ST. CHARLES – Drew Hahn was minutes off of posting a new personal shot put record of 52 feet, 11 inches at the Class 3A sectional track meet.
A sheet of chalk rested on the Kaneland senior’s neck, as he mentioned a team motto message that guided him all along toward the end of his interview.
“OGT” – Only Guaranteed Today.
“It’s not just throwing, it’s the whole team,” Hahn, who took third, said Thursday. “You’re only guaranteed right now. You can’t change what happened in the past or what’s going on in the future. But you can worry about what’s going on right now. That’s the way my teammates looked at it every single day.”
Hahn will join a drove of Kaneland teammates at the IHSA state competition May 23-25. Five individuals and two relay teams will represent the Knights.
Colton Doll qualified in long jump, lifting off for 22 feet, 11 inches. Austin Adams took second in the 800-meter dash with a 1:59.20, while Daniel Occhipinti blazed for second in the mile (4:23.76).
“I was so nervous for the whole week,” Occhipinti said. “It’s what you work for the whole season. Every practice, this is the idea that you have in mind. State is just a fun trip. When you have a team as good [as ours] ... you want to be a part of that.”
In the 4x400 relay, Kaneland (3:24.28) placed second behind Batavia’s 3:23.12. The Knights took sixth in the 4x200 relay but still qualified with a 1:29.86.
Nate Bermes continued Kaneland’s history-ladened state pole vault qualifying lineage. With a 14-foot, 2-inch attempt, Bermes will make this the 36th consecutive year a Kaneland athlete will pole vault at state, per the Kaneland Boys Track Twitter account.
Bermes initially qualified with a 13-8 attempt and then later surpassed that mark.
“Initially, it’s a lot of pressure on you,” Bermes said of the history. “It really gets in your head, which is not really a good thing to do in pole vault. Once you step on that runway, it’s all gas, no brakes.”
Bermes qualified for state for the first time. It didn’t come without some drama surrounding his takeoff.
“If your run is off and your takeoff is wrong, you don’t hit the pole right and it doesn’t get you over the bar,” Bermes said. “It was subconsciously in my head that my step was off ... On the 13-8 state qualifying attempt, I ran up twice [and didn’t vault]. I was like, ‘Third try. I got to make it.’ ”