After a rare off year, the Evanston Wildkits have returned to their usual display of track and field dominance.
Evanston captured the class 3A sectional title with 110 combined points, more than 50 points better than second place finisher New Trier.
Since the IHSA expanded track and field to three classes in 2009, Evanston have won eight out of a possible 10 sectional titles.
The 2018 version of the Wildkits put their stamp on the meet early and often, setting a PR in the first event of the day (4×800) while never relinquishing the lead after that.
Out of 18 events, Evanston placed first in seven events including the 4×100, 4×400, 4×800, Long Jump (Gabe Cheeks), Triple Jump (Jonathan Wilburn), 400m dash (William McMichael) and the 200m dash (Sacrad Michelin)
Evanston looked to have an eighth victory under their belt in the 4x200m dash, but a disqualification put them at the back of the pack.
The Wildkits will have athletes competing in 10 events at the state tournament, rival the likes of dominant track programs in Homewood-Flossmoor and OPRF.
Though Deerfield were unable to replicate the success of their CSL North championship meet, the dominance of their throwers remained constant.
Junior Sam Liokumovich won both the shot put and the discus events, besting his own teammate Henry Boudreau in the shot put by over two feet and Notre Dame’s Nick Swanson in the discuss by three.
Demons raising the bar
There is a lot to be excited about in the Maine East Blue Demons track and field program.
The Demons parlayed a second place finish in the CSL North meet into a solid showing at sectionals with Sev Milchev continuing his winning streak as he took home the high jump title with a height of 6’2″
Standout sophomore Tuwayne Gunn only competed in one event today, but still managed a fourth place finish in the 400m despite not having his best race.
Maine East were expected to add to their total in the 4x400m relay, but a late scratch kept their overall points at 18.
This and that
I’ve mentioned it a few times now, but I have so much respect for anyone who runs the 800m. The race looks brutal every single time and every single person is gasping for air afterwords.
Despite finishing in second place, New Trier will only be sending four athletes to the state competition. Albert Yen will be competing in the 110m and 300m hurdles, Wei Chen in the 400m, Ryan Struckman in the 1600m, and Patrick Norrick in the 3200m. Funny how track meets work like that sometimes.
Speaking of the 3200m, that was by far the fastest and most competitive race of the afternoon. Seven athletes met the automatic state qualifying time, which to put it in perspective, only the top six places are awarded team points.
The field was led by Maine South’s Tommy Brady who ran the race in a blistering 9:09.98, nearly 20 seconds faster than the 9:29.48 required for automatic qualification.
I find World Record progressions quite fascinating, and three of today’s winners in field events would have held the World Record at one point in time.
Sam Liokumovich’s winning discuss throw of 158’10” would have stood until April 9, 1929, his mark of 55’9″ would have stood until August 5, 1934 and Declan Ritzenthaler’s winning pole vault of 15’3″ would have lasted until June 23, 1941.