CHARLESTON – Dundee-Crown’s Adam Swanson took the baton for the anchor leg of the Class 3A 4x800-meter relay with confidence, even though he was well back in the pack.
“I saw a bunch of dudes up there and knew if I carried them along I’d get a nice split,” Swanson said. “That’s exactly what I did: got the baton, stayed on them, passed along nicely, giving it all I got for these guys.”
Swanson caught all but two of them as he, Anthony Hurgoi, Joey DeVita and Jorge Hernandez took third in the race at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Swanson edged Glenbard West’s Rory Cavan at the finish line for a time of 7:51.01; West’s time was 7:51.05. The third place was the Chargers’ highest finish since Ardian Asani’s third in the 2011 Class 3A long jump. It was D-C’s first medal in school history for a relay.
DeVita, who will run at Eastern next year, ran the second leg after Hurgoi led off.
“I knew I needed to give Jorge a good lead and help him out,” DeVita said. “There’s no better way to end my season.”
Making history: Huntley’s 4x100 relay team of Antonio Passarelli, Zach Tepper, Ron Noll and Eric Mooney took seventh, giving the Red Raiders a medal four straight years in that race. Mooney was on three of those teams and is the only area athlete to ever have three sprint relay medals.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Mooney, the only senior in the group. “These guys get another year. It’s my last shot with the 4x100, and we wanted to end on a high note. Our goal was top three, but there’s nothing better than getting a medal at state.”
No mowing: Richmond-Burton’s Reed Marshall finished fourth in the Class 2A triple jump with a 44-10 effort Saturday, 5 inches better than his preliminary performance.
His 44-5 in the prelims got Marshall out of lawn-mowing duties this summer. His father, Jay Marshall, a middle school teacher in Antioch, told his son before the Kishwaukee River Conference Meet that if he made 44-0, he would not have to mow the yard this summer. Jay, coincidentally, was the head referee of the state meet.
“He was trying to find ways for a little extra motivation,” Reed Marshall said, laughing. “Not that I didn’t have it there. It was a fun way for me to jump even farther, a fun way for him to root for me.”
Jay Marshall tried to watch his son but not get too close.
“Out of respect, I gave him some distance,” Jay Marshall said. “And for the position I have (as meet referee).”
Jay Marshall worked the Illinois Elementary School Association State Meets for 21 years, and this weekend was his third IHSA meet.
More medals: Johnsburg sophomore Angel Martin took two seconds and a fifth in wheelchair events Saturday. Martin was second in the shot put (12-4) and discus (23-7) and fifth in the 100 meters.
Martin’s pit crew – throwers Fred Fuchs and Tyler Prouty – were there helping him in and out of his regular chair to his throwing and sport (racing) chairs. Johnsburg assistant coach Wayne Bennett was most excited about Martin’s 30.86 in the 100, 11 seconds faster than his previous best.
“After that, I didn’t care if he threw the discus,” Bennett said.
Martin won the shot put and discus as a freshman last year.
“I think it was pretty cool and awesome,” he said of his second state meet.
Sound strategy: Crystal Lake South senior Jack Becker, who will run at Bradley, scratched from the Class 3A 3,200 on Saturday to concentrate on the 1,600, and it paid off.
Temperatures in the low 90s would have made it difficult to double in both races with success. Becker sat out the 3,200 and ran another personal-best time of 4:16.86 in the 1,600 to take sixth place, his first state medal in track.