It’s been over 45 years since Eastern Illinois became the home of the boys state track and field meet. The 2019 edition features plenty of Naperville area talent and 90 degree temperatures.
Waubonsie Valley senior Aiden Stapleton made it to state for the first time this season, he follows that up with a state finals appearance, clearing 14’0 feet to finish in 10th. Lake Park junior Zach Fry is the state champ with a height of 15’3.
On to the first track race of the day and the longest relay, the 4X800. Neuqua Valley with one of fastest qualifying times in the prelims are running with Chris Keeley, Nicolas Dovalovsky, Michael Madiol and Michael O’Connor.
Naperville Central near the front the whole race with Seth Klein-Collins out first followed by Patrick Julian and Thomas Codo.
St Charles East with a lead going into the final handoff, Codo pulls Central into 2nd and hands off to Michigan bound senior Thomas Shilgalis who begins to run down the leader, Charles Murphy.
In the final 150 meters, Shilgalis uses his strong kick to the finish, crossing the finish line first with a time of 7:45.03 to secure the state championship for the Redhawks 4X800 relay. Neuqua Valley is All State as well after finishing 7th.
Now we move outside the stadium walls to the discus field with Neuqua Valley junior Matt Appel, who finished in 4th place in the shot put earlier in the morning.
The sectional champion puts up another all state caliber effort with his discus toss, throwing a distance of 176-9, good for the third place medal.
The star of the day was Quincy senior Jordan Johnson, just look at this incredible throw, they stop making white lines at 200 feet, and this one is 5 feet beyond that. 205-8 to be exact as he wins the state title by over 25 feet.
At the same time as discus, Metea Valley senior Pryce Giwa-Osagie is competing in his first ever state meet, the Mustang proves he belongs by clearing 6’5 to put him into the top 5 in the state.
The state championship in the high jump goes to Plainfield East senior Alex Babbington, who wins with a height of 6’9. Giwa-Osagie ends his career with a 4th place medal and a tie for the third best height in the state meet.
Back to the track for the 3200 which features a pair of Naperville North runners with junior Jake Allen and senior Nick Trattner.
Heading into the final laps, Tommy Brady from Maine South in the lead, while Trattner and Allen are in the 9th and 10th spot, looking for a place on the podium.
As the race reaches the finish, Josh Methner of Hersey ends up taking the win over Brady, followed by Guillermo Ibarra. Trattner and Allen finish strong, taking the 5th place and 7th place spots respectively.
Metea Valley also makes the finals in the 4X200 meter relay with Eden Sweeney, Temi Osobamiro, Nikola Maric, and Virgil Steward.
Homewood-Flossmoor, Oak Park-River Forest and Crete-Monee go 1,2,3 in the relay while the Mustangs finish 8th, an All State performance for the relay team.
The 200 meters features the fastest runner in the state, Marcellus Moore of Plainfield North, who already won the 100 meters earlier in the day. You can see Moore pull up slightly with a leg injury over the final 40 meters, but he’s so fast and determined, he manages to hold off Jermarrion Stewart of Collinsville and Ricky Johnson of Crete-Monee to defend his 200 meter title.
In the 800 meters, Thomas Shilgalis of Naperville Central hopes to finish his outstanding career on a high note.
It’s anyone’s race at the 400 meter halfway point as Shilgalis lurks in the middle of the pack.
Just like the 4X800, Shilgalis with a great kick to finish the race, passing up Will O’Brien from Glenbard West and Ramon Lacey from Bloom. Shilgalis in a two time state champion after taking the 800 meters.
The 110 hurdles features Donovan Turner of Neuqua Valley, the state runner up in this event a year ago. Turner can’t recover from a slow start in the one, but he does have three all state performances on the day, 9th in the 110, 8th in the 300 hurdles and 6th as part of the 4X400 relay. Victor Cameron from Crete-Monee wins the race and the Warriors win the state championship with Homewood-Flossmoor 2nd and OPRF in third.
You can see how the girls track teams did at state in our Girls Sports Highlights!