West Aurora’s Royce Golembeck prepares to launch in the pole vault.
Paced by a dominant performance in the field events, West Aurora’s boys track and field team took first place at the Oswego Outdoor Invite on Friday.
The Blackhawks tallied 161 points while Aurora Central Catholic finished in second place with 129. Host Oswego followed close behind in third place with 110 points while East Aurora ended up in fifth with 45.
“The field events got us off on the right foot and the track followed up with some really good performances,” said West Aurora coach Cortney Lamb. “Overall, it was a real good night for us.”
The Blackhawks won seven individuals events, including five of the six field events.
Aaron Kennebrew finished on top in both the high jump (6 foot, 1 inch) and triple jump (40-09.5). The junior jumper set a personal record in the high jump.
“I want to get better every single meet. I listen to my coaches, I trust them completely,” said Kennebrew. “My philosophy is to get better every single practice, every single meet so I’m ready for the big meets coming up.”
The Blackhawks swept the top three spots in both the shot put and the discus with Lijah Spears finishing on top in both events. Spears was followed by David Aleman and Shaq Redmond in the discus. Jorgeluis Ramirez and Aleman finished second and third in the shot put.
With a final jump of 12-06, pole vaulter Royce Golembeck finished first in his event for the second straight meet. Golembeck also took first in the pole vault at the Peterson Prep at Kaneland last weekend.
“I didn’t do well the three weeks before Kaneland, so I went in to practice and worked hard,” said Golembeck. “I’m trying to break in a new pole, and it’s turned out nicely for me these last couple meets.”
On the track for the Blackhawks, Vontrel Hawkins took first in the 400 meter dash (50.78) and while Greg Roache won the 110 meter hurdles (16.01). Roache also finished third in the triple jump.
Lamb hopes the Blackhawks’ success on Friday carries over into next week’s Kane Country meet, which will be hosted by West Aurora.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with what happened tonight. They came out and made a good showing,” said Lamb. “We accomplished what we needed to. That’s going to give us confidence going into next week and the following weeks.”
Despite being the smallest school at the six-team event, second-place Aurora Central had a strong showing, winning three individual events and two relays (4×400 and 4×800).
Matt Meyers took home first place in both the 800 meters (2:00.40) and 1600 meters (4:31) while sprinter Joseph Fese won the 100 meter dash (10.84). Chargers athlete Patrick Lefevre finished second in the triple jump and 110 meter hurdles and third in the 300 meter hurdles.
“We have a lot of courage on our team,” said Meyers. “Even though there were 3A teams here, we weren’t intimidated. We really wanted to go after it.”
Third-place Oswego was paced by long-distance runner Caleb Beck, who finished first in the 3200 meters (9:31.10) and jumper Alain Dixon, the champion on the long jump (21-00). The host Panthers also won the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
Beck blew past his competition in the 3200, finishing 45 seconds ahead of second place Ricky Barajas of East Aurora (10:16).
East Aurora rounded out area teams in fifth place. Blazing sophomore Desmond Gant once again led the Tomcats, finishing first in the 200 meter dash (22.58) and third in the 100 meter dash (11.11).
“I wanted to run under 22.5 in the 200, obviously I didn’t do that, but I still felt I ran good tonight,” said Gant. “I can do better though, so I’ve still got work to do.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.