Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Jackson Drumheller wanted to perform well in the 200-meter dash at the Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division Meet on May 12 and not just for himself.
The host Bulldogs were still in the hunt for a title three-peat with just the 200 and 1,600 relay remaining on the track.
“I knew that we were close going into the race and knew that I had to deliver,” Drumheller said.
The No. 5 seed, Drumheller came through big time as the conference champion.
And so did many other Bulldogs, resulting in a wild finish and a tie for the title with Aurora Central Catholic at 128 points.
Drumheller won the 200 in another personal-best 23.50 seconds after a personal-best 24.03 his last race. Practicing block starts with hopes of dropping 0.3, he prevailed by .04.
“Being able to win 10 points for the team made me feel like I was able to contribute to the win,” Drumheller responded. “The 200 is my main race, so to be able to win conference after practicing every day felt good to say the least.”
Other conference champions were juniors Jack O’Brien (400 in 51.42), Will Kallas (3.65 meters/12 feet in pole vault), sophomore Brady Norman (3,200 in 10:06.09) and the 1,600 relay (junior Hayden Marrs, Kallas, senior Zack Gaynor, O’Brien in 3:27.98) and the 3,200 relay (junior Evan McMullen, Marrs, junior Brennan Lester, O’Brien in 8:32.39).
Also all-conference were second-place Kallas (400 in 51.99) and third-place junior Luke Smithing in the 110 high hurdles (16.46) and 300 intermediate hurdles (42.72), sophomores Diego Lopez-Medina (3,200 in 10:22.53) and Asa Kahle (11.32m/37-1 3/4 in triple jump), Gaynor (800 in 2:01.96), and Norman (1,600 in 4:49.96).
Charlie Yager, Augustus Mendoza, Matthew Torrens, Muhammed Salem, David Kummer, Sean Rau, Luke Schmitz, Wayne Torrens, Samuel Elusoji, Aidan Karabel, also contributed top-six finishes for points.
The Bulldogs compete at the IHSA Class 3A Proviso East Sectional on May 17.
“Extremely proud of our team and our seniors,” RBHS coach David Weishaar said. “The guys stepped up big time in events that we needed to score points. That 200 and [1,600] relay were exciting to watch.”
In the 1,600 relay, the Bulldogs pulled out the victory by 0.77 over second-place ACC.
“What really gave us a push was [Drumheller’s 200] race just prior,” Marrs said. “He came up huge for us and as a senior and leader on the team, it was really awesome to watch.”
Still, the championship was unresolved. When results from the delayed pole vault arrived, Kallas had taken first and Matthew Torrens fifth and ACC scored no points.
“That’s one we really wanted and one we really worked for,” Marrs said. “It was a whole team effort. [We were inspired] also because it was our last year in the conference and it was a home meet.”
Marrs was happy to contribute in just his second meet back after being out three weeks with sore legs.
“I just felt very thankful for the opportunity to run at conference. I felt like the luckiest kid there,” Marrs said.