AURORA – Kevin Rafferty has been the boys track and field coach at Waubonsie Valley for several years.
“We are going to nickel and dime teams,” Rafferty said. “We aren’t going to get skunked.”
It was truly an adventure to beat the incoming weather at the Red Ribbon Invitational at Waubonsie Valley on Saturday afternoon.
When it comes to finest in the land on the boys track and field landscape, there were stars aplenty.
State champions from such disparate events as the shot put and, in track-and-field speak, the two-mile.
Both boys, who call themselves reigning state champions, will call Madison, Wisconsin home next fall.
“Throwers are such nice people,” St. Charles East state-champion Micah Wilson said
A sport unlike any other, Wilson, the reigning 3,200-meter and cross country state champion, and Kyle Clabough, the Yorkville senior who heaves the 12-pound shot put more than 60-plus feet to also call himself a reigning state champion, will be teammates in the Wisconsin state capitol next spring.
In the race of the day at Waubonsie Valley, Wilson out-leaned York senior Ethan Summer to win the open 1,600 run in 4:20.53.
Summer was runner-up, four one-hundredths behind Wilson.
“He was a little stronger than me,” Summer said of Wilson.
“My coach (Chris Bosworth) doesn’t put me in too many two miles,” Wilson said. “I am looking to maximize the points for the team. Sub-nine minutes (his time at a national meet) opens the door at the state level.”
“I had to stay behind Micah,” Summer said. “I had to make my way. He was leading the whole way. He did all the work. I didn’t want to expend too much energy.”
Wilson also teamed with Joe Xotla, Mitch Garcia and Memphis Patterson to give the Saints their only other triumph as the quartet captured the 3,200 relay in 8:17.15.
Reece Young was the other headline performer in Aurora on Saturday.
The Wheaton Warrenville South all-state sprinter won the 100 dash in 10.95.
“I had a good start for this race in the 100,” Young said. “I have to work on my start and I’ll be fine”
Young would have had a flawless afternoon had not Metea Valley spoiled his fun in the 800-meter relay.
The Tigers had already captured the four-by-one championship when Arthur Cox III swept home in dominating fashion to win the 800-relay in 1:31.63.
“I didn’t want to lose,” said Cox, whose Metea Valley squad was addled by its prom weekend. “I came out hard in my three-step and made up the stagger.”
In the 800 individual open, Emmet Doyle overcame a substantial Aidan Oster (Waubonsie Valley) lead to win in 1:59.61 forYork.
Doyle later anchored the Dukes’ 1,600 relay to another gold-medal performance.
Waubonsie Valley won its home invite for the first time, in the estimation of coach Rafferty, since the late 2000s.
Ethan Marshall captured the 3,200 run for the Warriors in 9:50.28.
Brody Squires won the only other Waubonsie Valley championship with his 20-feet-five inches mark in the long jump.
Waubonsie Valley scored 127.5 points to win its home invitational, the Red Ribbon, over WW South, which finished with 108 points.
York had 84.5 points for third, and Oswego East scored 77 for fourth.
Yorkville (67 points) denied defending state champion Neuqua Valley (64), which rested many of its top athletes after a taxing Friday excursion at Prospect, for fifth.
Clabough, the Class 3A state leader in the shot put at 62-8, broke the 60-foot barrier by three inches to defeat WW South senior Zach Marsico by eight feet.
Clabough had a double-championship afternoon as the senior earlier also bested the field in the discus with his 155-11.75 effort.
Josh Pugh is an unorthodox sprinter as the Yorkville junior is 6-feet-6.
“I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” Pugh said of breaking the 50-second barrier by 12 one-hundredths to win the 400 dash. “I am probably not as fast out of the blocks but can make up for it with my stride.”
Pugh recorded the only championship for the Foxes on the track with his 49.88 clocking.
“I have been trying to do that all year,” Pugh said of bettering 50 seconds. “I had to match the intensity at the beginning and finish as fast as I could. My goal is to get around forty-eight by conference, sectional and state time.”
“We don’t have our full compliment of sprinters for the relays,” Yorkville coach Matt Rodewald said. “We are trying to build that culture of sprinters like Waubonsie Valley and Metea Valley have. A fifth-place finish in a meet like this where we weren’t at full strength with our sprinters and only a few field events is solid for us. I’m excited to see what we can do Friday night in Lockport.”
Oswego East junior Alexander Das and Parker Nold were in extremely close pursuit of Wilson and Summer in the 1,600 run.
But the Wolves’ distance standouts had to settle for third and fourth, respectively, in 4:22.66 and 4:23.48.
“I knew MIcah was a tough competitor,” Das said. “He was a state champ last year (in both track and cross country). I wanted to see if I could beat him. I didn’t get him today but maybe at state.”
“I knew it was going to be a fast pace today,” said Nold, normally a two-mile specialist. “The field was insane. I had to stay up in the front.”