Impressive showings have Brother Rice ahead of schedule

SHARE Impressive showings have Brother Rice ahead of schedule

Proving it will be a team to watch this year and next, Brother Rice outdid two 2013 conference champions last week at the Hillcrest Invitational with a mix of seniors and underclassmen.

Brother Rice finished ahead of Bloom and Shepard and just four points out of second place in the 14-team meet, won by Sandburg.

“We’re very talented,” Rice coach Tom Wazio said. “We’re very 200-heavy, a lot of sophomores and juniors.”

Rice was fourth in the 2012 Catholic League meet and third last year behind St. Ignatius and Providence. This season could be even better.

“If we’re at our best, we should be in the hunt,” Wazio said.

Seniors Chris Rozell (400), James Durkin (distance) and Hector Macias (pole vault), juniors Alex Rodriguez (400), Marcus Jones (sprints) and Chris Grosskopf (pole vault) and sophomores Bryan Boyd (high jump, long jump) and Tahj Silas (hurdles, 200) lead the Crusaders.

Wazio said Rodriguez, league champ indoors in the 400-meter dash, has been “phenomenal, getting better all the time.”

Rice had first places at the Hillcrest meet from Jones in the 200 and Boyd in the high jump.

Next for Rice is the Oak Lawn Invitational on Friday followed by the Rice Relays on April 25.

Girls: Full speed ahead

Two upcoming invitationals will showcase several of the area’s top sprinters and hurdlers who also rank among the state’s best.

Bloom’s Ivory Cassell and Crete-Monee’s Tineja Foy will be among the best Saturday at the Joliet West Invitational. Cassell is the defending Southland Conference champ in the 100 and triple jump, and Foy won both hurdle races at the 2013 conference meet.

On Thursday, the Sandburg Invitational will include state power Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way North.

East’s Alexis Hyshaw, Class 3A runner-up in the 100, and Asia Brown and North state qualifier Kayla Hylton will be sprinters to watch.

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