Despite leading the Suburban Prairie (East) Conference Meet at Westmont last weekend, the Riverside Brookfield boys track and field team could not hang on in the last four distance events, finishing fourth overall.

“Things went well, but this has been the same thing we have been facing for a number of years,” said RB coach TK Ehlebracht. “Our distance guys aren’t at a point where they can compete with some of the other teams and that was the difference in the meet.”

The Bulldogs did not place in the 1600-meter run, 1600 relay, and the 200 and 400 dashes.

Though RB fell short as a team, there were some bright spots. Mike Berry took second in the 400 (52.5 seconds), while sophomore Deon Walker took fifth with a time of 54 seconds flat. Daryl Abner was another surprise for Ehlebracht, considering Abner began the year not knowing how to use the starting blocks. Abner posted a personal best 11.2 seconds in the 100 to finish third overall.

Senior Matt Sandrik was the true standout for RB, winning the triple jump and the long jump, while taking second in the high jump. Sandrik had not participated in track since eighth grade, but he elected not to play baseball this year and told Ehlebracht he would try track this year?”the rest is history.

Senior Oscar Reyes was also a cornerstone for the Bulldogs this year, anchoring both 400 and 800 relay teams. For the Fenwick Sectional on Friday, Reyes will compete in both events with Mossman, Abner and Brian Dance. Ehlebracht may utilize pole vaulter Mike Razniewski in the relay events, but Ehlebracht is going to see how things shape up this week before he makes his final decision. Reyes also took third in the long jump, while senior Tom McGregor took sixth in the 800 (2:11).

Now, with the sectionals looming, Ehlebracht is making sure to keep his team focused and realistic.

“I don’t think we have the manpower to win, I told the guys to set their sights on personal bests and don’t worry about everything else,” he said, “Everything is a journey and they should simply concentrate on doing their best.”