Boys track and field: Prairie Ridge puts together complete performance to win Class 2A sectional title

Wolves senior Keel Brossard won both hurdles titles

Prairie Ridge poses with its plaque after winning the Class 2A Ridgewood Sectional in Norridge on Wednesday.

NORRIDGE – Prairie Ridge senior Keel Brossard had been through it all during his career running the hurdles races.

He’d been disqualified from races. He hit every single hurdle at some point.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when he won the 110-meter hurdles at Wednesday’s Class 2A Ridgewood Sectional, he let out a big scream in celebration.

Despite the adversity throughout his career, Brossard kept working to fulfill his sixth-grade dream of making it to the IHSA state meet. Once he finally got there, he helped his team win the team sectional along the way.

“It feels really good to get that off my chest,” Brossard said. “I know I have it in me to win that race to go down to state and run on that blue track.”

That blue track will be at Eastern Illinois’ campus for the state meet which starts Thursday. The Wolves won the team title after scoring 116 points, while Woodstock finished second with 92 and Richmond-Burton took third at 89.5. Carmel (54) placed fourth, Woodstock North (42) finished seventh, Marengo (34) placed ninth, Johnsburg (30) finished 10th, Harvard (24) earned 12th and St. Viator (6) rounded things out at 17th.

Brossard helped PR hold control of the meet during the middle portion when he won both hurdles events. He took the 110 at 15.32 second while coming back to win the 300 at 40.95.

Senior Gerrit Dam won the 3,200 at 9:41.69 and took second in the 1,600 with a time of 4:28.35, while his senior teammate Will Gelon took third at 4:31.47. Senior Ben Stech started the success when he won the pole vault at 3.88 meters.

The Wolves’ relays helped carry the weight, too. PR’s 4x400 team of Stech, senior Daniel Cardenas, senior Eli Shoufer and senior Jack Demakis won at 3:30 while the 4x800 team of senior Evan Gilleland, sophomore Bodhi Lee, senior Kevin DeGroot and Gelon (8:14.72) and 4x200 team of junior Nick Flaugher, Stech, Demakis and Shoufer (1:29.57) each took second.

PR coach Mike Frericks said the Wolves started lifting weights and looking at the times they’d need to reach if they wanted to get to state in December. That hard work paid off Wednesday.

“This is what you work so hard for,” Frericks said. “Track is about getting times and truly doing it at a sectional meet, that’s when it truly matters. We knew it was a big night for us and we were focused on it for a long time.”

Woodstock senior Ishan Patel led a strong performance by the Blue Streaks when he took the 1,600 at 4:26.98. Senior Tyler Moon won the shot put (15.61) while senior Aryan Patel (1:58.83) took second in the 800 and senior Charlie Gilmore (1.85) placed second in the high jump.

Senior Nolan Van Hoorn (11.01) qualified for state in the 100 and sophomore Ellery Shutt (4:34.72) got in at the 1,600. The Blue Streaks 4x800 team of Shutt, Aryan Patel, senior Cohen Shutt and Ishan Patel won with a time of 8:05.93.

“It feels really good to get that off my chest. I know I have it in me to win that race to go down to state and run on that blue track.”

—  Keel Brossard, Prairie Ridge senior

While Wednesday wasn’t the first time Ishan Patel qualified in the 1,600, the sectional had a deeper meaning as he finishes his high school career.

“It’s symbolic,” Ishan Patel said. “It just shows how much growth I’ve made and honestly means a lot to me. I think it was a great win.”

R-B senior Jack Martens qualified in four events for the state meet. He qualified in the 200 (22.16) and the 100 (11.05) by himself and joined two more relay teams. The Rockets’ 4x200 team (senior Ethan Hile, freshman Nick Kyes, senior Max Loveall and Martens) won at 1:29.31. The 4x100 team (Hile, Loveall, senior Noah Gammel) finished at 43.32, and the 4x400 squad (junior Jayson Wold, Loveall, junior Oscar Bonilla and Nick Kyes) qualified at 3:31.62, as both took second.

Junior Ryan Wisniewski (42.42) placed second in the 300 hurdles, while Bonilla (2:01.55, 800) and Loveall (22.58, 200) each placed fourth.

Martens had wanted to qualify for state in the 100 since he was a freshman. It felt special to earn an individual bid to state.

“I just pushed it,” Martens said. “I just wanted to get to state so badly, and I finally did it.”

Carmel senior Dev’ion Reynolds was the lone Corsairs winner after taking the long jump at 7.15. Junior Wyatt Petkus (52.70) earned second in the 400 while senior Torey French (10.94) and freshman Evan Hursthouse (1:59.85) each took third in the 100 and 800, respectively. The 4x200 relay of senior Christian Stevens, sophomore Bobby Bi, Reynolds and French qualified after finishing at 1:29.63.

This will be the third time Reynolds heads to state. He’s ready to put on a show one last time.

“I’m going to push myself way harder than I ever have,” Reynolds said. “I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m going for it all.”

Johnsburg junior Brett Centnarowicz (46.90) won the discus to earn his first trip to state. Harvard senior Bernard Bahnsen (15.92) placed second in the 110 hurdles while freshman Braden Wittum (14.20) took second in the shot put.

Marengo senior Rune Boyd (42.94) earned second in discus, and Woodstock North sophomore Braelen Creighton (3.58) placed second in the pole vault.

Each athlete is looking for a chance to star on Eastern Illinois’ blue turf next weekend. After putting in so much work, Brossard and the Wolves are ready to see what happens.

“I’m really amped,” Brossard said. “I think there’s an improvement to be made, I’m shooting for that school record, but it means a lot. I’m really excited to take that trip down with my friends.”