Boys Track: Maine South’s Filipczak gunning for state record in 800Maine South's Michal Filipczak runs the anchor leg on the Hawks' winning 2 mile relay at the Central Suburban League South Boys Track Championships at Evanston Township H.S. on Friday, March 16, 2012 . | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 20, 2012 8:54PM
Michal Filipczak isn’t shying away from the spotlight this season.
In fact, the Maine South senior wants to run right into it.
Filipczak tasted state-caliber competition Friday at the CSL South indoor meet when he raced against New Trier’s Leland Later in the 880-yard run.
The two Division I athletes treated the crowd at Evanston to a photo finish as Later won in 1:59.4. Filipczak, the two-time defending champion, followed in 1:59.5.
“I was going for first place and not a time,” said the Duke-bound Filipczak, who placed runner-up at the state meet last season in the 800 meters. “The indoor season has not been too eventful, so it’s good to get some competition. It’s definitely exciting because (Leland’s) a great runner.”
A knee injury set back Filipczak’s training during the indoor season, but he feels healthy and strong again. He was happy when his first 880 of the winter was faster than his inaugural run last year.
Now, Filipczak is ready to go outside and prove he’s the best in the state.
“I am going after first place this season,” he said of the 800 meters.
If that’s not enough, Filipczak has set his goals even higher.
“I also want to break the state record,” he said.
“My expectations are very high. I want to see how far I can push myself this season.”
Maine South took fourth place at the league’s indoor meet with 67 points. Evanston, which won nine events, captured its fifth consecutive championship with 163 points.
Dave Eckhart ran 9:54.34 to place second in the 1.600 behind New Trier’s Chip Schaff.
The Hawks finished first in the 3,200 relay in 8:29.1, beating Evanston by more than two seconds. The Hawks then ended the meet by taking second in the 1,600 relay in 3:36.1.
Maine South begins its outdoor season April 4 against Deerfield.