First-ever win at traditional outdoor opener for boys track
By Mike Slodki
Kaneland—For the talent pool near the Quad Cities, to take the unofficial opener of the 2013 outdoor season is a big deal for the Knights track roster.
The 12-team gathering saw Kaneland score 260 team points on Saturday in the UTHS Boys Kiwanis Invitational, hosted by East Moline United.
The hosts were second overall with a total of 220.5, and Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Geneseo was third overall with 204 points.
Rock Island (184), Iowa’s Pleasant Valley (169) and T.F. South (135) rounded out the top half of the standings. Sterling, with 88 points, took ninth.
The meet was structured in flights of “A,” “B” and “C,” and had Kaneland running to daylight in plenty of events.
John Meisinger’s 3200 meter run “B” resulted in a second-place effort (10:41.54), while the “B” 4x800m relay team for Kaneland took second with a time of 8:59.28.
Kaneland’s 4x100m “B” team won the event with a time of 45.83 seconds, while the “A” foursome of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Dylan Nauert and Ben Barnes won its challenge with a time of 43.85.
Nauert struck again in the “A” 110m hurdles event that saw him nab second with a time of 16:07, while Stephen McCracken of Kaneland managed a second in the “C” running of the 800m run (2:09.41).
In the 800m run “A” battle, reliable Knight Conor Johnson won the event with a time of 2:02.58, while the 4x200m relay “B” crew took first with a time of 1:38.83.
Kaneland’s 4x200m relay group of Bishop, Barnes, Dylan Pennington and Cottier took second in the “A” group with a time of 1:32.67.
Knight speedster Kyle Carter worked through the 400m dash “B” flight for a win in 51.28, while “A” counterpart Nathaniel Kucera won his race with a time of 51.05.
Kaneland made more of a hurdle presence in the 300m hurdles “B,” thanks to Brock Robertson’s second at 42.71 and Nauert’s “A” first-place at 40.68.
The field events saw a nice dose of Kaneland power, especially in the shot put, with “B” champ Shane Jorgensen’s 47 feet, 7.5 inches, and “A” king Nate Dyer’s 52-04.
The pole vault saw “C” glory thanks to JR Vest’s first (12-06), Kory Harner’s second in “B” (11-06) and Dylan Kuipers’ “A” reign (13 feet).
Considering the opposing talent level and the mix of experienced and new, KHS coach Eric Baron feels it was a job well done out west.
“They did fine, they had lots of excitement about this first meet,” Baron said. “They really performed well. It was the first time we won this meet and that is saying a lot considering the legendary track programs we competed against.”
Kaneland also had a dual meet at Sycamore on Tuesday and dominated Sycamore and Hiawatha. Kaneland tallied 111 points, well out in front of Sycamore’s 34 and Hiawatha’s 1.
The Knight crew heads to the Ottawa Invitational set for Saturday, April 13.