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Boys track: Plainfield North, Minooka make strong sectional showings

NAPERVILLE – What started out as a windy day turned beautiful in the evening Thursday as Naperville North hosted the Class 3A sectional boys track and field meet.

Because of the late starting time, final point totals and some final results were not available at Herald-News press time.

The area was well represented with qualifiers to next week’s state finals in Charleston.

Plainfield North was led by freshman standout Marcellus Moore as he won the 100 meters (10.48) after letting up at what he thought was the finish line, the 200 meters and was part of the winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays. In the 4x200 relay, Moore received the baton in third place and made up about 20 meters to pull out the win.

“Qualifying for state has been the goal since the beginning of the season,” Moore said. “Our relays are running well and individually I just need to keep a cool head and run my races.” 

North’s 4x100 relay of Moore, Jordan Gumila, Brian Registe and Carlos Baggett won in a school-record time of 41.67. The 4x200 relay (1:28.82) was composed of Moore, Baggett, Tim Donnahue and Anthony Capezio.

“We knew we had to do better and put a great time out there,” Baggett said. “We have really worked on our handoffs in the 4x100 and this really sets us up well for next week.”

The Tigers’ Ari Ekowa won the shot put (48-10.5) and also qualified with a second-place discus toss of 158-5, and Gumila also qualified in the triple jump.

“This has been a great meet for us,” North coach Tony Holler said. “We are good in all 18 events and we are great in five or six of those. We will get some mentions when you start talking about teams in contention next week at the state meet.”

Minooka was led by the double win of senior Soren Knudsen in the 1,600 (4:16) and 3,200 (9:19.61).

“Today is just about qualifying for next week,” Knudsen said. “I’m still working and next week is when it matters.”

The Indians also received a win in the 400 (49.72) from Brandon Adams and a school-record qualifying performance from Steve Lasinis in the long jump (22-11). In addition, pole vaulters Dominic Ruettiger (14-1) and Brennan Loughran (13-7) qualified.

James Sanchez was second in the 300 hurdles with a qualifying time of 40.27 and Colin Marchio finished fourth in the 100 with a state qualifying time of 10.73.

Plainfield East qualified two high jumpers as Alex Babbington and Bryan Keubeng both jumped 6-3. Keubeng also qualified in the long jump (22-3.5) within five minutes of making it in the high jump.

“This is the most amazing thing of my life,” Keubeng said. “Today, I just wanted to stay focused and jump big. This is so exciting.” 

The Bengals also qualified the 4x100 (42.41) and 4x200 (1:28.87) relays as Robert Ogbuli, Mitchell Kiska, Jake Schramm and Blake Coughlin made up both sprint relays.

Ogbuli also finished second in the 100 meters (10.57) to reach state.

Plainfield South had Ben Thoms qualify in the 110 hurdles and Kyle Thornton in the shot put (48-9).

Dalin Lockman from Joliet West qualified in the high jump with a leap of 6-3.

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