Boys Track: Providence’s Andrew Helmin stays hot at stateStepfan Thelemaque of Plainfield East releases himself from the blocks in the third heat of the 400 meter. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2012 11:38PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Andrew Helmin was feeling the heat Friday, but only in a meteorological sense.
The Providence junior posted the fastest Class 2A sectional time in the 300-meter hurdles and he followed that up by running the best time in the state preliminaries Friday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
“I just turned it on at the end,” Helmin said after winning his heat in 38.65 seconds. “Not the best start that I wanted.”
But it was good enough to back up his No. 1 seed entering the meet, which he didn’t find to be a burden. “It didn’t bother me,” Helmin said. “I kind of went with it. It gave me confidence.”
The heat didn’t prove to be a big challenge, though Helmin wasn’t oblivious to it. “I haven’t really gotten adjusted to it yet, but I’ll be ready for (Saturday),” he said.
Another top seed heading to state, Plainfield East’s Stepfan Thelemaque, won his heat of the 400 and had the day’s third-fastest time at 48.79.
“The first 300, I was really feeling the heat but I was able to give it a good kick,” he said. “I was just focused on seeing how the heat would affect me. It was kind of a trial but I still wanted to do my best.”
The senior is in just his second season of track after transferring from Wheaton Academy. He’s following in the footsteps of his father, who broke 47 seconds in the 400 as a college runner.
Minooka leads Herald-News area qualifying in Class 3A with two relays and four individual entries. The Indians’ 3,200 relay team of Alex Pierce, Chris Wilson, Joey Santillo and Dan Popek won its heat and qualified second at 7:47.42, while Ethan Cane had the fourth-best effort in the long jump at 22 feet, 6.25 inches.
Joliet West’s Calvin Edwards qualified second in the 200 (21.76) and was on the Tigers’ 400 relay team, which had the day’s third fastest time.
Providence advanced one relay and five individual entries in Class 2A, including high jumper Mike Monroe and pole vaulter Chad Weaver, who each cleared the qualifying height in their events.