Big day for boys track in Woodstock
In the future, May 18, 2012, will be remembered as a banner day for boys track and field for Woodstock School District 200 high schools. At the Richmond-Burton Class 2A boys track and field meet, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North High School combined to qualify in 12 different events for the IHSA state meet. Overall, WHS finished third at the meet with 86 points and WNHS finished fifth with 45 points.
Qualifying from WHS are junior Phil Krueger in the discus throw (142 feet, 10 inches); junior Tyler Parsons in the 110 hurdles (15.22 seconds); senior Donte Arnold in the 300 intermediate hurdles (39.28) and triple jump (43-9 1/2); the 4-by-100 relay team of junior Keeondae Benjamin, senior Jake Baier, senior Mike Walton and senior Nate Hams (43.65); the 4-by-200 relay team of Arnold, Benjamin, Baier and Walton (1:31.79); and the 4-by-400 relay team of Arnold, Benjamin, Parsons and Alec Martys (3:25.12).
WHS boys track and field head coach Matt McCulley said Krueger’s success seemed to spark the team.
“When Phil qualified, I ran over from the disc to where we were camped out, and I told the guys,” McCulley said. “All of sudden, they came to life. From there, we scored in some events we weren’t counting on and everything kept rolling from there.”
Krueger’s success had been building over the past few weeks according to McCulley.
“He set a [personal record] by seven feet,” McCulley said. “From three to four weeks ago, his [personal record] has gone up double digits, and that’s big. His was a pleasant surprise. He really started the ball rolling.”
Krueger said he was completely surprised by the results.
“Honestly, I had a mini heart attack,” Krueger said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting to get that far. When they announced the distance, I couldn’t believe it. … I’m still jittery. I don’t know what to expect. I am really excited.”
McCulley, who has been with the program for four years, said this type of success has not occurred for the boys team in some time.
“Talking to the teachers that have been here a long time, they don’t think anything like this has ever happened, at least on the boys’ side,” McCulley said.
WNHS sends first boys track athletes to state
Qualifying for WNHS, representing the school’s first boys track and field state qualifiers, are senior Jon Walsh in the pole vault (15-3), high jump (6-1) and triple jump (40-10); junior Sidney Smith in the 400-meter run (50.32 seconds); and the 4-by-400 relay team of seniors Ben Markison, Jordan Kempf, Trey Grover and Smith (3:27.12).
“We’re pretty excited,” said WNHS track and field head coach John Fredericks. “Going in, we knew Jon would probably qualify. We knew we had an outside chance with both Sidney in the 400 and our 4-by-400 relay team.”
Walsh qualified for pole vault, tied with the best height in Class 2A, and Fredericks said he has a very good chance of taking first at the state meet.
“He’s got a great shot at winning, especially with a few days of practice,” Fredericks said. “He has a longer pole to work with, and he will work on 15-6, 15-9 and 16. He will need more than 15-3 to win.”
Smith, who qualified in two events, is surprised and excited for the opportunity to compete at state.
“I’m pretty psyched about it,” Smith said. “Coming into the season, I didn’t expect to [qualify for state], but I really worked hard and got to where I am.”
Fredericks, who has coached the program since its inception, said he couldn’t be happier for the team and how it has developed the last three years.
“I’m just proud of our kids,” Fredericks said. “We started from nothing three years ago and now we have state qualifiers.”
Niemeyer just misses qualifying
Marian Central finished 14th with seven points and did not have anyone qualify for the IHSA Class 2A state tournament. Freshman Jordan Niemeyer came closest when he finished fourth in the 100-meter run (11.49), failing to qualify by .20 seconds. He finished fifth in the long jump (20-2.5). The 4-by-100 relay team of freshman Mike Velazquez, sophomore Sammy Rita, freshman Jordan Peterson and junior Matt Yuk took sixth (45.262).
The Class 2A IHSA boys track and field state meet will be held Thursday to Saturday, May 24 to 26, in Charleston.