Boys Track: No drama for Crete-Monee’s Rashad HulbertBremen's Charles Jideonwo tries to qualify in the 400 meter. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2012 11:36PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Rashad Hulbert was just looking for a drama-free Friday afternoon.
A four-time state medalist in the hurdles and the defending Class 3A champ in the 300s, the Crete-Monee senior cruised into the finals of both events on a hot, muggy afternoon at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Hulbert qualified first in the 110s at 14.25 seconds and second in the 300s with a time of 37.40.
“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.”
In the 110 hurdles, Hulbert was just looking to do the best he could given the short turnaround after running in the 400 relay.
“I was very happy,” he said. “It was hot and I ran the 4-by-1 so my (110) time wasn’t going to be blazing fast. I was just trying to get into the final and get a good lane.”
Also having a good day in the 300 hurdles was Providence’s Andrew Helmin, whose 38.65 was the fastest qualifying time in Class 2A.
“I just turned it on at the end,” Helmin said. “Not the best start that I wanted.”
Helmin backed up his No. 1 seed entering the meet, which he didn’t find to be a burden. “It didn’t bother me,” he said. “I kind of went with it. It gave me confidence.”
Helmin wasn’t bothered by the heat, either. “I haven’t really gotten adjusted to it yet, but I’ll be ready for (Saturday),” he said.
The Southland’s other fast qualifier besides Hulbert and Helmin was Bloom’s 1,600 relay team of James Harriel, Justin Banks, Kaleb Williams and Micah Frasier, who ran a 3:17.47 in Class 3A. Williams also qualified fourth in the 400 (48.82).
Thornton’s Thomas Taylor had the second-best prelim effort in the triple jump, going 47 feet, 0.75 inches.
Bloom and Thornton led local qualifying in Class 5A, advancing five entries each to the finals. Providence advanced six entries in Class 2A, including high jumper Mike Monroe and pole vaulter Chad Weaver.