KHS rolls to NIB-12 title
Sectional meet challenge awaits Friday
KANELAND—It was all in a conference season’s work on Saturday at Kaneland for the Northern Illinois Big XII boys track meet.
A weather delay from Friday evening didn’t deter any Kaneland success, as the Knights finished first with a total of 146. Dixon was next with a distant 92, followed by DeKalb’s 78, Sycamore’s 67 and Geneseo’s 57.5 to fill in the top five. Yorkville (35), LaSalle-Peru (29), Sterling (29), Rochelle (14.5) and Ottawa (10) filled out the point-registering outfits, as Morris and Streator failed to record varsity points.
“The seniors got this team going,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “We had eight conference champions; seven by seniors.”
KHS saw relay success beginning with the 4×800 meter crew of Austin Kintz, Luis Acosta, Andrew Lesak and Nathaniel Kucera’s 8:04.15 for first place. The Brandon Bishop/Brock Robertson/Dylan Nauert/Isaac Swithers foursome took third in the 4x100m relay.
The 110m hurdles had Robertson take a second place with a time of 15.07 in finals action.
Kyle Carter managed to win the 800m run field and become conference champ with a time of 1:55.55, .96 seconds better than Dixon’s Kylian Lally.
Relay action continued with a second-place effort of the 4×200 crew of Ben Barnes, Bishop, Nauert and Swithers with a time of 1:30.49.
Kaneland then put its stamp on the 400m dash with Kucera becoming conference champ at 49.69 seconds, while Andrew Lesak took third at 52.40.
Nauert returned in the 300m hurdles to capture first with an effort of 39.07 seconds, a new NIB-12 record.
Kaneland capped the event on its own grounds with a Robertson/Bishop/Carter/Kucera win in the 4×400 by racing a 3:24.21, a new conference record.
Field events saw conference record holder Dylan Kuipers (15 feet) and Dan Evers (13-06) take the top two spots in the pole vault. Barnes was able to secure the long jump crown and an NIB-12 record with a 22-07 jump. Nate Dyer was able to make third in the discus at 148 feet, while acing the shot at 55-.5 and taking a new conference record.
Baron was also proud how the team conducted itself after one of its frosh/soph discus throwers, Tristan Kinder, was injured after a disc hit him through netting after a bounceback, requiring surgery to repair a broken bone below his eye.
“The boys on the team offered to drive his mom to the hospital. They comforted her and Tristan while this whole ordeal was taking place. As a coaching staff, we strive to have great athletes, but our number-one goal is to make these young men into caring compassionate people and that is exactly what happened. The victory is great, but to hear how the boys responded was what I was most proud of this weekend,” Baron said.
The Class 2A Burlington Central sectional, featuring Kaneland and 15 other squads, kicks off Friday, May 23, at 4 p.m.
“Looking ahead, our goal as always at sectional is to get as many state qualifiers as possible,” Baron said. “The team scores will take care of themselves.”