Late surge leads to Kucera win
Trio of KHS track athletes compete in elite meet; Kucera wins the 800-meter
KANELAND—Kaneland High School track state champion Nathaniel Kucera continued his dominating year by setting a school record in the 800m run on Saturday.
Kucera was one of three Kaneland High School track stars invited to the second annual Midwest Distance Festival on Saturday, held at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.
The Midwest Distance Festival, is an event geared to give student-athletes an opportunity to run against elite athletes from the region. Athletes must qualify for entry in the meet by achieving qualifying times during track meets this year.
Junior state champions Kyle Carter and Kucera both competed in the 800 meter run, and long-distance runner Victoria Clinton competed in the two-mile run.
One fourth of the Class 2A championship 4X800m relay squad, Kucera put on a burst in the final 200 meters of the run, weaving inside one runner and outside of another as he moved from fifth to the front. He crossed the line with a winning time of 1:51.33, .36 ahead of the second-place runner, Brad Johnson of Brookfield East, Wisc. Carter finished in 11th place, with a time of 1:55.31.
“Nathaniel and Kyle are both very confident. They knew the only expectation was to have fun and learn from the experience. Kucera had a huge break out. That broke the school record set by Ron Ackerman in 1975,” KHS track coach Eric Baron said.”Did I expect it? I’d say not yet, but the both of them are the best two middle runners I have ever coached or seen at this level.”
The video is available at dyestatil.com, or at the bottom of this article.
Just one of the eight boys and girls races held on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., the 800m field had 17 athletes, including Oswego East’s Chase Skenadore.
An accomplished runner having just completed her sophomore campaign, multiple State qualifier Clinton finished fifth in the two-mile run with a time of 11:29.84.
Fellow Northern Illinois Big XII standout Michelle Dobbs of Rochelle won the girls 800m run with a time of 2:10.96.
Video via dyestatil.com[/colored_box]