Neuqua Valley takes home its second straight boys track and field sectional title

Donate Today Buy This Video

Joliet Central is one of eleven 3A sites for the Boys’ Track and Field sectionals. Seventeen teams, including four of our area teams and defending sectional champs Neuqua Valley track and field, are ready to run on a sunny day, with a trip to State on the line. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Redhawks place take the top spots in the Pole Vault

We begin on the pole vault as Naperville North’s Eric Beedon clears 14 feet and 1.75 inches. That’s good enough for a third-place finish. The top spot goes to Henry Kane from Naperville Central, whose mark of 14 feet and 7.5 inches takes the cake. His teammate Jordan Hanford comes in second place.

From the vault to the long jump. Neuqua Valley sophomore Daniel Robinson comes running down the runaway and he jumps to a state qualifying mark of 7.10 meters. Bolingbrook’s Devin Cathey comes in first, just a half inch over Robinson.

Zion Kostyra and Jamari Straughter from Joliet Central takes first and second in the triple jump.

Let’s showcase our muscles in the discus with Wildcat James Croucher, letting it fly at a distance of 47.09 meters. That results in a third-place finish for Croucher, and he punches his ticket to state. His counterpart from Naperville Central is Maverick Ohle, who comes in as a defending state champ. The senior rips his attempt to 51.45 meters. Ohle takes first in the discus and the shot put.

Wildcats and Wolves run strong

Let’s go racing in a 4x 100 meter relay. Neuqua Valley’s squad of Alex Knight, Joe Labib, Taner Bill-Friess, and Daniel Robinson finished in a spot in a first-place tie with Oswego East. Wow, what a finish.

Zac Close cruises to another sectional win

We go to the two-mile race. The 3200 starts with a battle between Neuqua Valley senior Zac Close and Benet Acdemy junior Finn Richards. Central’s Max Henige and Tyler Browning keep up with the leaders early on. Deep in the race Close should change his name to far because he is not even close to anyone as he’s almost 100 yards from Richards. Close wins the race with Richards behind him, but Plainfield North’s Aidan Connors time in the previous heat secures the second place state spot. Richards finishes in third but is still going to state for the Redwings

In the 110-meter hurdles, Lemont’s Quintin Peterson comes in first place. Neuqua’s Cooper McGinnis, North’s Edward Mumford, and Benet’s Will Yacullo all qualify for state in the event.

In the 100 meter dash we got another Husky qualifying for state in Will Eloe sprinting his way to a time of 11.02 seconds. In the fast heat Jamari Alexander from Hinsdale South dashes to the top spot but Joseph Labib from Neuqua also punches his ticket to state after finishing 4th.

Oswego East continues their strong push the Wolves group of Aiden Fell, Stephen Safro, Andrew Pohlman and Nigel Grisby win the 4X 200 relay to keep pace in the standings. Plainfield East, Bolingbrook, Plainfield North, Hinsdale South, Joliet West and Joliet Central all qualify along with Neuqua who takes fourth. The Wildcats use Alexander Knight, Joseph Labib, Rajan Anthony, Miles Miskel in the relay.

Back to the hurdles, the 300 meter version and it’s Redhawk Bode Smith who fly’s to the finish line first after winning the DVC outdoor as well and he is off to Charleston. McGinnis, Yacullo, and Mumford also qualify for this event.

Neuqua Valley secures the sectional in the 4 by 400

Final race is the 4X 400 relay with Neuqua ahead by three points with Oswego East in second so the Wildcats need to finish at least of the Wolves in this race. Madhan Manikandaswamy, starts the race off for Wildcats and it’s tight as all teams won’t give up an inch. Edward Mason and Averi Smith run the middle legs. Rajan Anthony is the anchor and despite the group finishing in third behind Plainfield North and Naperville Central that still helps Neuqua Valley to another sectional title as all three easily qualify for state. Chad Earl, Patrick Clune, Foster Shelbert, and Bode Smith run for the Redhawks. The Wildcats finish ahead of Naperville Central and Oswego East.

Full results can be found on

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