Thornton’s Tifonte Hunt walked slowly off the track, sat down in the grass and put his arms around his legs.
If anyone deserved to rest Saturday afternoon near the end of the TT Classic at Thornton, it was Hunt.
The senior hurdler/sprinter had just won the 200-meter dash (22.06 seconds) after he ran on two first-place relays and clocked the third-fastest Class 3A time this year in the 110 hurdles (14.40).
That race came after the foursome of Hunt, Martise Craig, Cavion Clanton and Jauan Wesley covered the 400 relay in 41.44, the quickest 3A time in Illinois this season and better than the 42.24 Thornton ran to win state last year.
“We worked all week on our handoffs to get them together,’’ Hunt said. “I think we can get a little bit faster, but that’s pretty fast.’’
Hunt led Thornton to the team championship of the seven-team meet. The Wildcats had 141 points, followed by Evanston (118½), Homewood-Flossmoor (91), Thornwood (79), Brother Rice (52½), Rich Central (32) and Oak Forest (31).
“They’re driven, they’re ready,’’ Thornton coach Vince McAuliffe said of his team, which has its sights on a top-three state finish or higher. “We’ve got to keep everything in perspective and understand this is just one step.
“We’ve been circling the month of May probably since the seniors were freshmen. This has been a long time coming. We’re taking it step by step. They showed a little something here. It’s a buildup to Charleston.’’
Wesley took the 100 meters in a personal season-best 10.89, which ranks among the top 10 in Illinois. He also ran with Clanton, Hunt and Demitrius Mitchell on the 800 relay that won in 1:27.22, second-fastest in 3A this year.
“I’m thankful for this good weather,’’ Wesley said. “We’re trying to break 41.00 in the 400.’’
Besides running on the 800 relay, Mitchell contributed a first place in the 300 hurdles (39.57) and second in the 110s (14.90).
Thornton’s JoWahn Brown won the triple jump (45 feet, 2¼ inches) and long jump (21-3½) on a day he’ll remember.
“I wanted to get some quality jumps in and take advantage of the heat,’’ Brown said. “It’s my last meet here ever, so I wanted to finish the day off with two first places in my events.’’
Oak Forest’s Luke Taccola also was a double winner, taking the shot put (51-11½) and discus (145-9).
Other winners included H-F’s Alex Daubon in the high jump (6-4) and teammate Matt Simpson in the pole vault (13-0), Thornwood’s Khalil Lightbourne in the 1,600 (4:40.10) and Brother Rice’s Mike Joyce in the 3,200 (10:51.23).
H-F 2013 state finalist Matt Anyiwo ran 1:56.07 in the 800 to finish second to Evanston’s Carl Klamm (1:55.59).