Streamwood sprinter Holder on the riseStreamwood's Blake Holder competes in the 100m during the Kane County Boys track meet at Streamwood.| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 26, 2011 7:39PM
Streamwood’s boys track team has some history of recent success in the sprints, and Blake Holder knows some of it very well.
However, those sprinters’ accomplishments were not on the scale that Holder and teammates on the 400-meter relay team have a chance to experience this weekend — and possibly in the future — at the state Class 3A boys meet in Charleston.
“It’s like with our football team at Streamwood,” Holder said. “We’re on the rise in track.”
Holder is only a sophomore, and is tied for the fourth seed based on sectional times in the 100-meter dash at 10.85 seconds. Every other runner in the 100 field is a junior or senior.
“It’s going to be a learning curve,” said Holder about his first trip to state. “It’s going to be a whole different atmosphere. But you try not to change up your schedule, you do what you usually do and you’ve got to go out there and run.”
Junior Terrell Campbell, sophomore Sean Patterson, and senior Steven Sandoval join Holder on a 400 relay team that is the eighth seed in 42.14 seconds — a school record.
Holder is out for track largely because of the school’s sprint history. His brother, Kyle, made state in the 200 dash.
“Coach (Weert) Goldenstein was there when I was a freshman saying to me, ‘You’ve got to run track, your brother went downstate, you’ve got to do it,’” Holder recalled. “I took his word for it and tried it.”
There is no feeder program for track in School District U46 so Holder relied mostly on his coaching and what he learned from his brother to get this far.
“Last year he did well, but this year there’s a huge difference,” Goldenstein said. “It’s been like that with all our sprinters. They really got in the weight room and got after it.”
The 2005 Sabres 800 relay team of Bobby Hudson, Jeff Milne, Marcelis Posey and Ian Shelton won the school’s last boys track medal with an eighth. If Holder merely holds his seed, he’ll have the highest finish by a Sabres boys athlete in almost 20 years. Eric Bordeaux took third in the 1992 long jump and before that in 1990, Rafarel Boadu a third in the 110-meter high hurdles. But no Sabres individual boy or relay team has ever done better than third at state.
With two years left after this season, Holder looks like he has a solid shot to better those historical marks at some point. He gives credit for much of his success to sprints coach Matt Willock.
“He’s always there working us really hard,” Holder said.
“Matt gets on them, and has since the beginning of the year,” Goldenstein said. “When he first started pushing them, he told them, ‘You can thank us (coaches) at the end of the season.’”
Holder’s season nearly ended at the Kane County meet due to a hamstring problem, but he has since nursed it along. He ran the 10.85 seconds without even being seriously pushed at sectional, winning by .27 seconds — an eternity in a race as short as the 100. So there is hope he can be competitive with the other top seeds.
“He just dropped from 10.9 seconds to 10.85, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but in the 100 that’s decent,” Goldenstein said. “We’re gearing him up. So hopefully he can get one more PR at state. A 10.6? That would be awesome.”
The highest seeded area athlete at state also has a chance to do something historical. Larkin senior Lamonte Norwood is seeded third in the triple jump based on his effort of 45 feet, 6 inches at sectional.
No Larkin boy has taken a medal at state since Ellis Dotson placed sixth in the 1,600 meters at the 1991 meet. If Norwood does better than sixth, he’ll have the highest place at state for a Royals boy since 1988, when Kevin Coleman set an IHSA state meet record that still stands in the shot put at 66-1 3/4.
Norwood will have an awfully tough time winning state, though. Fellow Upstate Eight Conference competitor Zach Ziemek has the state’s best sectional effort of a whopping 48-2 1/2.
Other 3A area athletes with high seeds based on sectional efforts are:
Bartlett long jumper Tynan Johnson (11th, 22-7) in the long jump, Dundee-Crown long jumper Ardian Asani (12th, 22-6 1/2), St. Charles North high jumper Oshay Hodges (T-sixth, 6-5), Stars 400 runner Brandon Baymon in the 400 (12th, 49.35), St. Charles East pole vaulter Rob Davidsen (T-5th, 14-3) and Saints 800 runner Jake Mazanke (9th, 1:55.58).
In Class 2A, Burlington Central is the only area school represented, and senior hurdler-jumper Tre Llanes looks to have a good shot at multiple medals. Llanes took third in last year’s triple jump and is ninth seed this year based on his 44-2 1/2 sectional effort. He is seventh seed in the long jump (22-1) and also in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.78).
Central’s Clint Kliem is a sixth seed in the 1,600 (4:25.23) and 11th in the 800 (1:57.67), while 300 intermediate hurdler Michael Kellenberger (39.77) is an 11th seed.