New Trier didn’t get the state championship it craved in the 4×800-meter relay at the Class 3A boys track and field state meet, but Peter Cotsirilos said the Trevians were thrilled to take third place.
New Trier’s time of 7 minutes, 44.27 seconds Saturday at Eastern Illinois University would have been the top time in three of the last five state meets. Neuqua Valley’s winning time of 7:40.21 was the fastest time since 2006.
“Performace-wise, we were all happy,” said Cotsirilos, who also earned a state medal by taking ninth in the 1,600 in 4:13.22. “Going in we thought we had a legitimate shot at a state title. As it panned out, with how fast it ended up being, it was probably unrealistic for us.
“But we are extremely happy with third place.”
Along with Cotsirilos, senior Chase Silverman, senior Connor Trapp and sophomore Ted Oh ran on the distance relay. Cotsirilos (Cal Poly), Silverman (Cornell) and Trapp (Connecticut College) all plan to run cross country and track in college.
Ultimately, Evanston coach Don Michelin said he didn’t believe junior Carl Klamm was ready to run the 400 and 800 at this season’s state meet. Klamm qualified in the 800, but Michelin decided not to have him run the event in the state prelims.
“I think that’s a senior move to do,” Michelin said. “We wanted to take a look at it and it’s something that’s doable, but I think it’s going to be next year.”
Klamm still made a difference for the Wildkits at O’Brien Stadium by placing sixth in the 400 in a career-best 48.31.
He also anchored the 4×400 relay team that finished fourth in 3:17.86. Klamm ran with senior Josh Hopson, senior Aremon Alagheband and senior Roman Hayes. Michelin said Klamm ran a 47.48 on the fourth leg.
“Tremendous effort by those four guys,” Michelin said. “There were a bunch of fast times down there, and it made us be at our best.”
Despite the initial disappointment of not advancing to state in the 110 high hurdles, Luke Pilliod said after the sectional meet that he considered qualifying in only one hurdles event to be a blessing.
“It could work out best for me,” he said two weeks ago.
He was right. Pilliod ran a personal-best time of 38.62 in Friday’s prelims, bettering the mark of 38.83 he set at the sectional, before capping his career in the finals with a 38.19 that placed him third in Class 3A.
Pilliod was the program’s first medal winner in the event since Jon Howard took seventh in 2007.
John Hader took a different approach at the Class 3A boys track and field state meet this season.
As a junior, Hader said he wound himself up too tightly and wasn’t able to perform his best. A year later, the senior told himself to relax and have fun with the experience.
Hader finished eighth in the 100 meters (11.01 seconds) and ninth in the 200 (22.06) Saturday at Eastern Illinois University to become the first Maine South athlete to earn a medal in either event.
After he advanced to the finals in the 100 with a personal-best 10.84 on Friday in Charleston, Hader followed with career-best effort of 21.76 in the 200 prelims. His time in the 200 established a program record.
Hader made his first appearance as an individual at the state meet last season, but he didn’t make it out of the prelims in the 200.
“I was in the mix for the finals last year, but I tensed up,” Hader said. “I knew I had to be loose [this year]. I had a lot of friends down there with me, and we were able to joke around a lot. That helped a lot.
“This was something I knew I was capable of.”
Hader said he’s surprised he’s the first Hawk, male or female, in the school’s 50 years to win a medal in the 100 or 200. However, Maine South’s Diane Havlir finished second in the 220-yard dash during the 1972-73 school year.
“It is kind of odd, but it’s been my goal since my freshman year,” Hader said. “To finally do it was special. I just had fun with it.”
The bad news is Ridgewood didn’t qualify any of its eight state entrants for the Class 2A boys track and field state meet finals.
The good news is the Rebels should welcome back six athletes who competed at O’Brien Stadium next season. Gerardo Huerta, a triple jumper, was the team’s only senior in Charleston. He didn’t make it to the second day with his mark of 36 feet, 8.5 inches.
Junior Tajesh Patel (high jump), junior Ryan Cabot (100, 4×100 relay, 4×200), sophomore Patryk Panocha (shot put, discus), sophomore Erick Mangal (400, 4×100, 4×200), sophomore Adam Bonifaciuk (4×100, 4×200) and sophomore Giuliano Vommaro (4×100, 4×200) all gained experience.
Forest Moses overcame one big obstacle on his way to taking 10th in the high jump at the Class 1A boys track and field state finals at Eastern Illinois University.
“We don’t have any equipment at the school,” Northridge coach Michael Egle said. “He’s doing everything wherever we go for meets. That puts him at a disadvantage, but we do the best with what we have.”
In his third trip to Charleston, Moses, who holds the program record at 6 feet, 5 inches, managed to make it to the finals for the first time. He cleared 6-1 to miss out on a medal by two inches and one place in the standings.
“What he’s done in that event is amazing,” Egle said of the Independent School League’s male track and field athlete of the year. “He’s definitely one of the best high jumpers around.”
Niles West senior thrower Denis Gargovic came up short in his quest to compete in the state finals. Gargovic got a mark of 50-2.5 in the shot put and 147-10 in the discus during the prelims. His distance in the shot put was less than two feet from advancing. … Niles North junior Adrain Coardos also narrowly missed out on getting to the second day. He went 43-11.25 in the triple jump, while the final jumper to make the finals went 44-1.5. … Glenbrook North’s Scott Thomas finished with a time of 1:58.14 in the 800 prelims and didn’t advance to the finals.