Photo: Kory Harner can call himself a 2012 State qualifier in the pole vault after his Thursday performance at the Rochelle Sectional. File Photo
Kaneland sends 11 events to hallowed EIU turf this weekend
by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE, Ill.—Labeling the Kaneland boys track output from Thursday’s Class 3A Rochelle Sectional as “exceptional” would be right on the money.
For the remaining field at this weekend’s Class 3A State gathering in Charleston, Ill., the showing could be described as “ominous.”
Kaneland’s total of 115 points gave a nice cushion over second-place Burlington Central’s 84, Dixon’s 83, Sterling’s 64 and Rochelle’s 60.
The point total for Kaneland beats last year’s sectional best of 90 points.
Trying to nab a State trophy for the second time in three years, Brandon Cottier, who will hope to make his presence felt in the 100 and 200 meter dash, is among those who is not just “happy to be there”.
“Once I get to State, I try to better myself. We don’t settle, and we go in to win,” Cottier said.
Sophomore Dylan Nauert highlighted the eleven separate events to make it down to State, with a 40.18 time in the 300m low hurdles, taking the Sectional title.
In a nice piece of symmetry, both Cottier and Sean Carter finished 1-2 in the prelims for the 200m dash, with a flip of places in the finals.
Carter earned the sectional crown with a time of 22.67 seconds, and Cottier finished in 23.14.
In the 100m dash, Cottier took fourth with a time of 11.03 seconds, after finishing fourth in the prelims at 11.13.
“If we run our best race, we’ll definitely place at State. The sectional is a different feel because you are doing your best to get to State. Once you get to State, there’s nothing after that,” Cottier said.
In the 400m dash, Nate Kucera’s fourth place time of 50.65 seconds earned him a qualifying nod.
Relay action went the way of the Knights in the form of races like the 4x800m relay, which ran in 8:05.20, good for fourth.
Additionally, the 4x100m relay squad took home the sectional mantle with a time of 43.30.
It went nice with another first-place race in the 4x200m relay, which ran in 1:29.80, 1.75 seconds better than Boylan Catholic.
Field events were highlighted by Nate Dyer and Kory Harner.
Dyer, after a double conference championship in both the shot put and discus, also punched his ticket to Eastern Illinois University with a fine showing.
The sophomore threw 155 feet, nine inches and finished third in finals, after finishing second in the prelims with a 155-09 effort. In the shot, Dyer finished third with a tally of 50-11. Dyer also finished third in the prelims (50-11).
Harner made it in the pole vault with a second-place effort of 13-03.
“Every year, we just want to qualify someone in pole vault. It’s been 30 straight years,” Harner said. “When you get to sectionals, you really feel the pressure of wanting to go down (to State).”
Kaneland has bragging rights to several State champ honors the last two years, with Taylor Andrews’ 110m hurdles in 2011, Nick Sinon in the 2010 high jump, and the 4x400m relay in 2010.