Plenty of programs send large contingents to the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet.
Very few of those same teams, however, have many of their athletes seeded in the top 10 of their event after the sectional round.
One of those few teams is Minooka, which qualified athletes in 10 individual events and three relays, with eight of those qualifiers posting efforts that got seeds inside the top six and two more among the top 10 seeds.
As such, Minooka looks well positioned to be in the mix for a team trophy at the event and seems to be in a horse race based on seeds with Batavia, which places most of its strength in the relay events, to take home the team championship. Other squads that look to be in the mix are Hinsdale Central, Glenbrook South and Edwardsville.
Teams receive points deescalating from first to ninth place, and while the seeds aren’t the end all be all of how the meet will play out, they often provide a pretty good gauge. With eight entrants positioned to score points and a couple more who are more than capable of moving up a few notches to possibly add more points, keep an eye on Minooka.
The brunt of Minooka’s points likely will come in the sprints and hurdles.
Collin Forrest is the top seed in both the 110-meter high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles, by a somewhat comfortable margin. If he’s able to complete that sweep, that will provide a wonderful foundation for Minooka’s run for the title.
Tyler Colwell is seeded fourth in both the 100 and 200, while teammate Cael Hiser is seeded sixth in both of those same events.
Emerson Fayman is the sixth seed in the 800 and the Indians’ 4x800 relay is the No. 4 seed, while the wild cards for Minooka might be in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, where the Indians are fractions of a second behind what it might take to get a few unexpected points.
Although Minooka appears to be the only area team in the mix for a team trophy, plenty of area individuals are in good position to take ownership of high spots on the medal stand.
Leading the way is Joliet West’s Marcellus Mines, who enters the 1,600 as the No. 1 seed in the event. Mines’ 4:16.65 effort at the sectionals was the state’s best effort, and while several runners clocked in quite close to Mines’ time, he clearly looks like one of the favorites.
Bolingbrook’s Brett Wasick is the second seed in the 800 and probably is itching for another chance at top-seed Hinsdale Central’s Daniel Watcke, who edged him by two hundreths of a second at the sectional.
Lockport’s Gabe Czako is the No. 2 seed in the 110 hurdles and is the No. 7 seed in the 300 hurdles, and the area has a number of other contenders that enter the state meet seeded in the top five: Lincoln-Way Central’s duo of Jake Macowiak (long jump) and Caden Simone (3,200), Lincoln-Way East’s Artie Grunert (pole vault) and Plainfield North’s 4x400 relay team.
In the Class 2A ranks, leading hopes for medal stand appearances are Providence’s Ryan Ondrasek (300 hurdles, No. 3 seed), Morris’ Myles Johnston (100, No. 2 seed) and Joliet Catholic’s Adrian Washington (long jump, No. 5 seed).
The area’s lone Class 1A athlete seeded in the top 10 is Reed-Custer’s Vander Dransfeldt (pole vault).