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Boys Track: Mazanke Sets Record, Geneva Takes First At UEC River Meet

St. Charles North’s Oshay Hodges clears 6 feet, 5 inches in the high jump.

The budding rivalry between St. Charles East’s Jake Mazanke and Geneva’s Peter Archibald continued to grow on Thursday as the two runners dueled in the 800-meter race at the Upstate Eight River track meet in Geneva.

Mazanke got the better of Archibald this time around, winning in an Upstate Eight Conference record time of 1:53.47. Archibald (1:54.84) also ran under the old record time of 1:55.0, set by Brian Johnson of Glenbard East in 1965 and Rick Bell of Naperville Central in 1971.

Archibald set a meet record of his own in the 800 last week when he topped Mazanke at the Kane County meet.

“We’re so close. Peter is an awesome competitor, awesome athlete,” said Mazanke, who also won first place in the 400 (48.90).  “We’ve got a five-round fight. County, conference, sectionals and two rounds of state, hopefully.”

The two seniors say their rivalry is a friendly one, and they may even be teammates next season. The Loyola-bound Mazanke is trying to convince Archibald to join him on the Ramblers track team.

“It’d be fantastic to go there (Loyola) and be fantastic to run with him next year,” said Archibald, who took first place in the 1600 (4:25.81). “To carry on this and work together, it’d be awesome

The two won’t have to wait long to face-off again as both St. Charles East and Geneva will compete at the St. Charles North sectional next Thursday.

Archibald and Geneva captured the UEC River title on their home track. The Vikings led with 162.33 points, while Batavia (135), St. Charles North (103.33), St. Charles East (79) and Elgin (44) rounded out the top five. Streamwood (25.33) and Larkin (2) followed.

Geneva had two double-champions in Ben Rogers (triple jump and long jump) and Kyle McNeil (shot put and discus). Rogers also took second place in the 200.

“Our corp group of seniors can really get the job done,” Rogers said of the Vikings. “Along with our juniors, sophomores and our two freshman jumpers, we seem to be peaking at the right time here. We’ll see what happens.”

Second-place Batavia had two individual champions – Brandon Clabough in the pole vault (14-3) and Marquise Jenkins in the 200 (22.92).

St. Charles North athlete Oshay Hodges ran anchor on the North Stars’ first-place 1,600 relay. The senior also placed first in the high jump (6-5), second in the triple jump (45-1) and third in the long jump (20-3).

“I’m happy with everything, but I know I can do a lot better,” said Hodges, who has been battling a heel injury in recent weeks. “I expect to do better next week come sectionals.  Hopefully I’m 100 percent and see a lot more p.r.’s out of me.”

St. Charles East’s Nick Devor claimed UEC crowns in both the 110 (15.21) and 300 (40.70) hurdles.

Elgin sprinter Terrell Campbell edged out teammate Dennis Moore to take first place in the 100. Campbell teamed up with Moore, Devante King and Derek Moorman to finish first in the 800 relay and second in the 400 relay.

“I was just trying to beat my teammate,” Campbell said of the 100. “We’ve been having a week-to-week competition to see who can win the 100 when we both make finals.”

Streamwood’s 400 relay team of Blake Holder, Art Beese, Sean Patterson and Austin Mugnai took first place with a time of 43.04 seconds.

Larkin’s highest placer was Ernesto Garcia who finished sixth in the 800 (2:07.05).

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Elgin Courier, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

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Boys Track Notebook: Leftovers From Last Week’s Kane County Meet

Athletes were greeted with great weather at last week’s Kane County Meet.

High Standards

St. Charles North’s Oshay Hodges placed in four events, but the senior was not satisfied with his performance.

“I can do so much better if I’m just injury free,” Hodges said after last Friday’s meet.

Hodges has been battling a heel injury that he suffered while doing the triple jump and the county meet was the first time he had competed in all three jumping events in over three weeks. Hodges is hoping one more week of rest will help him improve his results at Thursday’s Upstate Eight Valley conference meet.

“I’m taking it day-by-day,” Hodges said. “This next week I’ll probably heel up, be better.”

The versatile athlete finished second in the high jump, second in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump. He was also part of the North Stars’ third-pace finish in the 1600-meter relay along with Zach Kirby, Jack Feeney and Connor Larson.

Hodges did say he was pleasantly surprised with his performance in the high jump. The North Stars’ senior was locked in a tight battle with Marmion’s Peter Stefanski, the defending 2A champion. Hodges and Stefanski both cleared 6 feet, 7 inches, but Stefanski earned first place due to less misses earlier in the competition.

“I was surprised in the high jump because I almost got 6-9 which would have been a personal best. So, I guess I’m just going to take that into next week. I’m pretty sure I can get that (6-9) next week.”

Stefanski and Marmion have been bumped up to 3A this season and they will be competing against St. Charles North in the same sectional, hosted by the North Stars, in two weeks. Hodges, who finished second at the 3A meet last year, welcomes the competition.

“It kind puts pressure on me, because of course I want to go back downstate again,” Hodges said. “So I’m trying to push myself even further and they push me a lot more because I have them to compete against.”

Thanks For The Help

After winning the 400-meters, South Elgin sprinter Jeff Broger made sure to give credit to St. Charles North’s Zach Kirby.

“Actually, there’s one guy that I actually should thank, that St. Charles North dude (Kirby),” Broger said. “He actually gave me a kick. He was gaining up on me, and that gave me that kick to finish through that last 100.”

Broger entered last Friday’s meet hoping to win to win the 400-meters. Winning the 200-meters as well was just icing on the cake for the Storm junior.

“My goal for the day was winning the 400. I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect out of that 200,” Broger said.

No Practice Makes Perfect?

Devante King of Elgin took home a county championship in the 110-meter hurdles, but the Benedictine-bound senior admitted he wasn’t exactly prepared for that particular race.

“I just winged it actually, I haven’t been able to practice it for two weeks straight,” King said. “We’ve been working on relays, trying to get to state.”

All that relay work showed as King teamed up with Dennis Moore, Terrell Campbell and Derek Moorman to take first place in the 800-meter relay and second in the 400-meter relay.

See You Later, Peter

A year after finishing 10th at state in the 800-meters, St. Charles East’s Jake Mazanke ran the event for the first time this spring and set a personal record (1:53.56). However, the Fighting Saints’ senior was upstaged by Peter Archibald of Geneva, who won the race in Kane County record time (1:52.76).

“Racing against Peter is always fun, he’s a great athlete,” said Mazanke. “It’s a little bit of blow not to win, but it’s not the last time we’ll race. I’m sure come state finals, we’ll be neck and neck again.”

Mazanke will get another crack at Archibald sooner than that – the runners will face off at Thursday’s Upstate Eight River conference meet in Geneva.

Other Notes: Streamwood’s Blake Holder, recovering from a hamstring injury, said he won’t be running any open events at this week’s Upstate Eight River meet. He’s hoping to run the 100-meters, 200-meters, 400-meter relay and 800-meter relay at next week’s sectional. In his first action since early April, Holder ran anchor for the Sabres’ first-place 400-meter relay team at Kane County … Geneva’s winning 3200-meter relay team of Peter Archibald, Michael Bianchina, Justin Davis and Nathan Wendt had never run together before Friday … Burlington Central’s Clint Kliem broke the school record in the 1600-meters by over two seconds. The senior won the event with a time of 4:18.76

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Boys Track: St. Charles North Tops Area Teams At Kane County Meet

While most of this spring’s outdoor track season has taken place in weather more fit for indoor competition, warm temperatures and blue skies greeted athletes at the Kane County boys track meet held at West Aurora on Friday.

Geneva and Kaneland both came out on top, tying for first with 74 points each. West Aurora followed in third place with 65 points.

St. Charles North had the best showing among area schools, finishing fourth with with 56 points. Burlington Central took sixth place with 44 points while South Elgin followed close behind in seventh with 40 points.

St. Charles East took tenth with 32 points, Elgin finished 11th with 31 while Streamwood ended up in 12th with 10. Larkin finished 14th with four points, while Dundee-Crown came in 15th with one point to round out area schools.

Declan Duggan was the North Stars’ lone individual champion, finishing first in the 3,200 with a time of 9:39.04.

“To win this meet as a senior, it’s a big deal,” said Duggan. “It feels good, I really can’t put it in to words. It’s a good feeling.”

Oshay Hodges placed in four events for the North Stars. The multi-talented athlete took second in the high jump (6-7) and triple jump (43-08.75), fifth place in the long jump (20-09) and was a part of the North Stars’ third place 1,600 relay.

Hodges, who has been battling a heel injury, said he was surprised by his high jump performance.

“I almost got 6-9 which would have been a personal best. I know I can make that jump, I’m pretty sure I can get it next week,” said Hodges, who finished second in the high jump at last year’s 3A state meet.

Burlington-Central’s Clint Kliem set a Kane County record in the 1,600 meters, winning the race with a time of 4:18.76. The senior broke the old record, set by St. Charles North’s Matt Desilva in 2006, by just .08 seconds.

“We’ll see a lot of these teams in the state series, so it was just great prep for that,” said Kliem. “The best of the best will be there and this is how I’ll need to preform.”

Kliem was also part of the Rockets’ second-place 1,600 and 3,200 relays teams.

Seventh-place South Elgin was paced by Jeff Broger, who took first in both the 200 (22.41) and 400 (49.67). The junior was pleasantly surprised by his double championships.

“My goal was just to win the 400. I was really nervous about the 200, I had no idea what to expect from that,” said Broger, who set a personal record in the 400.

St. Charles East’s 1,600 relay team of Carter Reading, Jake Mazanke, Danny Newman and Nick Devor finished first with a time of 3:22.35.

Mazanke also took home second place in the 800 (1:53.56), finishing behind Geneva’s Peter Archibald who set a Kane County record in the race.

“Racing against Peter is always fun, he’s a great athlete,” said Mazanke. “It’s a little bit of blow not to win, but it’s not the last time we’ll race. I’m sure come state finals, we’ll be neck and neck again.”

Elgin’s Devante King was the champion of the 110 hurdles race and the anchor of the Maroons’ first-place 4×200 relay team. King was also a part of Elgin’s second place finish in the 400 relay.

King said he had spent most of his time in recent practices focusing on relay races, not the hurdles.

“I just winged it. I hadn’t practiced the hurdles for two weeks straight,” said King.

Streamwood’s 400 relay team of Blake Holder, Art Beese, Sean Patterson and Austin Mugnai took first place (42.67). Holder, the Sabres’ anchor, ran for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury on Apr. 14.

“We won this race last year, so it’s not a surprise,” said Holder. “But it’s definitely a big goal that we had, and we got it. Now we just need stay hungry so we can get a conference, sectional and state championship.”

Holder, the 2011 Kane County 100 meter dash champion, did not run any individual races on Friday but said he plans on running the 100 at sectionals in two weeks.

Larkin’s Cyrus French made the finals of the 400 and finished fourth (50.88). Dundee-Crown’s top-finisher was R.J. Schmidt who placed sixth in the 110 hurdles (16.26).

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times and Elgin Courier. It appears here.

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