Minooka’s boys track and field team has enjoyed a memorable season, and now, coach Nick Lundin’s squad hopes to finish it off with a bang.
The Indians have won all of their major outdoor meets, other than the first one at Belleville West, where they placed second to Class 2A powerhouse, Cahokia.
So, after qualifying in eight events for this weekend’s IHSA Class 3A finals in Charleston, Minooka hopes not only to beat its previous-best large-school state showing (ninth place, 24 points in 2011), but to also contend for a state trophy with a top-three finish.
“We’re definitely heading down to Charleston with the hopes of returning with a trophy,” Lundin said. “It will be tough, because there is a fantastic field this season. We truly believe that each of our eight events have an opportunity to qualify to the finals on Saturday, and if we can do that, we are in great shape. The state meet should be a lot of fun.”
Chris Wilson had the best time following sectional competition of all of his teammates, ranking second in the 400-meter dash. Shabari Bailey (110 hurdles) and Peter Andreano (high jump) also ranked among the top 10 in their events, as is the Indians’ 4x200 relay.
Thursday’s Class 1A preliminaries were suspended because of lightning with six events left. Seneca’s Tommy Lovett turned in the fastest time in the 100 hurdles (14.97) and also qualifying for Saturday’s finals was Dwight’s 4x800 relay (8:11.93).
Class 1A Gardner-South Wilmington Sectional: Somonauk defeated Luther North, 23-0, to advance to Saturday’s 11 a.m. title game against Gardner-South Wilmington.
Class 1A Putnam County Sectional: At press time, Gardner-South Wilmington held a 4-1 lead over Luther North after four and a half innings in the semifinals. If the Panthers win, they take on Illinois Lutheran, which beat Putnam County, 2-1, on Thursday to advance to Saturday’s 11 a.m. title game.