Top boys track and field teams
1. Lake Park: The Lancers graduated loads of talent, including eight-time state medalist Scott Filip and Class 3A triple jump champ Shawn Koch. But with jumper/sprinter Marcus Jegede and hurdler Antonio Shenault leading the way, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they become the first school to win state five years in a row.
2. Barrington: Konrad Eiring, Ryan Perkins and Adam Phillips return from last year’s Class 3A 3,200 relay champs, while Parker Deloye, Scotty Miller and Brandon Melnychuk are back from the third-place 800 relay team. Deloye should also be a factor in the high jump for what looks like Barrington’s best team ever.
3. Thornton: A pair of football recruits — Northern Illinois’ Tifonte Hunt and Iowa State’s Jauan Wesley — could score some big points in the hurdles and sprints for the Wildcats, who are looking for their second Class 3A trophy in four seasons.
4. Bloom: Another south suburban power with solid relays, the Blazing Trojans will look to James Harriel, Jonah Wiley and Daylen Hubbard among others as they seek to move up from last year’s tie for 16th at state.
5. Minooka: Few programs are better at putting together winning relays than the Indians, who are the defending Class 3A and reigning indoor state champs in the 1,600 relay. Senior Chris Wilson and his teammates are aiming for the Indians’ first state trophy since 1977.
6. Neuqua Valley: High jump standout Tim Heinz transferred to Naperville North, but the Wildcats still could be in the running to return to the awards stand for the third time in six seasons. Led by distance ace Nick Bushelle, the Wildcats should be solid from the 400 on up.
7. Oak Park-River Forest: Football standout Jamal Baggett could help make the Huskies competitive in the sprint relays again. Chris Wright-Madison and Kaharion Martin are capable jumpers.
8. York: After a couple of down years, don’t be surprised if the Dukes bounce back behind a solid group of middle distance and distance runners. Nathan Mroz, Alex Bashqawi and Matthew Plowman anchor that group.
9. Grant: The Bulldogs have been the dominant team in the north suburbs the past two seasons and should be solid again. Senior Jonathan Wells, an Illinois recruit, cleared 7 feet, 2 inches indoors in the high jump and also can score in the long jump and hurdles.
10. St. Ignatius: Jack Keelan is gone after winning the Class 3A distance triple crown last school year (cross country, 1,600 and 3,200). But there’s experience back in hurdlers Conor Dunham and Chris Hawkins and distance runners Chris Korabik and Daniel Santino.