BELLEVILLE Belleville West boys track coach Patton Segraves readily admits that the Belleville City Track Meet isn’t the biggest or most important one on the Maroons schedule.
But it is for bragging rights and on a cool, crisp Wednesday afternoon, the Maroons’ Deshon Buchanan, Ricky Nelson and Brian Gichuru made sure those rights will stay on the West side of Belleville for another year.
Buchanan won the 100, 200 and 400 meter titles, while Nelson and Gichuru captured two wins each as the Maroons won their seventh straight city title with a 69-point win over Belleville East.
“I gave them (the team) a little talk before the meet and I just told them that this may not be a meet we point to every year, but it is on our schedule so why don’t we go out and try and win it,’’ Segraves said. “Our kids responded well. Deshon (Buchanan) had a big day, but we kind of expect that kind of performance and the same with Ricky (Nelson).
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“To be able to come out here and win another city title against a program like (Belleville) East is great. (East) coach Kevin Anderson has done an excellent job and has a great individual in (William) Session. They have a very strong team. But we think we’re a good team, too.’’
Gichuru won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, while Nelson broke his own school record in the discus with a throw of 176 feet 6 inches and won the shot put for West which finished with 126 points. East was second with 57 points while Althoff finished third with four points.
While Belleville West won its seventh straight boys title, Belleville East used a combined seven championships from Sidne’ Williamson, Maya Dorsey and Rebecca Humphrey to win its third straight girls title.
Looking to close out a solid four-year career in style, Williamson won the long jump along with the 100 and 200 meters, while Dorsey dominated in the 100 and 300 meter hurdle races. Humphrey won the discus and shot put championships for East, which had 104 points.
Belleville West was second with 50 points, 23 more then Althoff (27).
Nelson shattered his previous mark of 169 feet, 1 inch by over 7 feet, then came back with a throw of 51 feet, 10 inches. Also winning individual championships for Belleville West were Austin Blakeslee (pole vault), Anthony Lewis (high jump), Nick Ernst (800 meters), Turon Johnson (long jump) and Ramon Stacker in the triple jump.
Belleville East was led by junior William Session. One of the best in the state in the 110 meter hurdles, Session was even more impressive as he cruised to the win in the 300 meter hurdles.
Calling it the “hardest working group of girls he’s ever coached,” Belleville east coach Bryan Mitchell watched as his Lancers dominated their city rivals to win the city championship for a third straight year.
“This team has an exceptional group of seniors who have not only done a great job on the track but have stepped forward as leaders. But we also have a great group of underclass athletes as well,” Mitchell said. “Sidne’ had a great day as did both Maya and Rebecca. but we also had several other girls step up with good performances.
“Of the three titles, this one was probably the most lopsided as far as points go. But you have to remember that we’ve got a lot of girls who have been in the program for three and four years. West, on the other hand is very young. I’m sure next year it will be back the way it usually is with a much closer score.’’
Other Lancers winning championships were Tamar Mosby (high jump), Jada Adams (triple jump) and Ciara Hampton (pole vault).
The city meet was the last one for longtime West coach Paul James, who is retiring from teaching and coaching at the end of the 2014-15 school year. The Maroons lone individual title came from Kim McWherter in the 400 meters.
Althoff had a double winner as Megan Seibel won the 800 and 1,600 meter championships, while Grace Rowan won the 3,200 meter championship for the Crusaders.