BATAVIA – When Batavia’s Jonah Fallon hit the gun lap in the 400-meter dash March 19, the tide of the DuKane Conference boys indoor track and field championship in Batavia turned for the worse for traditional state power Lake Park.
Fallon exploded over the final 200 meters to set a field house record at Batavia in 49.94 seconds.
More important, Fallon’s record for Batavia soon was followed by a flurry of exceptional performances by the remainder of the Bulldogs’ state-hardened sprinters.
Fallon later anchored the Bulldogs’ 4x400 relay to a celebratory icing of Batavia’s 130-98 victory over the Lancers.
[ Photos: DuKane Boys Indoor Track and Field Championship ]
St. Charles North (91 points) was third behind two-event winner Otis Duncan. Wheaton Warrenville South (85) was fourth, followed by Wheaton North (79) and St. Charles East (66).
Unlike the other six programs, neither seventh-place Geneva nor eighth-place Glenbard North produced any relay or individual champions.
“I come from a distance background,” said Fallon, a member of the Bulldogs’ Class 3A 4x400 relay state runner-up unit last spring. “I run a lot of 800s and 400s. Coach (Dennis) Piron always tells us to go out super hard.”
Jacob Hohmann, one of two returnees on the Bulldogs’ state championship 4x200 relay, powered the Batavia sprinters to a relay title in that event in 1:32.58.
“I think we can be right there to win another state championship,” Hohmann said.
The Lancers were led by their historically strong field event athletes. Senior Desmond Horton swept the long and triple jumps with efforts of 22 feet, 8.5 inches and 45-10, respectively.
“I was trying to get a new personal record,” said Horton, state runner-up in the triple jump last season. “I am feeling confident going into the outdoor season.”
Cooper Cerese appeared to have a fifth field title for the Lancers with his 59-9 mark in the shot put.
But on the last of his six throws, St. Charles North senior Paolo Gennarelli, third last year at state, eclipsed the Lancers senior’s mark by two inches.
“I didn’t know how far it went,” Gennarelli said. “I didn’t see it land, but after I heard the mark I was ecstatic.”
The North Stars’ Duncan was unquestionably the quickest man in the conference March 19.
The senior defeated WW South all-state sprinter Reece Young by six one-hundredths of a second to win the 55 dash in 6.4 seconds. Duncan later doubled his gold medal count with the title at 200 meters in 22.21.
“I’m a track and field guy. It’s my bread and butter,” said Duncan, who will join classmate Gennarelli at West Point in the fall. “The 200 is my better event with my top-end speed.”
“I just need to work on my blocks,” Young said.
Michael Atkins’ quest to deny Micah Wilson a second league championship in a distance race fell short by a tenth of a second.
The WW South senior was shoulder to shoulder with Wilson, St. Charles East’s reigning state champion at 3,200 meters, on the final lap of the 1,600.
But the Wisconsin-bound Wilson earned a second conference title with a dramatic one-tenth victory over Atkins in 4:23.67.
“At the bell lap I thought I gapped him,” Atkins said. “I really wanted it. That’s what makes track fun, races like that.”
Wheaton North senior Ryan Schreiner, an Iowa recruit, won the 800 run – his specialty event – in 1:57.2. Schreiner was fourth at state last spring in the 800.
“I was going for a school record but can’t complain about a conference championship,” Schreiner said.
Lake Park also had individual titles from Aidan Killmer (55 hurdles), Mason Vourazeris (high jump) and Kyle Varga (pole vault).