Boys Track: Darvell Harris-led Dunbar starts fast at state(Left to right) Julian Hylton of Lincoln-Way North, Darvell Harris of Dunbar, and Zach Gordon of Wheaton North compete in the fourth heat of the 200 meter. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2012 8:07PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Not that other schools don’t take relays seriously, but Dunbar puts a special premium on them.
“We practice every day,” senior Darvell Harris said. “The baton exchange is really important. ... The exchange has to be on point. If you’re there, the running will take care of itself.”
That’s especially true if you have a sprinter like Harris to run the anchor leg. Thanks to him, Dunbar had the fastest qualifying times in three events in the Class 3A preliminaries Friday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
First, Claudis Dawson, Travon Harris, Dion Williams and Darvell Harris won their heat of the 800-meter relay in 1 minute, 26.11 seconds. The same quartet did it again in the 400 relay, running 41.77, and then Darvell Harris came back to qualify first in the 200 (21.34).
“Pretty good, but [Saturday] will be much better,” said Harris, who has his sights set on the all-class record of 20.89 set by Lake Park’s Anthony Moorman in 1999.
Lake Park, meanwhile, is aiming for a third consecutive Class 3A title. The Lancers paced the qualifying with two relays and nine individual entries, with Scott Filip leading the way. He advanced in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 400 relay, while teammate Marcus Jegede qualified in the long jump and on the 400 relay team.
Defending Class 3A 300 hurdles champ Rashad Hulbert of Crete-Monee qualified second in that event (37.40) and first in the 110 hurdles (14.25).
“I was just trying to stay smooth,” Hulbert said. “I wasn’t too worried about time, just (to) get to the finals.”
That will change on Saturday, when Hulbert has his sights set on breaking the IHSA all-class record in the 300 hurdles: 36.77 by Wheaton Warrenville South’s Jon Schweighardt in 1999.
“I know it’s a pretty tough record to take down,” Hulbert said. “But I was just trying to coast and not make mistakes and then tomorrow go after the record.”
Cary-Grove’s Josh Freeman is the leader in both throws heading to the finals after going 63-9.25 in the shot put and 171-2 in the discus.
Reigning Class 3A cross country champ Leland Later of New Trier ran a 4:12.60 in the 1,600, edging out Glenbard West’s Mike Lederhouse (4:12.65) for the day’s best time.