Boys Track: Reggie Murphy helps Evanston capture Central Suburban South title
Updated: May 12, 2012 4:15PM
One senior did what many anticipated at the Central Suburban South meet Friday at Niles West.
New Trier’s Leland Later, a favorite to win a state title, achieved the distance double, finishing first in the 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meters.
But it a freshman shared the spotlight with the Cal-Berkeley bound Later.
Evanston’s Reggie Murphy won the 100 and helped the Wildkits to firsts in the 400 and 800 relays. He ran the third leg on both winning relays.
In the 100, Murphy overcame a slow start to earn his first individual conference championship by clocking a 10.8.
“I’m not the best starter because I don’t have those big legs, but it was a good start for me,” he said. “I’m more of a finisher.”
The Wildkits ran a 42.5 in the 400 relay and a 1:30.8 in the 800 relay.
Murphy said he started the indoor track season behind four runners on the team, but he didn’t need much time to make his move toward the front.
Murphy established himself as a go-to guy by the end of February and now is a major player on one of the state’s storied programs.
“I felt like I could contribute, maybe not individually but in a relay or two,” Murphy said. “Then, I started beating people on the team, and the coach kept putting me in races.”
Thanks to Murphy’s breakout meet, Evanston won the team title with 134.5 points. New Trier was second with 108 points. Glenbrook South followed in third with 99.5.
It takes a lot for Later to move the needle these days. He did his best Friday by winning 1,600 in 4:19.7 and the 3,200 in 9:16.9, nearly 18 seconds faster than the runner-up.
“I feel strong coming out of those two races,” he said. “I feel very capable. This was a good confidence-builder for me.”
But Later is done with the 3,200 for the season. His focus is on the 1,600, and he might anchor the 3,200 relay next week at the Loyola Secitonal to help the Trevians qualify for the state meet.
“My ambition for a while is to win the mile at the state meet,” Later said. “That’s the emphasis right now.”