Neuqua Valley boys track and field takes home the DVC outdoor championship

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Neuqua Valley boys track and field hosts the 2024 DVC outdoor championship meet on a cold and rainy evening. Naperville Central hopes to make it a sweep after winning the indoor title back in March. Weather conditions move the pole vault to the following day. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Olukolajo Sodipe gets Neuqua Valley started in the field

The first event to get going is the high jump and with a cold, hard rain falling down, these athletes are not jumping for joy at the idea of landing on a water logged mat. Waubonsie Valley senior Austin Gianino clears 5-10.75 on his final attempt and moves into the top two finishers.

Olukolajo Sodipe from Neuqua Valley also facing his final attempt at 5-10.75 and he comes through in the clutch before sprinting back to the tent. The two share a tie for first place as neither can top that height.

Sodipe picks up another first place finish in the DVC outdoor track and field triple jump with a leap of 43-03.75 to win by nearly three feet. Gianino from Waubonsie finishes in second just ahead of Ben Blank from Naperville Central.

No surprise in terms of the winner in the discus. 2023 state champion Maverick Ohle looks ready to defend his title with an impressive toss of 165 feet despite the rain. He wins by nearly 30 feet over James Croucher from Neuqua Valley.

The Wildcats continue to rack up points via field events as they have another first place finish in the long jump from talented sophomore Daniel Robinson. He jumps 22-03.50 with Sam Gehrs from Naperville North in second place.

The final field event to finish is the shot put and Naperville Central has the top three finishes locked down. Junior Jason Figg takes third place at 45-01.00 just four inches behind teammate Ben Blank for second.

Maverick Ohle adds another conference first place finish, winning the 2024 DVC outdoor track and field shot put at 51-00.25 for the Redhawks.

Naperville Central and Naperville North thrive in the relays

The first race on the track is the 4X800 as the rain continues to pound the pavement. Naperville North, Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central are the top three at the first handoff, but as the race goes along the Wildcats and Redhawks pull ahead.

Paul Van der vorst, Foster Shelbert, Tyler Browning, and Brayden Groenenboom are the four Central runners with Neuqua using Jack Cole, Robert Glenn, Ryan Adamski, and Zac Close. Neither team is able to take a sizeable lead all race, but down the stretch, Groenenboom is able to edge out Zac Close to give Naperville Central the victory.

Next up is the 4X100 meter relay, which is just one full lap around the track.

William Eloe, Ian MacConnachie, Muneeb Shah and Sam Gehrs from Naperville North try to hold off Dylan Liner, Daniel Pere, Lucas Van Vlerah and Juantel Sherieves from Metea Valley. In the end, the Huskies are able to hold off the hard charging Mustangs for the first place finish.

Austin Brown shines in the 3200 for Metea

This is not the type of night that you are thinking many people are going to set new PR’s but that was certainly the case in the 3200. Metea Valley senior Austin Brown takes a sizeable lead ahead of the pack which includes Max Henige, Nick Kamp and Manuel Najera from Naperville Central. Josh Nauman and Tony Hinderliter from Neuqua Valley and Jack Robertz from Naperville North are also in the top eight.

At the finish line it’s Brown who wins with a new PR of 9:24 as six runners in total set new career bests in the event. It appears the desire to get out of the cold provided good motivation.

Neuqua Valley picks up more points in the sprints

In the 100 meter dash, Neuqua Valley moves to the front of the team standings with a pair of top finishes. Daniel Robinson earns the win with a new PR of 10.84 seconds just ahead of teammate Joseph Labib and William Eloe from North. Cooper McGinnis gives Neuqua another win in the 110 hurdles. Robinson and Labib also finish in first and second in the 200 meters later in the night.

The 400 meters is always an exciting race and this one is no exception. Madhan Manikandaswamy from Neuqua Valley wins the event by holding off Foster Shelbert from Naperville Central and fellow Neuqua runner Edward Mason.

The 4X200 meter relay has a tightly contested race between Naperville North, Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley. In the end, the Huskies earn another relay victory behind, Eloe, Shah, MacConnachie and Gehrs once again with Neuqua in second and Metea in third.

The final distance race of the meet is the 1600 where Jacob Barraza from DeKalb leads the race throughout with a new PR of 4:18.90. Patrick Clune from Naperville Central takes second over Zac Close and Robert Glenn from Neuqua and Zach Self from Waubonsie Valley who finishes in fourth.

Naperville Central makes things close in the final three races

Bode Smith from Naperville Central is back from injury and has not missed a beat as he runs away from the field in the 300 meter hurdles. A new PR at 38.82 seconds for the Redhawk with Nico Gall from Naperville North in second. Cooper McGinnis from Neuqua finishes in third despite running in the previous heat for the Wildcats.

Neuqua Valley wins the 2024 DVC outdoor title

Neuqua Valley has already clinched the 2024 DVC outdoor boys track and field championship, but the Cats would like to end the meet on a high note in the 4X400. Naperville North, Naperville Central and DeKalb in hunt to play spoiler.

The Wildcats with the lead after the first two laps with Madhan Manikandaswamy, Miles Miskel, Rajan Anthony and Edward Mason as the four runners. Naperville Central is just behind with Patrick Clune, Julian Brozek, Bode Smith and Foster Shelbert.

It’s neck and neck at the final handoff with Mason and Shelbert running as the anchors. Down the final 50 meters, Shelbert is able to pull away to give the win for the Redhawks. Neuqua Valley wins the DVC outdoor plaque, which is handed out the following day after the pole vault officially closes the meet. Nick Pennington caps things off for Neuqua Valley by winning the DVC pole vault title as well.

Full results can be found on Palatine Pack Timing.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!