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The Riverside-Brookfield boys and girls track teams picked up a pair of sixth-place finishes on Saturday at their own 43rd Annual Gary Johnson Bulldog Relays, scoring 38 points and 37.5 points respectively.
In the boys competition, Jacobs won the title with 89 points, followed by Illiana Christian (68), Dixon (68), Leyden (45), Montini (41) and RB (38) filling the middle of the nine-team field.
Riverside-Brookfield ran particularly well in the varsity relay events, finishing second in the 3200 relay (8:41.93), third in the 400 relay (45.35), third in the distance medley (3:49.63), and sixth in the 1600 relay (3:39.52). Justin Pomey and Alex Amaya led many of the RB relay performances.
In individual track and field events, several Bulldogs placed well, most notably Robert Mason, who finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.44), and David Swon, who finished fourth in the triple jump (38-6.5). Bryce Bartlett took fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 10-feet.
“Overall, I was happy with the way we performed,” said first-year boys coach Tim Olson, who replaces T.K. Ehlebracht this spring. “A lot of our kids got PRs (personal records) and that’s all we can really ask for.”
The Bulldogs hope to defend their Metro Suburban outdoor title from last spring.
“Based on what Illiana Christian and Fenton did during this indoor season, they have to be the conference favorites,” Olson said. “I think we can compete for the conference championship. We’re a very young team. All our coaches spread the message to our kids just do your best, have fun, and the results will take care of themselves.”
In addition to the return of leaders like Pomey, Mason and Amaya, the Bulldogs welcome back talented middle distance runners in seniors Peter Lyson, Kirk Arzon and Erwin Kehrt.
In the girls meet on Saturday, Niles West claimed the championship with 66.5 points followed by Illiana Christian (57.5), Woodstock (49), Leyden (42), Montini (40.5) and RB (37.5).
The Bulldogs’ girls relays placed well, including a pair of third-place finishes in the 1600 relay (4:18.64) and the 800 sprint medley (2:01.10). Riverside-Brookfield’s 1600 relay team of Jackie Grisafe, Brenna Mossman, Kate Walsh and Cynina Mason, which qualified for state and set a school record in the event last season, appears poised for a successful spring.
Senior Vija Lietuvninkas, a two-time high jump state qualifier, won the high jump on Saturday by clearing 5-4.
“At the end of the meet, teams told us we host a great track meet,” Olson said. “I give a lot of credit to the RB athletic department. Of course, Gary Johnson does so much of the work to make the meet possible.” Johnson served as RB’s head track coach for 33 years before retiring.