CHARLESTON – This was hardly the way DeKalb senior Toriano Tate wanted to go out.
Tate performed well in Friday’s Class 3A long jump preliminaries, held in the rain, and had a sizable lead going into the finals. But a hamstring injury prevented him from taking full advantage of Saturday’s much nicer weather.
What made it worse was that Champaign Centennial’s Kemon McCullough landed a big jump on his final attempt to wrest the state title away from Tate at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Tate jumped 7.04 meters (23-1 1/4) on Friday. McCullough’s final jump was 7.08, beating Tate by 1 1/2 inches.
“I had bad form on my approach and tore my hamstring,” said Tate, who was unable to compete with the Barbs’ 4x200 relay team. “It wasn’t a good feeling, but at the end of the day I still got second place, so whatever.”
DeKalb’s Ethan Tierney, Jamari Brown, Michael Robinson and DeMarrea Davis ran 1:30.26 to take sixth in the 4x200 relay. Brown replaced Tate in that race.
“We could have done better, but we gave it all we got,” Davis said. “Toriano did something in long jump. Jamari Brown stepped up and did a good job. We still had a decent time. I just wish we could have done better (placing).”
In Class 2A, Kaneland took third in the 4x400 and Sycamore grabbed eighth places in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
Kaneland’s Palmer Behrends, Chris Ruchaj, Jai Sekhon and Sam Gagne finished in 3:24.33 for third place, trimming 1.34 seconds off their qualifying time.
“I gave it everything on the track,” said Ruchaj, a junior. “We knew it was going to be a challenge with Kankakee. (Palmer Behrends and I) are doing it for the seniors, they taught us everything we know this year. Great examples, great leaders. It’s going to be sad seeing them go.”
Sycamore’s Kyle Huber, Will Stewart, Alec Garcia and Jeffrey Oestreicher ran the 4x200 and Huber, Stewart, Garcia and Caden Emmert ran the 4x400.
“We ran pretty well,” Huber said. “We didn’t run as well as [Friday], but I’m proud of us. It’s pretty exciting (getting two medals). Last year I didn’t get any, so this year.
I got out well and we kept the pace well (in the 4x400).”