This year’s IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet is going to have more of a team flair to it for DeKalb and Sycamore.
Both the Barbs and the Spartans qualified all four of their relay teams for the season finale, which begins with preliminaries Friday for Class 2A and Class 3A. The 1A prelims begin Thursday with finals for all three classes Saturday.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” DeKalb coach Jeff Saurbaugh said. “We got all four relays going down there. I think that’s the first time in DeKalb history that has happened. The kids are excited.”
Kaneland will have three relays among its entrants, and Genoa-Kingston and Indian Creek have individuals competing.
Although they took third in the Class 3A St. Charles East Sectional, the Barbs’ 4x100 relay team of Ethan Tierney, Toriano Tate, Michael Robinson and DeMarrea Davis is seeded seventh with a time of 42.4.
Sycamore’s 4x100 of Noah Schmidt, Kyle Huber, Jeffrey Oestreicher and Alec Garcia is seeded fifth in 2A. And although Schmidt, Huber, Oestreicher and William Stewart are seeded lower in the 4x200, coach Pete Piccony said he feels they can outperform their seed.
“They had the top time in Illinois for a while,” Piccony said. “I don’t think we ran as well as we could have at sectionals, and that’s the only time they take.”
The Spartans’ 4x800 relay won the state title last year and is seeded fifth this year. Nicholas Kocher and Caden Emmert are back from that relay and are joined by Luis Garcia and Jake Rundle.
Emmert (800) and Oestreicher (200) will compete in open races.
“They are mostly seniors and have been there as juniors,” Piccony said. “It’s something they’ve done before. Last year was a little different because there were no prelims, it was all finals. But they’ve run there, and hopefully that experience will help them.”
Tate will compete individually for the Barbs after winning the sectional in the long jump. He’s also on the two sprint relay for the Barbs. Riley Newport will compete in the open 1,600 in addition to the two longer relays. Newport took third in the fall in the 3A cross country state meet.
“I think the kids are excited,” Saurbaugh said. “They got a little taste of it last year. They kind of know what to expect this year.”
Kaneland qualified three relay teams: the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400.
Kaneland coach Andy Drendel said the sectional performance at Rochelle wasn’t the best, but that gives all three room to improve.
“We ran well, but we know we can run better,” Drendel said. “That actually gives us confidence because we know even though our handoffs weren’t where they could be, we still got [personal records]. Another factor is that guys should be fresh for the [relays] and not coming off other races.”
Elijah Pflipsen will compete in the shot put and discus for the Knights, while Nathan Rebacz qualified in the high jump and Ethan Stoker in the pole vault.
“Elijah has been a rock all season,” Drendel said. “We told him the ring in Kaneland is the same as the ring in Charleston. It’s the same size. And what also helps him is he’s seen good competition all year. When someone puts up a state-quality throw, he won’t get nervous because he’s seen state-quality throws all year.”
Sean Abracia-Wendel is seeded with an 11.09 in the 100 for Genoa-Kingston, a half-second behind the top time. In 1A, Indian Creek’s Colton Oleson will compete in the 100, 200 and high jump. Teammate Christian Meier is seeded third in the 110 hurdles with a 15.11.
|Colton Olseon||Indian Creek||100 dash, 200, high jump|
|Noah Schmidt, Kyle Huber, Oestreicher, Alec Garcia||Sycamore||4x100|
|William Stewart, Schmidt, Huber, Oestreicher||Sycamore||4x200|
|Oestericher, Huber, Schmidt, Emmert||Sycamore||4x400|
|Nicholas Kocher, Luis Garcia, Emmert, Jake Rundle||Sycamore||4x800|
|Chris Ruchaj, Lucas Bass, Sam Gagne, Nathan Rebacz||Kaneland||4x100|
|Corey Phillips, Ruchaj, Gagne, Rebacz||Kaneland||4x200|
|Palmer Behrends, Ruchaj, Jai Sekhorn, Gagne||Kaneland||4x400|
|Elijah Pflipsen||Kaneland||shot put, discus|
|Nathan Rebacz||Kaneland||high jump|
|Ethan Stoker||Kaneland||pole vault|
|Ethan Tierney, Toriano Tate, Michael Robinson, DeMarrea Davis||DeKalb||4x100|
|Tierney, Tate, Robinson, Davis||DeKalb||4x200|
|Robinson, Alex Boyden, Riley Newport, Davis||DeKalb||4x400|
|Jacob Barraza, Jack Harrison, Boyden, Newport||DeKalb||4x800|
|Toriano Tate||DeKalb||long jump|
|Christian Meier||Indian Creek||110 hurdles|