The Riverside-Brookfield High School boys track and field team seniors Matt Chapp, Otis Dortch, Mike McCabe and Marvin McKenzie are returning to the Class 3A state meet with a purpose.
They qualified Friday by running a school-record 42.89 seconds for second place in the 400-meter relay at the Lyons Township Sectional.
Senior Jordan Petronella (136 feet-10 inches in discus) and sophomore Mateo Nunez (3,200 in 9:43.08) also advanced for the first time by taking second with lifetime bests. Top two sectional finishers automatically advance to state as well as entries that achieve state-qualifying standards at the sectional.
This will be the third time competing at state for Chapp, McCabe and McKenzie and the second for Dortch. McKenzie also qualified as a sophomore but was injured days before state and did not participate.
The seniors want to reach their event’s nine-team finals for the first time. Top-nine finishers in all events receive all-state medals.
“These kids can definitely lower their time significantly. If they run in the low 42s, they have a very good chance,” RBHS coach Tim Olson said.
“One of the nice things is they’ve all been down there at least three times (including as alternates), it’s the only thing they have to focus on and they’re all seniors. I think with seniors that have done this before it’s easier to keep them focused. I know they’re hungry for it.”
The 400 relay was second to Dunbar (42.72) by breaking its previous record of 43.17 from the Carlin Nalley Invite May 9. In just his fourth 3,200, Nunez dusted his previous best of 10:01.19 from May 9 and Petronella improved his by five feet.
Chapp (200 in 22.54) and the 1,600 relay (sophomore Jhalen Williams, junior Zach Witken junior, McKenzie, McCabe in season-best 3:28.68) were third and did not advance. Chapp missed the state cut by .30.
LTHS boys track and field
Lyons Township High School boys track and field seniors Alex Lima, Trevor Edgerton and Ben Gawthrop already own top-nine, all-state medals.
Several teammates could join them at this year’s Class 3A state meet.
The Lions are bringing 12 entries after winning Friday’s Lyons Sectional (158 points) for their third straight sectional title.
Seniors Adam Schaufelberger and Vince Arata, junior Connor Madell and sophomore Austin Iturralde and Lima were individual champions.
Top-nine finishers in all events earn all-state medals. Lima and Gawthrop return from last season’s fifth-place 3,200 relay (7:47.28) and Edgerton and Lima from the ninth-place 1,600 relay (3:20.72). In 2013, Lima also was on the sixth-place 3,200 relay (7:52.23) and ninth-place 1,600 (3:31.74).
Friday’s 3,200 relay of Madell, Gawthrop, sophomore Vince Zona and Lima (8:01.62) and 1,600 relay of Edgerton, juniors Jakob Mogorovic and Andrew Best and Lima (3:25.21) prevailed after LTHS ran season bests of 7:48.27 and 3:22.49 at the conference meet May 16.
Schaufelberger won shot put with the best 3A sectional distance (59 feet-6 inches) and discus (148-10). Schaufelberger has thrown twice beyond 60 feet this spring, including a school-record 61-3 April 14.
Lima (1:58.92) and Gawthrop (2:01.91) finished 1-2 in the 800, and Madell (4:25.98) and Zona (4:31.67) finished 1-2 in the 1,600. This is Madell’s second straight state berth in the 1,600 and Lima’s third in the 800.
Arata (3,200 in 9:38.08) and Iturralde (12-9 in pole vault) also were first, and Rutherford (43-0 in triple jump) and the 800 relay (sophomore Robert Hatch, junior Kevin Minick, sophomore Reggie Terrell, Edgerton in 1:32.13) were second. Rutherford also was a 2014 state qualifier in triple jump.