4x800m Relay nabs State title, boys track takes sixth in Class 2A
KANELAND—Kaneland boys track has a long and storied history, and the 2013 team added to it this weekend.
The 4x800m relay team of Conor Johnson, Kyle Carter, Luis Acosta and Nathaniel Kucera set a school record and won the Class 2A State title for the 4x800m Relay event on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.
The 7:50.26 time beat Normal University’s effort by 1.32 seconds and put the KHS foursome into school immortality.
The State nod helped the Knights capture sixth overall in Class 2A with 24 team points. Cahokia (99.5), East St. Louis (40), Bloomington (37), Lakes (29) and Thornridge (26) rounded out the top five.
Recent history had the 4x400m Relay win first in 2010, Taylor Andrews win the 110m High Hurdles in 2011, Logan Markuson win the 300m Intermediate Hurdles in 2009 and Nick Sinon take the High Jump in 2010.
Friday saw the State kings take their Friday challenge with a time of 8:06.45.
“Conor, Kyle, Luis and Nathaniel are all great leaders, and they ran their legs,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “They did great and ran outstanding.”
The State-winning challenge was accented by a topple of an opposing runner during a baton switch between Johnson and Carter, forcing Johnson to leap over a pile, and Carter to stop for the baton.
“I saw what was happening and it was a little bit of ‘Oh my God,’ but I recovered quick,” Carter said.
The Knight effort saw plenty of finalists competing on the EIU track on the final day of the track and field season.
The 4x400m group of Johnson, Carter, Kucera and Dylan Nauert, with a time of 3:20.06, took second and a State medal nod, just :1.02 behind East St. Louis. The four won their Friday heat at 3:23.22.
Tanner Andrews closed his career out with a sixth-place effort and a medal in the Triple Jump after a 44-1.5. The senior jumped 44-1.5 in Friday action to qualify.
Junior Nate Dyer took ninth in the Shot Put with a mark of 51-10, after clearing that mark in prelims.
Kucera took ninth overall in the 400m Dash (50.76), after topping his prelim heat at 50.01.
Senior Kory Harner finished 10th overall in the Pole Vault thanks to a 13-06.
Senior Marshall Farthing finished 14th overall in the High Jump with a mark of 6-2, after clearing 6-3 in the prelims.
Friday action also saw the 4x100m Relay squad of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Nauert and Ben Barnes take fifth in their heat with a time of 43.95.
Nauert finished sixth in his 110m High Hurdles prelim heat with a mark of 15.52, and second in his 300m Hurdles event prelim heat at 40.05.
In the 200m Dash, Cottier took sixth in his prelim heat with a time of 22.74, while Bishop took sixth in his prelim heat at 22.80.
The Pole Vault prelims saw Dylan Kuipers go 11th at 13 feet, while Harner tied for first in the prelims at 13-09.
A productive year highlighted by an astounding weekend won’t soon be forgotten by the winners.
‘We were down there to compete, and we knew it was possible,” Carter said.
“People forget this was a young group of kids, and the relays are loaded with juniors,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “You had guys like Andrews and Harner and Farthing close out their careers in great ways, and we got to see what’s ahead.”