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New Trier’s trotters, Loyola’s relays and Highland Park’s star shine at sectional meet

In one of the top track sectionals in the state, local teams held their own.

New Trier, Loyola Academy and Highland Park High School each finished in the top seven of the 16-team IHSA Class 3A Deerfield Sectional Thursday, May 18, and they will send a combined 20 entries to the state championships on Thursday-Saturday, May 25-27, in Charleston.

The Trevians’ distance crew anchored the team’s performance. Sophomore Ben Crane and junior Felix Hekster finished first and fourth-respectively — both with state-qualifying times — in the 3,200-meter run, and senior Oscar Dueno-Alda and Crane went 2-4 in the 1,600. The two races earned New Trier 26 of their 60 points.

The Trevians Aidan Corboy competes in the long jump en route to a sixth-place finish.

Dueno-Alda also qualified with junior Atticus Miller, freshman Jordan Kriener and senior Samuel Teppo as part of the Trevs’ state-qualifying 4-by-800 relay that placed third (6 points). It was one of two New Trier relays that will compete at state. The other is the second-place 4-by-400 group of juniors Jameson Rick, Tucker Anglemyer and Jeram Salles and senior Caden Pfister.

Teppo is also headed to state to run in the 800 after besting the qualifying mark with a time of 1 minute 59.09 seconds.

“We’ve really focused on trying to get relays in (to state) today,” the Trevs second-year coach Andrew Schmitt said. “We want those guys to be able to go to state and get experience and then we take another big step next year.

“Can’t say enough about Ben Crane and his 3,200. He’s just a sophomore and puts in all the work that there is to put in.”

Anglemyer finished sixth in the 100; Pfister fifth in the 400; Salles, Jameson Rick, Anglemyer and William Landwer fourth in the 4-by-200; Aidan Corboy sixth in the long jump; and Keoni Osborne and Seth Snower third-fourth in the pole vault to round out the Trevians scoring.

New Trier’s 60 points were behind Glenbrook South (69 points) and meet champ Prospect (96), while Highland Park (51) and Loyola (48) landed in sixth and seventh, respectively.

The Trevs’ stellar sectional comes a week after New Trier won the Central Suburban South championship — its first league title since the 1990s, Schmitt said.

Loyola’s Nicholas Arogundade races to the finish line in the 4-by-200 relay.

All four of the Ramblers relays qualified for state, led by the sectional-champion 4-by-200 quartet of John McGuire, Emmanuel Ofosu, John Thomas Kurtzweil and Nicholas Arogundade (1:29.38).

The same four placed third in the 4-by-100 relay with Arogundade crossing the finish line at 42.87 seconds — just ahead of the qualifying mark of 42.99.

Arogundade said the team had been stuck with times above 43 seconds but smoothed out their handoffs for a big pay off at the sectional.

“That’s what we worked on this week, and we finally got it down,” the junior said. “… I saw 42 (on the scoreboard) when I finished and thought, ‘OK we got this, we got this.’ Then I saw (the official time) and I was hype. Can’t take the smile off my face right now.”

Kurtzweil joined Henry Hartsfeld, James Lombardo and Will Simon for a fourth-place finish in the 4-by-400 (3:25.86), and Aidan O’Sullivan, Peter Seitzinger, Emmett Boyd and Ben Howland ran a state-qualifying 4-by-800 relay (8:03.03) and took fifth.

Hartsfeld ran a personal -best 40.62 in the 300 hurdles to place second and qualify for state, while Simon finished second in the 800 (1:56.48) to punch his state ticket.

In the field, Loyola junior Enoch Appiah-Kubi dominated the triple jump with a distance of 13.66 meters, more than half a meter (or about 1 1/2 feet) ahead of the next competitor.

Trotters (right to left) Ben Crane, Nate Wehner, Brian Hatoum, Felix Hekster, Ben Howland and Ari Elmayan compete in the 3,200.

As was the case during a record-breaking season for Highland Park, Doug Anderson put on a show in a big meet.

The junior won the 200 and 400 and also anchored the Giants state-qualifying 4-by-400 relay, running after Robert Oboza, Barak Goldstein and Lukaas Nales.

Highland Park also picked up 14 points from the 3,200, a race in which junior Nate Wehner placed second and sophomore Brian Hatoum third.

Wehner said his time of 9:23.58 was “by far” his best outdoor finish, a refreshing result after a difficult midseason stretch.

“My coach helped me brainstorm and find some ways to feel a little fresher,” he said. “So I cut back on mileage in the past couple of weeks. My legs started to feel a lot fresher and have some more pop in them.”

He added, “Another week and half to get ready for state and I think I’ll be even more ready for that.”

Hatoum added at third-place finish in the 1,600 to gain his team six points, while Highland Park also received another six from Nales’ third-place and state-qualifying 400 (49.72) and two from Goldstein’s fifth-place and state-qualifying 800 (1:57.67). Gavin Flory added a six-place finish in the pole vault.

The Giants sectional is another chapter in a special 2023 story that also included a Central Suburban North championship. Anderson (49.22) and Nales (49.16) have reset the school’s 400-meter recordbook, and Anderson broke the Wolters Field record in the 200 (22.16) and the program’s indoor records in the 400 (50.21) and 200 (22.75).

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