The Highland High School boys track and field team finished fifth out of seven teams in the Silver Division of the Military Classic, hosted by Mascoutah High School on Friday.
Host Mascoutah ran away with the meet's Silver Division title after amassing a final team score of 184 points, which easily outdistanced runner-up Mount Vernon's 114 points. Cahokia was third at 94, Granite City fourth at 93, Highland fifth at 62, Waterloo sixth at 52 and Carbondale rounded out the division with 45 points.
"We had a decent day and a pretty good day to run," Highland coach Bob Vance said. "It was still pretty cool, but compared to what we've had, it felt like a heat wave."
Senior sprinter Seby Wolf was Highland's top individual again. He raced to a strong second-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.50 seconds, which was just 0.06 behind meet-champion Darreon West's winning time of 11.44. Mascoutah's Kourtney Jackson was third at 11.52, Mascouath'as Isaiah Andrews fourth at 11.66, and Highland senior Mason Geiger rounded out the top five at 11.68.
Wolf also took fifth in the 200 with a time of 23.72 seconds and helped both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay teams place third.
"He's having a great senior season," Vance said of Wolf.
Another individual who had a good day was sophomore Nick Hanratty. He placed third in the 3,200-meter run (10:35.17) and came back to take fourth in the 800 (2:10.49).
"That's a tough double, because there's not a lot of rest between the two races," Vance said. "Nick's learning more about himself and about racing every time he goes out there."
Highland actually placed third in three relays. In addition to the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays, the Bulldogs' 4 x 800 team also nabbed third place.
The 4 x 800 relay team of freshman Josh Loeh (2:11), freshman Easton Rosen (2:12), sophomore Brylee Portell (2:19), and senior Gabe Sherrill (2:16) got third place with a team time of 8:58.55.
"These boys ran a solid race, but they all felt they could have gone faster," Vance said. "We're looking for that breakout race, where they each have a significant drop in time. We feel with their training it should happen soon."
The sprint relay teams of Geiger, Wolf and fellow seniors Chase DeProw, and Noah Schmitt took third in both of their races, with the 4 x 100 squad joining forces to do so with a time of 44.31 and the 4 x 200 quartet teaming up to post a time of 1:35.66.
"Chase has been in and out of the relay, along with Ivan Orozco," Vance said. "Ivan tweaked his calf muscle last week, and we're going let him rest for awhile. It's nice that we have the depth and quality with those senior sprinters. They had a season best in the 4 x 100, but once again, they felt like they let an opportunity to make a statement get away from them."
Vance said the team was excited about the two freshmen running the 1,600. Both Rosen and Loeh had personal bests. Rosen came home in fourth place with a 4:51, and Loeh was not far behind in seventh at 5:01.
"We are trying to get them to trust their training and not be afraid to take risks when they run," Vance said.
Other Highland placers at the Military Classic at Mascoutah High School were:
- sophomore Connor Sands, sixth place in the triple jump (37 feet, 0.25 inches) and seventh in the long jump (18-0);
- sophomore Austin Roach, eighth place in the 110-meter high hurdles (17.87); and
- sophomore Ethan Leftwich, eighth place in the 200 (24.56).