Boys Track: State champs Carl Heinz, Malachy Schrobilgen lead Huskes to 3rdCarl Heinz of Oak Park-River Forest has great form in the 3A high jump. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 29, 2012 6:12PM
Carl Heinz remembers the story well.
Heinz and Malachy Schrobilgen returned to their dorm rooms at Eastern Illinois University last year after receiving their medals at the Class 3A awards ceremony.
“We were sitting in our dorms with medals around our neck, but nobody else had any,” Heinz said. “We wanted to make sure everyone on the team came back with a medal (next season).”
It was not an overnight process. Senior Evan Fisher emerged as a standout middle-distance runner and coach Tim Hasso dipped into the lower levels to find two juniors and two sophomores to become one of the state’s top 400-meter relay combinations.
And of course, the Wisconsin-bound Schrobilgen and Duke-bound Heinz did their parts by doubling up on key events. Schrobilgen, a distance runner, ran both the 3,200 and 1,600 Saturday at the state meet in Charleston to run a total of three miles at the event. Schrobilgen completed the distance double despite battling the heat, during one of the hottest days of the year.
Heinz matched a personal record to become the first OPRF athlete to win back-to-back state titles in the high jump (7 feet, 1 inch). He also placed fifth (46-8 1/2) in the triple jump. His triple jump, which came on his first attempt, set a personal record by one foot.
The entire goal was to score more points.
“I was tired, but I saw Malachy in the 3,200,” Heinz said. “That gave me such a boost of energy. I got so much motivation.”
Schrobilgen ran the three-mile total for the first time in a state meet. He was second in 2011 and ninth in 2010 in the 3200.
“I prepared all week (for the heat). I drank a lot of water,” Schrobilgen said. “Every time I passed a water fountain at school, I got some water. I was prepared. I didn’t let the heat get into my head.”
The Huskies scored 41 points to finish in third place, one point behind runner-up Edwardsville. OPRF won its first state trophy since the 1987 state championship. OPRF, which has won 17 state titles, earned its only previous state team trophy after taking third in 1954.
Schrobilgen became the second OPRF competitor to win the 3,200 (9:03.42) following Jim Westphal’s title in Class AA in 1987. Westphal, an assistant coach at Hinsdale Central, was able to watch Schrobilgen at the state meet. As Hinsdale Central’s boys cross country coach, Westphal has seen plenty of Schrobilgen over the last four years in the fall as well.
“I saw him and he came up to me to congratulate me. I also saw him before the race,” Schrobilgen said. “He’s a great guy. He’s really encouraging. It’s awesome to see guys that have been there before and saw through it.”
No other OPRF runner has medaled more than once in the 3,200. Schrobilgen ended his career with three, including a title. In his first 1,600 Saturday, Schrobilgen took third (4:14.17).
OPRF’s 400 relay of Jamal Baggett, Lionel Towns, Zach Booth and Tariq Taylor (41.92) placed second behind Dunbar (42.19). Fisher became another medalist by taking ninth (1:55.98) in the 800.