Western trek sees boys place fourth in 12-team meet
EAST MOLINE, Ill.—The Kaneland boys track team bus jumped on I-88 and headed west almost as far as it could go within state boundaries to compete in the Kiwani’s Invitational at United Township High School in East Moline, Ill., on Saturday. The meet has become a spring rite for the Knights, and a chance for them to compete with some teams they don’t typically see.
The unusual meet format consists of “A,” “B” and “C” heats and flights, with one athlete in each from each school. The A heats have the higher-rated athletes.
In the A-heat sprints, junior Brandon Cruz placed third in the 100m Dash in 11.71 seconds and sixth in the 200m in 24.28. Junior Sean Spaetzel was fourth in the 400m in 53.35. In the distance races, junior Austin Kintz was third in the 1600m at 4:34.95, and senior Brandon Park was sixth in the 3200m at 10:44.65. In the hurdles, junior Tanner Robertson was sixth in the 110m hurdles, then came back to win the 300m hurdles in 41.87 for the Knights’ highlight performance of the day on the track.
In the relays, Cruz, Robertson, junior John Delach and senior Ben Barnes made an express mail delivery of the baton once around the track to place third in the 4x100m relay in 44.34. In the 4x800m relay, junior Drew Franklin, seniors Andrew Lesak and James Walker and Kintz combined to place second, with Kintz running a lifetime-best 1:58.4 anchor leg to move them up from seventh place over the last two-laps.
In the A-flight field events, junior Mike Rinella won the pole vault at 12 feet. A less-than-healthy Barnes placed third in the long jump at 20’ 3.5”, and senior Tristian Kinder placed second in the discus at 137’ 11”.
In the B-heat distance races, Walker placed fourth in the 800m at 2:10.55, freshman Matt Richtman was fifth in the 1600m at 4:51.54, and junior Will Kuipers was fourth in the 3200m at 10:43.82. In the B relays, Kaneland won the 4x100m relay in 46.28. The Knights placed fifth in the 4x400m relay in 3:49.06, and were second in the 4x800m in 8:57.06—just .7 seconds behind first.
In the B field events, junior Mitch Groen won the pole vault at 12’ 6”—higher than the A-flight winning height. John Delach had a 14-inch personal record to place second in the long jump at 20’ 5”, and took fourth place in the triple jump at 37’ 9”. Senior Zach Thielk was second in the shot put at 45’ 6”, and freshman Clayton Hannula was second in the discus at 122’ 9”.
In the C heats, sophomore Cody Delarme was third in the 400m at 56.00, senior Mitch Reger was fifth in the 800m at 2:17.06, junior Matt Kainrath was sixth in the 1600m at 4:58.72, and sophomore Andrew Kantola was fourth in the 3200m at 10:58.88. Freshman Tyler Nance was third in the 110m hurdles in 18.81, and freshman Drew Gould was sixth in the 300m hurdles at 47.21 in his first race ever.
In the C-field events, Delarme was sixth in the long jump in 17’10” and junior Connor Peterson was fifth in the triple jump at 34’ 10”.
“I was very pleased with our performances in our first outdoor meet of the season,” head coach Eric Baron said. “After the indoor season, it was our first time running the 4x100m relay, the longer dash (100m) and hurdle races (110m and 300m), and throwing the discus, and we had some great performances in all of them. We experimented with some different combinations in the relays, and will continue to do so going forward to find our roles.”
This week, the Knights have a Tuesday dual meet at Sycamore and the Minooka Invitational on Saturday.
“We’re the smallest school in the Minooka meet,” Baron noted. “But we love competing with the bigger schools. We’ve been making progress meet by meet, every week since the start of the indoor season.”