IHSA State Track & Field Championships – 1A Boys Preliminary Session Recaps
Okeke makes it to the finals in three events: Eureka, Salt Fork lead team qualifiers.
(Photo – Landis Musser leans for the win in a heat of the 1600m Run)
By Michael Newman
The Class 1A Preliminary session Thursday afternoon at O’Brien Field did not answer any questions on who the team favorite would be when there meet resumes on Saturday morning. There are still a number of teams that are still in contention to win the 1A title.
Eureka leads all teams in this close battle with seven qualifiers. Defending 1A champion Salt Fork could be the favorite with six qualifiers but with big points that could come from them. Tuscola and Newton also qualified for the finals. Tuscola took a big hit when Chris Boyd made the finals in the Shot Put but did not qualify in the Discus. St. Teresa, Ridgeview, Rockford Christian, and St. Joseph-Ogden.
Darryl Okeke of Judah Christian had a great day on the track qualifying with the top time in the 100 Meter Dash, 300 Meter Hurdles, and the 200 Meter Dash. There was one hiccup that prevented him from qualifying in his fourth event.
Okeke in the final heat the final five hurdles and one of the hurdles hit a runner on his inside lane. Okeke won the race that qualified him for the finals.. Officials deemed it an in fraction and he was disqualified from the event.
Okeke came back 15 minutes later in the final heat of the 100 Meter Dash and lead all qualifiers by running 10.92 to win the final heat. He had the fastest time in the 300 Meter Hurdles (38.38, IL #2). He came to lead all qualifiers in the 200 Meter Dash with a wind-aided time of 21.70 (3.8 m/s).
Charlie Bardwell of Eureka also had a good day leading his team to the finals in both the 4x800m Relay and 4x400m Relay. Bardwell ran a 1:55.4 anchor leg to lead the Hornets to the win in the 4x800m Relay (8:05.53) in the first heat. Four other teams qualified from that heat including Harvest Christian, St. Teresa, Pleasant Plains, and Urbana University. Newton (8:17.18) and Rock Island Alleman (8:17.95) were the other heat winners.
Bardwell anchored Eureka to the win (3:28.12) with a split of 51.36 seconds. Ridgeview led all-qualifiers running 3:25.85 to win the second heat. St. Teresa (3:27.65), Auburn (3:27.39), and Trenton-Wesclin (3:30.35) were the other heat winners. Shelbyville, Forreston, St. Joseph-Ogden, and Pleasant Plains qualified on time.
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