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The Insider: Track

Spotlight on...

Dave Emmert
Sycamore, sr.

Emmert posted one of the best 800-meter times in the state with a 1:57 at the Peterson Invitational last weekend, winning by more than three seconds.

What to watch for...

Genoa-Kingston at Richmond-Burton Relays, 4 p.m., Thursday

Both of G-K’s track teams will travel north to its Big Northern Conference East rival for a relay-oriented meet

Sycamore, DeKalb at Gib Seegers Classic

Sycamore hosts its invitational and will honor the senior class on Senior Night while competing against rival DeKalb and others in the 12-team field.

Individual power rankings...

1. Jasmine Brown, sr., DeKalb, TJ / LJ:

Jumped 18-9 in long jump last weekend.

2. Dion Hooker, so., Sycamore, 100:

Unofficially broke school record at Ottawa, won Kaneland’s Peterson Invite.

3. Lauren Zick, jr., Kaneland, 100/200/400:

Won pair of sprint titles at ABC Invite.

4. Billy Weissinger, sr., Hinckley-Big Rock, HJ:

Won high jump at Rockford Christian Invitational at 6-0.

5. Dave Emmert, sr., Sycamore, 800:

Ran a blistering 1:57 at Peterson.

6. Dylan Nauert, jr., Kaneland, 300 hurdles:

Edged in both hurdle events at Peterson.

7. Nate Dyer, jr., Kaneland, throws:

Pair of second-place finsihes at Peterson in throws.

8. Lilia Edwards, so., Sycamore, hurdles / TJ:

Set new personal best of 34-10 in triple jump.

9. Kelsey Schrader, jr., DeKalb, 1,600 / 3,200:

Won the distance double at the Harlem Invite.

10. Marc Dubrick, sr., DeKalb, 3,200:

Easily won two-mile race in 9:28 at Peterson.


Dubrick off to strong start: Marc Dubrick is always at a disadvantage to start the outdoor track season.

The DeKalb senior forgoes the winter indoor track season in favor of swimming for the Barbs, putting him in catch-up mode once swimming ends in late February.

But Dubrick has quickly gotten himself into racing shape, posting a 9:28 in the two-mile race at the Peterson Invite and winning by 15 seconds.

“He’s been running pretty well,” DeKalb coach Tim Holt said. “Down at Ottawa he won the [3,200] and the [1,600].

He’s been running some really good times.”

There might be added motivation for Dubrick this year as the multi-sport star recently committed to run cross country and track at Missouri next year. He’s also within range of finally getting his name etched into the DeKalb record books.

“He’s two seconds off the 3,200 record at 9:25,” Holt said. “He’s always been looking at those times.”

Emmert near top: Sycamore’s David Emmert is a veteran of the 800 by now and the early-season weather problems haven’t deterred him from posting one of the state’s top times.

At the Peterson Invitational in Maple Park, Emmert won the 800 in 1:57, continuing his form after a strong indoor season.

“David ran that 800 and then came back and ran again in the 4x400,” Sycamore coach Pete Piccony said. “His split in the 4x4 was phenomenal. For him to come back that strong is a good sign this early in the year.”

Hooker breaks record: Sycamore sophomore Dion Hooker unofficially broke the school record for the 100 meters with a hand time of 10.54 seconds at Ottawa. Adding the required .24 seconds for hand times would give Hooker a 10.78.

According to Piccony, the school record is 10.7, set back in 1960, but the Sycamore coach also said that time was most likely set with a hand-operated stopwatch as well.

“His times just keep going down,” Piccony said. “We’re looking for him to run strong, run good times, but we’re also looking for him to run multiple events.”

Hooker has run in the 100, 200, 4x400 relay, 300 hurdles and competed in the long jump at various meets this year.

Piccony said they will figure out the best combination for Hooker as the season progresses.


With the exception of football, reporters often joke about how meaningless the regular season is for high school sports. Because every team makes the playoffs, the games leading up to the IHSA’s single-elimination tournaments are seemingly only used for postseason seeding purposes.

But with weather washing out almost a month’s worth of track and field events, the lack of early competition is noteworthy. Several coaches noted that they haven’t been able to get a good feel for the freshmen and sophomores on their team.

“We haven’t seen them go very much,” Sycamore coach Pete Piccony said. “They haven’t had as many opportunities as they should have at this point in the season.”

Although many underclassmen participated in the indoor track season, those meets and invitationals are usually resesrved for varsity and have a limited number of entries available for each school.

Early-season track meets are supposed to let coaches experiment with lineups and explore what new athletes can bring to the table, but the lack of consistent weather has inhibited them from doing so.

Once (if) the weather clears up and temperatures rise, the bigger area schools will get a better look at what their postseason lineup might look like. Decisions will be made on whether certain distance runners are better suited in the 800 and 1,600 or should be bumped up to the 3,200. Sprinters will get settled into their options out of the 100, 200 and 400.

The juniors and seniors know where they will be when conference meets roll around, but improved weather could allow underclassmen to finally prove themselves and potentially fight their way into a postseason spot.

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