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Dion Hooker takes 100, 200-dash titles as Spartans finish 3rd

Published: Friday, May 23, 2014 10:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 23, 2014 11:45 p.m. CDT
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Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia.com Sycamore's Dion Hooker beats the field in the 100 meter final with a time of 10.75 seconds at the IHSA Class 2A Burlington Central Boys Track Sectional on Friday, May 23, 2014. Hooker also won the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.89 seconds.

BURLINGTON – In what might be considered one of the toughest sectionals in Illinois, local teams fared well and sent lots of athletes to next weekend's Eastern Illinois University for the state meet.

The Sycamore track and field team finished in third place in the Class 2A Burlington Central Sectional with 72 points Friday. The Spartans will send nine athletes to Charleston. Genoa-Kingston finished ninth with 12 points. Kaneland won the sectional with 183 points.

“There has been some up and downs tonight.," Sycamore coach Pete Piccony said. "We started off a little rough. We had a couple of seniors that didn’t make it, which is hard on them. That is hard on the team, but we rallied really well and we got a lot of kids down.”

Among those Sycamore will be sending to state will be Dion Hooker. Individually, the junior sprinter won the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He also was part of the state-qualifying 4x100 relay.

“It’s the third year going down to state – it is a good feeling,” Hooker said. “(In the 200), I knew it was going to be tight. I was feeling good coming off the bend and felt strong.”

That 4x100 relay set the school record in the Northern Illinois Big 12 meet last week. The team of Hooker, Logan Schneider, Anthony Deutsch and Austin Sebby broke the record again with a time of 42.7, taking first place.

“We have worked on handoff a lot because they were not very good in the beginning of the year,” said Schneider, who also qualified in the 110 and 300 hurdles. “So we are getting a lot better. We are all getting faster, so everything is flowing really easily.”

Also qualifying for the Spartans was Adam Millburg, who finished sixth in the 3,200 at 9:47.41, which was just faster than the qualifying time. Millburg also qualified in the 4x800 relay with Nick Aase, Alex Handel and Eric Aurand. Evan Short's third-place shot put throw of 51-1 also was enough to qualify.

G-K's 12 points were two more than coach Brent Bacon’s goal for the sectional. Mitchell Uszcienski was the sectional champion in the high jump at 6-3, and is the Cogs' lone qualfier.

“We had two kids place today," Bacon said. "Being in our second year of 2A, it is a tough sectional to be at; it is one of the best in the state."

Uszcienski did not miss a single jump until hitting the 6-3 mark. The senior’s pervious best was 5-10.

“It feels pretty good. I felt a lot better after I cleared it,” Uszcienski said. “I was feeling really nervous before it, but seeing all the other jumpers, it kind of made me feel good.”

For Kaneland, Dylan Nauert qualified in the 110 hurdles (14.75), 300 hurdles (38.74) and was part of the Knights' 4x100 relay and 4x200 relays. Kaneland's 4x400 and 4x800 relays also qualified.

Kyle Carter and Nathan Kucera finished first and second in the 400, and Ben Barnes and Dalvell Tripplett both qualified in the triple jump, and Barnes earned a spot in the long jump, as well. Brock Robertson qualified in the 110 and 300 hurdles for the Knights.

Dylan Kuipers and Dan Evers took first and second in the pole vault, respectively, and Nate Dyer won the shot put and Alex Snyder took second. Dyer also qualified in the discus, while Austin Kintz earned a spot in the 1,600.

“Two years in a row to qualify for all four events, it is the best feeling in the world,” Nauert said. “I couldn’t ask to be on a better relay team. These guys are fast. The way Kaneland does track, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

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