CHARLESTON – Kaneland junior Kyle Carter probably could have run the open 800 at the state meet, and he might have even been able to win.
But at a program steeped in relay tradition, Carter's coaches held him out of the individual race so he could focus on the 4x800-meter relay and 4x400. After the Knights won the 4x800 (7:50.26) and finished second in the 4x400 (3:20.06), the decision looks like a good one.
“We decided as a team that it would be better for me to do the relays for us to place higher,” Carter said. “I'm happy that I did. You can't complain with a first-second finish.”
The Knights led for most of the 4x800, and by the time Carter, Luis Acosta and Conor Johnson had run, Nathaniel Kucera, the anchor leg, had a sizeable lead. Johnson, Carter and Kucera also ran the 4x400 along with Dylan Nauert.
The Knights led the 4x400 when Nauert received the baton for the anchor leg, but Nauert wasn't able to hold off the East St. Louis anchor.
Kaneland senior Tanner Andrews finished sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 1 inch, Kucera finished ninth in the 400, Nate Dyer was ninth in the shot put with a throw of 51 feet, 10 inches, Kory Harner finished 10th in the pole vault and Marshall Farthing finished 14th in the high jump. Kaneland finished sixth as a team with 24 points, five points ahead of 13th-place Sycamore.
All five relay runners who medaled Saturday are juniors, so Kucera expects even bigger things next year.
“Hopefully, we'll do better next time,” Kucera said. “I'm looking at a state title [in the 4x400], hopefully.”
H-BR's Weissinger takes fourth in high jump: Hinckley-Big Rock senior Bill Weissinger cleared 6 feet, 4 inches in the high jump to finish fourth in Class 1A, becoming the most decorated Hinckley-Big Rock track athlete ever. He finished third in the event as a sophomore and ninth as a junior, when he pulled his hamstring.
“I'm real pleased,” Royals coach Greg Burks said. “To come down here to get a third, a fourth and a ninth is kind of unprecedented at Hinckley-Big Rock, and I'm just real pleased with that.”
Each year, Weissinger has battled through injuries, but each year he's come out with a medal around his neck.
“He was able to come down each of the last three years and have enough to get on the medal stand, which is a testament to his ability,” Burks said.
Spartans' Emmert medals in 800: Sycamore senior David Emmert was set to push for a state championship with half of a lap remaining in the 800 meters on Saturday, but he wasn't able to hang on during the home stretch, finishing fifth with a time of 1:56.49.
“I was thinking, if I want it, I've got to go get it now,” Emmert said. “I tried, but it didn't pan out … I felt good the first 400, but the last 100 was rough. My legs just weren't there.”
While Emmert was frustrated with his finish, coach Pete Piccony was impressed with his senior's race.
“I was quite pleased with it,” coach Pete Piccony said. “To me, to be top five in the state is nothing to sneeze at. I thought he ran the best race he could have. ... He put himself in third place in the last 200. You can't be upset with how he ran it. The only thing you can be upset about is that those other two kids caught him at the end. … Nothing that he did put him in fifth place.”
Dubrick 11th in 3,200 meters: DeKalb's Marc Dubrick was content to sit back for the first mile of the Class 3A 3,200, waiting for his time to push in the race's first of two flights. WIth five laps to go, the race broke open, and Dubrick surged to the front before taking the lead in the last lap.
He ceded the lead in the home stretch, finishing second in his heat with a time of 9:18.
“I tried to make sure the pace was good and then go with it,” Dubrick said. "[The first mile] was perfect, that was right where I wanted to be.”
Dubrick finished just off of the medal stand in 11th place and he lowered his own school record in the process.
“I'm just glad I got a PR,” he said. “I'm one-for-one on the state track, and I lowered our school record so I'm really happy.”