Marmion places second in Class 2A sectionalMarmion's Tyler Boyd throws the discus on Friday at the IHSA Boy's Sectional at Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn. Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2011 11:27PM
GLEN ELLYN — Investing their time and energy at cold and rainy practices this spring has paid dividends for several area track and field athletes.
Marmion placed second in the Glenbard South Class 2A Sectional Friday night and qualified five athletes for next weekends state meet while Aurora Central will send sophomore sprinter Joe Fese in the 100-meter dash and a pair of relay teams.
Senior Cadet Eddy Grahovec won the 800-meter run and the 300-meter hurdles, a rather unusual combination of races. Beating the state qualifying time of 1:59.04 by 2.01 seconds, Grahovec started and finished strong.
“Everyone keeps telling me the 800 and 300 combo is kind of weird, but it works for me,” Grahovec said. “It’s going to be a fun weekend.
“In the 800, coach told me I took it a little too strong, but I wanted to stay in front. I kept my splits and I ran a smart race I think.”
Winning the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.34 (1.1 seconds better than the qualifying time), Grahovec proved he can still jump and run.
“I’ve been running hurdles since fifth grade so I couldn’t give up on it now,” Grahovec said. “I’ve done that combo before at other meets and it’s tiring. Even at the start line I was kind of huffing and puffing, but I just worked through it.”
Teammate Bennett Marsh claimed the long 3,200 meter run in 9:36.05 which was 13.19 seconds ahead of the state qualifying time. Marsh credits his seven-days-a-week workouts for his success.
“My goal coming in was just to run fast enough to get in the fast heat at state, and I think I did that,” Marsh said. “I run 50 miles a week, some long tempo runs and long runs on Sunday so I’ve built up my endurance.”
Marsh was second in the 1,600 meter run, which made the qualifying cut. The Cadets will also send three athletes in the field events. T.J. Lally was second in the shot put with a toss of 51-04½ while junior Ben Cole cleared 40-11½ in the triple jump. Peter Stefanski placed third in the high jump, meeting the state mark of 6-3.
“That’s really exciting, and all of them are kind of the signature guys of our school,” Marmion assistant coach Dan Billish said. “They’re kids that have really worked hard and are well deserving.”
Fese tied for second place in the 100-meter dash a mere tenth of a second behind Garrett Payne of Glenbard South. Still, he was all smiles after qualifying.
“An absolutely great feeling,” Fese said. “I didn’t have the best year at sectionals last year, but to qualify now just feels great. Give it everything you’ve got for a 100 meters.”
Fese also ran the second leg of the 1,600-meter relay team that will compete next weekend. Sophomore Zach Flint, junior Matt Marter and junior Alex Duncan completed the foursome and turned in a time of 3:29.49.
“We didn’t qualify for the 4-by-100 or the 4-by-200, so coach told me to leave it all on the track,” Flint said. “I just pushed it as hard as I could and it feels amazing.”
Senior Jimmy Spencer, sophomore Matt Meyers, Marter and Duncan will compete in the 3,200-meter relay after posting a time of 8:15.61. Spencer has battled back from injuries to help lead the Chargers.
“We’ve worked really hard as a group since winter,” Spencer said. “Personally, I think I’ve trained smarter this year, and the other guys have stepped up to fill the positions. We had a good race today. It can be better, and we’re thinking positive going into state.”
“People have to realize that we have a true enrollment of 540 kids and Glenbard South has over 1,650 students,” Aurora Central coach Troy Kerber said. “So we’re really proud of our kids. They really battled.”
Glenbard South took the title with 216 points while the Cadets were second with 82. The Chargers earned fourth place in the 14-team event with 44½.
Dividends are always good. Another payout is awaiting.