 16, 2024, during the Class 2A boys track sectional at Sycamore High School.

SYCAMORE – Thanks to a couple of four-time champions, the Sycamore boys track team was able to claim the Class 2A Sycamore Sectional on Thursday.

“This team, we put in a lot of hard work,” said Aidan Wyzard, who won the 100-meter run and the long jump and was on two of the four Spartans’ first-place relay teams. “All that hard work causes results like this.

“It feels good.”

The Spartans finished with 124 points, edging out Sterling’s 117. Dixon was third with 53.5.

“We’ve been working really hard, and it’s finally starting to pay off,” said Dylan Hodges, who won the triple jump and was on three of the first-place relay teams. “It feels really amazing.”

Burke Gautcher, Hodges, Eli Crome and Wyzard finished the 4x100 in 41.84 seconds. Hodges, Colton Sharpness, Dylan Weides and Wyzard finished the 4x200 in 1:28.88. The 4x400 of Hodges, Crome, Devin Karda and Matthew Rangel held off an insane final push by Aurora Central Catholic and anchor Patrick Hilby – one of the top mid-distance runners in the state – to finish in 3:20.99. The 4x800 of Corey Goff, Naif Al Harby, Karda and Rangel finished in 8:05.04 to round out the Sycamore sweep.

“Just the fact we were able to sweep all four relays here was kind of something,” Sycamore coach Matt Kosecki said. “We didn’t even know if it was possible for us. But these kids have been putting in the work. They’re competitive and it’s really important to them that they do well and they win. And that’s one of the things I like most about this group.”

On the individual side for the Spartans, Weides hit 44 meters even in the discus, .06 ahead of the qualifying mark to earn the trip despite his fourth-place finish; the top two spots earn automatic bids. Wyzard hit 7.23 in the long jump, while Gautcher was second, leaping 6.52 meters. Crome finished the 400 in 49.88 to take second, and Braedon Shaner was third in the pole vault and his 4.33 was about half a meter ahead of the qualifying mark. Al Harby finished the 1,600 in 4:28.86, taking fourth but becoming one of 11 runners to hit the qualifying mark in the sectional. Hodges cleared 13.21 meters to win the triple jump.

“I felt like at the beginning of the year, we had some pretty loft goals for this group,” Kosecki said. “We knew we were returning a handful of guys we knew we could count on and then we had more guys step up. We kind of just kept raising our goals, ... and our latest one was to be a sectional champ. And we were able to reach that goal.”

Hilby won both the open 400 and 800. He had a seed time of 1:48.47 in the 800 but finished about 10 seconds slower. He said his focus was a PR in the 400, which he achieved in 47.54 for a 2-second win over Crome.

“I just wanted to stay healthy for next week,” Hilby said. “The 800, I just wanted to win, and in the 400 I wanted to get under 48, which I think I did. And in the 4x4 just qualify again, which we did.”

The ACC 4x800 team also qualified for state, as did Daniel Eberle, taking sixth in the pole vault but clearing 3.88 meters to match the qualifying mark.

Sterling’s Dale Johnson leads the 3,200-meter run Thursday, May 16, 2024, during the Class 2A boys track sectional at Sycamore High School.

For Sterling, Dale Johnson notched a pair of wins in the distance races, including a 9:25.45 in the 3,200, almost half a minute ahead of anyone else. He finished the 1,600 in 4:24.67, setting a pace that would lead to 11 qualifiers in the event.

“I’d say it went pretty good,” Johnson said. “I was worried it was going to rain and storm for a little bit there, but it turned into a nice day. So I went out really fast to see who would go with me and who wouldn’t go with me, just set the tone for the race.”

He led a strong showing for the Warriors that came down to the last race, the 4x400, against the Spartans for the team title. Sterling ended up third but qualified for state in 3:24.14.

The Golden Warriors’ 4x800 also qualified finishing third in 8:10.28. The 4x100 was also third but also qualified for state in 43.49. Aalin Schmidt was fourth in the 3,200 in 9:54.58 to qualify, as he did in the 1,600 in 4:33.51. Kaedon Phillips won the high jump (1.9), and Andre Kalver was third (1.85) right at the qualifying mark. Owen Anderson was third in the 800 (2:01.41) but hit the qualifying time. The 4x200 finished off the Golden Warriors’ clean sweep of third place in the relays, each earning a trip to state with qualifying times. Jordan Britt finished thirs in the 400 in 50.53 to qualify.

For Dixon, Cullen Shaner was second in the 110 hurdles in 15.95. Tyson Dambman won the 300 hurdles in 41.23. Dean Geiger was seventh in the 1,600 but finished in 4:30.75 to make it. Teammate Aaron Conderman was the final of the 11 qualifiers to make it, his 4:34.17 fast enough to qualify. Rock Falls did not have any qualifiers.

For St. Francis, Gavin Mueller entered second in both throws, but went 47.88 in the discus and 16.82 in the shot put to win both.

Mueller immediately left the meet to head to Cincinnati on a recruiting trip, as the sophomore is being recruited as a tight end. Head coach Jason Accardi is in Charleston for the girls state meet. Assistant coach Rob Whitacre said Mueller has a sound technique.

“He kept loose,” Whitacre said. “He’s got a good attitude, he keeps himself in an even keel. ... In fact, he came in here today with a back injury, so he didn’t set any wild expectations for himself. He decided he just wanted to go out and see what he could do.”

For Sandwich, Simeion Harris took fourth in the 400 in 50.62 to qualify. Jacob Ross was fifth in the pole vault, right at the 3.88 qualifying mark. Peter Popp’s 14.88 in the shot put was .08 ahead of the qualifying distance. And the 4x400 also qualified in fourth, finishing in 3:29.17

For Plano, the 4x100 was second (42.98), the 4x200 was second (1:29.98), and Waleed Johnson was second in the triple jump (12.89).

Mendota had one qualifier. Carlos Sebastian was fifth in the 400, but a late push helped him finish in 51.50, .05 ahead of the qualifying time, and earn a trip to state.

For Wheaton Academy, the 4x800 was fourth in 8:13.46 to make it. Canyon Roberts won the 110 hurdles in 15.2, finished second in the 300 hurdles (41.26) and was fourth with a qualifying leap of 4.18 in the pole vault. Emery Eckert was third in the 100 at exactly the 11.13 qualifying mark. Miguel Boney also had a close call, but his 51.54 in the 400 not only took sixth but was .01 faster than the qualifying mark. Shaymis Powell was eighth in the 1,600 in 4:30.95.

For Marmion, Matthew Sullivan was third in the 3,200 in 9:52.37, almost 10 seconds under the qualifying mark. His teammate Joseph Dorando was the last of six qualifiers in the event in 9:59.77, about 1 1/2 seconds ahead of the mark. Jonah Augustyn was second in the high jump, clearing 1.85 meters. John Daffenberg was second in the 800 (1:59.99), and Ryan Anderson was second in the pole vault (4.33). Robert Gramley was third in the 1,600 in 4:28.83.

IMSA had no qualifiers.

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