Boys Track: Kelvyn Park finishes 1-2 in the Class 2A 200; Leo wins back-to-back 1A titlesBurlington Central's Ryan Olsen (left) takes the handoff from Ben Damisch in the 1600-meter relay at last May's Class 2A State Finals. Olsen has emerged as one of the area's top runners at 400 meters. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 26, 2012 9:03PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Brian Carter was a lot happier than you’d expect for someone who had just lost his last chance for a state title.
That’s because the Kelvyn Park senior was second to his junior teammate, Jamal McNeeley, in the Class 2A 200 meters Saturday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
It was the first title for Kelvyn Park, which hadn’t even won a medal till Carter and McNeeley arrived on campus. McNeeley won in 22.00 seconds and Carter ran 22.328 to edge Jacksonville’s James Jackson by .001.
“I wanted to win that one because I didn’t come out with the win in the 100 like I wanted,” said McNeeley, who was second in the first sprint, one place ahead of Carter. ‘‘So I said, ‘I’m going to make it all up for the 200’ and that’s what I did.”
What Carter said heading into the 200 was this: “I told him I wasn’t going to let it be easy.”
It wasn’t easy for Leo, either, but the Lions won their sixth state title — and second straight — by edging Newton 35-34.
“We didn’t know till they announced it,” said senior Keith Harris, the school’s valedictorian and a three-time placer (100, 200, 400 relay). “We were very nervous. We thought we had lost the thing. We were all mad and disappointed.”
But Leo cobbled together just enough points, including 10 from Harris, Theodore Hopkins, Corey Pryor and Marlon Britton for a win in the 400 relay.
In Class 2A, Glenbard South earned its best finish ever, taking second to Cahokia 67-56. The Raiders had wins in the 300 hurdles from Elven Walker and its 800 relay team. Walker also was third in the 110 hurdles and ran on the third-place 400 relay team.
Walker was happy about recovering from a rough start in the 110 hurdles. ‘‘ ‘Keep calm and carry on,’ that’s what our coaches have been saying,” he said.