Naperville Sun’s three things to know

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1. On a mission. Naperville Central senior Michael Jopes is intent on backing up his All-State status in the 300-meter hurdles. Jopes turned in a brilliant night at the Prospect Invitational last Friday, winning the 110 high and 300 intermediate hurdles (14.74 and 39.22 seconds). Then Jopes set the tone for the Redhawks’ winning 1,600 relay with his lead leg for a third victory on the night.

2. Looking for a challenge. Naperville North junior Harrison Beard is not willing to hand Jopes the title of the area’s best hurdler. At Rolling Meadows’ Mustang Classic last Friday, Beard returned from a disappointing fourth-place finish in the high hurdles to best the field in the 300 intermediate variety with his time of 41.29. The Huskies were runner-up to Warren in the 14-team field.

3. Distance runners power Neuqua. Wildcats coach Mike Kennedy excused his seniors from the Red Ribbon Classic at Waubonsie Valley last Saturday because of prom, held on the previous night. Connor Horn (9:39.83) and Michael Widmann (9:43.5) answered the call for Neuqua by sweeping the 3,200. Each lowered their season-best times, and Grayson Jenkins’ 4:33.46 time in the 1,600 was the Wildcats’ other championship.

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