Hillcrest positions itself for three in a row
Updated: May 20, 2011 10:25PM
The uniquely-talented Hillcrest boys track team surrounded the marquee outside the school that read “Hillcrest--Here We Go Again--Good Luck Boys Downstate.’’
That was last year, when the Hawks returned from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston with their second straight Class 2A state championship.
Hillcrest could be on that course again after the Hawks advanced 18 qualifiers to next week’s state meet at Eastern Illinois University. Host Hillcrest won its Class 2A Sectional Friday with 152 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Oak Forest (71) as well as Bremen and T.F. North, which tied for third place (61).
“They performed, they got it done again,’’ Hillcrest coach Ron Towner said. “It’s a good start. Now the focus is placed on the prelims downstate. The goal is to get as many of those guys into the finals next Saturday.’’
Senior Justin Kilpatrick was the leader of the Hawks pack, anchoring the first-place 400- and 800-meter relays and winning both sprint races, highlighted by a blistering 10.4 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
That performance came after Kilpatrick and 400 relay mates Moshood Adeyemo, Trashon Brown and Michael Malone took first in :41.6, faster than the state championship time of 42.30 Hillcrest ran last year. Kilpatrick is the only returning member of that group.
“I want to win state so bad, that’s my mission,’’ Kilpatrick said after anchoring the 800 relay of Adeyemo, Joshua Vaughn and Brown (1:28.02). “We’re just trying to perform, me and my teammates.’’
“He has surprised me the last couple weeks,’’ Towner said. “He has an extra gear I haven’t seen. He means business this year.’’
Kilpatrick showed the extra gear in his last race, winning the 200 meters in 21.6.
Hillcrest’s Mark Hicks also was a double individual champion, winning the triple jump (45 feet, 5½ inches) and the 300-meter hurdles (:38.6).
Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest, state runner-up in the long jump last year (23-3¼), leaped 23-5 Friday for first place. Coleman also had an impressive second place in the 100 meters (10.5).
“I feel good about how I did,’’ Coleman said. “I think I could have done better. I always explode on my first jump.’’
Oak Forest’s Angelo Jackson won the 400 meters (49.6) and teammate Josh Driver was sectional champ in the 800 meters (1:55.7).
Other Hillcrest field event winners were Breyonte Brewer in the discus (160 feet) and Malone in the pole vault (14-0).
T.F. North’s Aaron Baker in the high jump (6-5) and Kankakee’s Alex Griffin in the shot put (50-10½) also won sectional titles.
On the track, Illiana Christian’s Matt Hall won the 3,200-meter run (9:57.78), freshman teammate Tony Wondaal was first in the 1,600 meters (4:34.00) and Bremen’s Dion Starnes won the 110 hurdles (14.2).
Illiana Christian’s 3,200 relay of Jake Byma, Wondaal, Jason Vanderaa and Mylo Dixon opened the finals with a sectional title (8:17.02).
“I thought we trained real hard, we did great,’’ Dixon said. “We’ve been working through the winter, training just for this.’’
The meet ended with Hillcrest winning the 1,600 relay (3:22.00) with Hicks, Vaughn, Alex Are and Adeyemo edging Tinley Park (3:22.90).