Boys Track: Minooka captures Naperville North Sectional title
Updated: May 17, 2012 11:22PM
Minooka, which cracked the top 10 at the Class 3A boys meet in 2011, joined standout teams Plainfield North, Plainfield South and Joliet West at the Naperville North Sectional on Thursday night to chase spots in next week’s state finals.
The defending state champion in the 3,200-meter relay, Minooka started the finals at Naperville with an impressive victory, taking first in 7 minutes, 50.71 seconds to set the tone for a good night for the Indians.
Anchor Dan Popek and Joey Santillo, who ran on the 3,200 relay last year, were joined by Alex Pierce and Chris Wilson, who ran 1-2.
“It was good — I think everyone did exactly what they were supposed to,’’ Popek said. “I got the baton in third. I just slowly moved up on them. They held me off a couple of times, so I was like ‘I’m just going to wait until the end and go for the win.’’’
Popek later was the winner in the 800 meters (1:57.82) to lead Southwest Prairie Conference champion Minooka to the team title of the 16-team sectional with 80 points, two ahead of Neuqua Valley.
“Way to go, guys,’’ shouted Minooka coach Joe Urbelis as the team totals were announced.
Other sectional champions for Minooka were Kurt Zumbahlen in the high jump (6 feet, 3 inches) and Ethan Cane in the long jump (22-71/2). Freshman Peter Andreano was second in the high jump (6-3) and the Indians’ 1,600 relay also placed second.
“It’s a nice way to go out,’’ said Urbelis, who’s retiring after 22 years as coach. “The kids did great. A lot of them are underclassmen, which makes it even better.’’
Joliet West’s Calvin Edwards won the 100 meters (10.91) and the 200 (21.69) and ran on the second-place 400 relay and third-place 800 relay, which also qualified.
“Just like any other race, nothing special about it,’’ Edwards said of his 100 victory. “Just go out there and compete, like my coach tells me every day. It’s not about a good start. It’s about not jumping.’’
Plainfield North’s foursome of Marquis Flowers, Quest Young, Jacob Clayton and Derick Suss won two relays, the 400 (42.22) and 800 (1:28.51).
Plainfield East had two sectional champions on the track, Jalil Manson in the 110-meter hurdles (14.90) and Stepfan Thelemaque in the 400 dash (48.9).
The top two finishers in each event and any individual or relay that equaled the qualifying standard advances to the state meet.