Boys track and field: Record Newspapers 2024 season previews

Plano's Waleed Johnson competes in the long jump during the Class 2A track sectional meet on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Geneseo High School.

The 2024 boys track season heads outdoors soon. Here are previews of teams from around the Record Newspapers coverage area.


Coach: Abbey Akre

Top returners: Logan Pasakarnis, sr., 400/800; Zach Carlson, sr., 400/high jump; Lance Pasakarnis, sr., 200/400.

Worth noting: Newark took second at the 2023 outdoor conference meet. Logan Pasakarnis is a returning state qualifier in the 800 and Carlson in the 400 and high jump. Logan Pasakarnis qualified for the Top Times meet in the 400 and 800.


Coach: Jeff Edwards

Top returners: Owen Fitzgerald, sr., sprints; Matthew Whitfield, sr., sprints; Michael Kelly, jr., sprints; Jeremiah Cain, jr., high jump/relays; Orion Parnell, sr., 400; Ted Gray, sr., distance; Mitchell Bucher, sr., distance; Trevor Goodbred, sr., distance; Max Bonesz, jr., 400/4x400 relay; Jack Farrell, sr., throws; Gabe Cantu, sr., throws; Aidan Poniatowski, throws; Taiden Thomas, sr., throws; Lemmarr Thomas, throws; Lucas Wilson, throws; Owen Dougherty, jr., pole vault; Josh Spera, jr., pole vault.

Key newcomers: Dontrell Young, fr., 400/200; Jack Wandolowski, so., sprints; Dylan Johnson, so., sprints; Franz Mensah, jr., relays; Omar Perez, so., relays; Jayden Patterson, relays; Bo Breed, fr., 800/1600.

Worth noting: Oswego is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Southwest Prairie Conference indoor meet. Cain set an indoor school record of 6 feet, 6 inches in February. Young is coming off a sensational freshman indoor season. He was varsity conference champion and third at Top Times in the 400, reset the school indoor 200 record at Top Times and ran on the school record-setting and conference champion 4x200 relay. Freshman standout Breed has made waves in the indoor season, narrowly missing out on the school fresh/soph record in the 1,600 and setting the 800 fresh/soph indoor record while also impressing on a national stage at the New Balance Indoor Nationals.

“With such a talented roster, we are poised for greatness this season,” Edwards said.

Oswego East

Coach: James Milner

Top returners: Dhairya Trivedi, sr., distance; Austin Ward, jr. mid-distance; Jack Schultz, sr., distance; Nico Goduto, jr., distance; Eddie Bozett, jr., distance; Donavin Eason. so., sprints; TJ Stamatis, jr., sprints/jumps.

Key newcomers: Stephen Sarfo, sr., sprints; Jamari McKay, so., jumps; MJ Hoffman, jr., sprints.

Worth noting: Oswego East last season took third in the Southwest Prairie Conference behind graduated All-State runners Parker Nold and Alexander Das. Ward took fourth in the 400 at indoor conference, as did the 4x400 relay while Noah DeMarco tied for second in pole vault.

“This is a young team that looks to improve steadily throughout the season,” Milner said. “There is a good core of seniors who have the experience to lead the team throughout the outdoor season.”


Coach: Andrew DeBolt

Top returners: Waleed Johnson, sr., sprints/triple jump; Tristan Meszaros, jr., sprints/long jump; Caleb Lopez, sr., sprints; Armando Martinez, sr., discus; Tim Young, jr., 400; James Brooks, sr., pole vault; Christopher Schweitzer, jr., pole vault; John Garcia, sr., distance; Carson Rubio, sr., distance.

Key newcomers: Christ Keleba, sr., sprints/high jump; Richie Amakiri, jr., shot put/discus; Johnny Espino, fr., 100; Jordan Barber, so., sprints; Cody Fields, sr., jumps; Jacob Bustos, sr., middle distance;

Worth noting: DeBolt said this is the largest team he’s had in eight years coaching at Plano. He said the Reapers have strong talent, particularly in the sprint and field events. Johnson is a returning sectional champion and state qualifier in the triple jump. Meszaros is a returning all-conference athlete in the 100, 4x100 relay and long jump, and with Lopez are returning members of the conference champion 4x100. Martinez threw 136 feet in his first year throwing discus. Among the newcomers, Espino was eighth grade state champion in the 100-meter dash last year. The Reapers took second at the Reed-Custer Comet Classic during indoor season.

“I think our improvement and success last year has kids excited to be a part of the team,” DeBolt said. “We have a good mix of senior leaders and young talent. We are excited to compete with schools in the Kishwaukee River Conference.”


Coach: Elizabeth Vick.

Top returners: Brodie Case, sr., sprints/hurdles; Max Cryer, sr., distance; Simeion Harris, jr., sprints/jumps; Nate Hill, jr., sprints/jumps; Jackson Heilemeier, jr., throws; Keegan Herren, jr., throws; Peter Popp, jr., throws; Kayden Page, jr., sprints/jumps; Alex Walsh, so., distance.

Key newcomers: Jake Ross, fr., sprints/vaults; Riley Moore, fr., throws; Luis Murillo, fr., throws.

Worth noting: Sandwich last season had seven state-qualifying athletes in four different events, with the 4x400 relay making the finals and placing seventh. Harris, the anchor, is the lone returner off that relay, and his focus this year will primarily be on the long sprints and high jump. Cryer just missed qualifying for state in the 300 hurdles. Ross was an IESA sectional champion and state qualifier last year in the pole vault. Sandwich was fourth at the Sycamore Invite and tied for third at the Reed-Custer Invite during indoor season.

“We have a very talented group of upperclassmen this year that are eager to lead our newcomers in the right direction,” Vick said. “After joining a new conference, this group has already expressed a strong desire to show up to our conference championship ready to show what they can do.”


Coach: Nolan McCue.

Top returners: Owen Horeni, so., 800/1,600/400/4x400 relay; Taelor Clements, jr., high jump/horizontal jumps; Dominic Vashkelis-Benson, sr., shot put/discus; Ryan Stribiak, sr., shot put/discus; Jake Younger, sr., 1600/3200; Dylan Bourque, sr., 400/4x400 relay; Ashton Thomas, sr., high jump/horizontal jump.

Key newcomers: Dyllan Malone, jr., sprints; Ryan Wulff, jr., sprints; James Cherney, fr., middle distance; Walter Strait, jr., middle distance; Ethan Malas, jr., long sprints; Jack Beetham, so., long jump; Jacob Homerding, sr., thrower; DJ Blanks Jr., so., jumper.

Worth noting: The Foxes are coming off the most successful season in program history. Yorkville graduated some key contributors, notably Josh Pugh, anchor of the state champion 4x400 relay and third place medalist in the 400, but brings back two returning All-State athletes and three state qualifiers. Horeni ran on the 4x400 relay as a freshman and was eighth in the state in the 800 and was third in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600 at indoor conference. Clements took ninth in the state high jump last year and set the school record in the high jump in February, going 6-7 at the Southwest Prairie Conference indoor meet. Vashkelis-Benson is a returning state qualifier in the shot put and discus and won the shot put at indoor conference.

“Our returning athletes continue to grow and we’ve reinforced with several new athletes thanks to our team’s participation increasing by over 30% from the number of athletes on our team last season,” McCue said. “We finished our indoor season with over 95% of our athletes setting personal records. We look forward to a competitive outdoor season where our athletes aim to continue their PR pace set indoors this season.”

Yorkville Christian

Coach: Jeff Schutt

Top returners: Xander Oliver, jr., shot put/discus; Yinka Ogundare, jr., mid-distance/relays; Henry Fox, so., sprints/mid-distance; Gus Hauser, so., sprints/pole vault/relays; Michael Pigeon, so., hurdles/sprints/relays; Angelo Colosimo, so., 1600.

Key newcomers: Kenny Fox, fr., pole vault; Justin Stepney, fr., throws; Hunter Beste, fr., mid-distance; Graham Razum, fr., 1600/3200.

Worth noting: With no seniors on the team, the Mustangs will have to depend on freshmen and sophomores to fill the majority of events. Schutt said the sophomore class will be the strongest competitors, led by Henry Fox, Hauser, Pigeon and Colosimo.