Today was the final day for divisional match-ups meaning there were a lot of scenarios and implications which could result in Sherwood, B-CC, or Walter Johnson winning Division-I or a tie.
For Division-I, B-CC could win the division by beating Wheaton and if Sherwood beats WJ. WJ could win the division by beating Sherwood and Kennedy. Sherwood could win the division if they beat WJ, WJ loses to Kennedy, and B-CC loses to Wheaton.
Wooph, did you catch all that? Sounds complicated. Well, anticipation for this day was running high all week. All week, Coach Young of B-CC had been eccentrically eager, hoping for Sherwood to defeat Walter Johnson. Today, the Walter Johnson distance coach ran through all the scenarios regarding who was probably going to beat who in today’s tri-meet at Kennedy who was going to score how many points, etc., etc.
Though, one coach whose boys’ team was involved in divisional implications yet was not anxious for today was Sherwood’s track coach. Interestingly enough, Coach Reeks had Russell Speiden, Dan Hausman, Solomon Haile, and Kyle Balderson do a workout the day before and they were just going to run for about an hour and do some striders.
The news spread in a fury. It was not exactly a major blow to the other teams but it definitely took just about all of the air and intensity out of the building so to speak.
So long-story short, Walter Johnson just about had the division title won right then and there and the meet had not even begun.
All Walter Johnson had to do to secure the Division-I championship was beat Kennedy. The distance group for Walter Johnson is much stronger than that of Kennedy so the races were not competitive.
However on the sprint side, the previously lost excitement resurrected from the competitive duels between the Kennedy and Walter Johnson boys.
In the 4x1, Kennedy’s lead-off ran well and gave Kennedy what would prove to be an insurmountable gap. Their second-leg squared up with one of the county’s best triple jumpers in Ian Francis. Slightly bothered by a sore hamstring, he was not 100% and lost a little more ground to Kennedy’s second leg. Then, the Wildcats stormed right back into contention with a powerful third leg by Michael Pitsenberger only to lose the relay with a strong anchor leg by Kennedy.
Walter Johnson had a much better start in the 4x2 thanks to the winner of the open 100-meter dash Duane “Sweet-Feet” Wilson. He got out of the blocks very well the first 120 or so meters but then lost the lead. Only then did he respond with a final surge and put the Wildcats back into first. In the second and third legs, Kennedy put ground on Walter Johnson forcing Wildcats’ senior Aaron Schulman to go out harder than usual in order to catch Kennedy’s anchor. Only when he was near, he inevitably fell back into a 2 or 3 second gap.
Kennedy also wracked up a good amount of points in the open events led by Seniors Mawuli Fakambi and Donald Walker. All-in-all, Kennedy definitely proved that they are very hard to beat in the short sprints.
The 4x4 fared much better for Walter Johnson. The 400 being a bit more of a longer-distanced race allowed for the Wildcats to show what kind of depth they possess in the 400 and so what some of their distance runners can do in a sprint event. They led from start-to-beginning and the relay was definitively won with a strong anchor leg by Chris Moen.
The Walter Johnson boys won the meet despite Kennedy’s unquestionable ability to compete with the Wildcats in the sprinting events. Walter Johnson by a large margin won the 4x8. The Wildcats also at least went 1-2-3 in the 1600, 3200, and 800.
The 1600 was won by Chris Moen with Sean O’Leary following with a 4:39 despite abrupt gusts of winds late in the race. Brian Graves and Alex Willet went 1-2 in the 3200 with Willett PRing for the second race in a row with a 10:24—2:25 final 800. Moen won the 800 with O’leary following in a slow time of 2:12.
All of this occurred while Speiden, Hausman, Balderson, and Haile were recovering from Haile’s tiring distance-run pace.