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updated: 5/19/2017 11:20 PM

Boys track: Marmion wins Lisle sectional

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By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent

The cold temperatures and wet track made for less than ideal conditions at Friday night's Class 2A Lisle boys sectional at Benedictine University.

Try telling that to Seth Groom and Mitch West.

Groom, a Marmion junior, posted a trio of first-place finishes along with a runner-up showing in leading the Cadets to the team title. Marmion ran away with the championship by accumulating 115 points.

Groom won both the triple jump and long jump with only one attempt and also captured the high jump after clearing 6-3. He was second in the 200-meter race with a time of 22.85.

"My main goal was qualifying for state," said Groom, who advanced in the triple jump a year ago. "But it's really exciting honestly. I don't have any idea how I will do next week, I just want to beat my own personal records and see where that puts me."

West, a senior at Montini and now a three-time state qualifier, placed first in the 100 and 200 with times of 11:39 and 22.71, respectively. He also anchored the winning 400 relay, teaming with Zach Olson, Matt Quaglia and Nick Fedanzo to finish in 43.76.

"I'm hitting my stride at the right time," said West, who competed at four events at state in 2016, placing third in the 100 and fifth in the 200. "Next week is the week that matters. I'm excited to give it another shot. I'm running really well right now, I'm ready to go. I'll just give it my best shot."

In addition to Groom, Marmion had five other individuals qualify for state along with a relay.

Michael Ronzone, running after Keoni English, Quinn Gratz and Keegan Bennett, brought home a first in the 3,200 relay, passing St. Francis and Aurora Central Catholic in the final lap.

Ronzone later placed second in the 1,600.

"We knew it would be a good race with ACC and St. Francis," Ronzone said. "We wanted to be in a position to qualify and when I got the baton, I knew I'd be able to bring it home. It was cold and windy but my teammates did a great job. It was a good performance by us with the conditions."

Andrew Saloga and Jacob Heineman grabbed the top two spots on the pole vault, Nick Auriemma was second in the discus and Sean Galle was the runner-up in the 3,200.

ACC came in third with 65 points thanks in large part to junior McKimmon Engelhardt, who won the 110 hurdles in 15.84 before backing that up with a first place showing in the 300 hurdles.

"It's super exciting," said Engelhardt, who qualified for state last spring in the 110 hurdles. "It's something I've been working to do since I was a freshman. The 300 wasn't always my strong suit.

"Last year I fell at state so I'm hoping to come back and make up for that in both events."

He will be joined by teammate Brant Krpan, who won the shot put with a throw of 49-4.5.

The Chargers' 1,600 relay team of Engelhardt, Josh Jerwers, Jonathan Mattas and Matt Mendoza also came in first in 3:31.21.

Montini's 800 relay quartet of Olson, Fedanzo, Nick Orlando and Jalen Slater punched their ticket to state with a second-place finish. Quaglia was also second in the 100 behind West.

Glenbard South was sixth with 60 points. Connor Howard advanced in the long jump as did the 1,600 relay team of Michael Zima, Milvoj Plavsic, Josh Zawislak and Joey Wood.

The highlight of the meet for St. Francis was the 800, where Alex Hernandez and Jon Aquino swept the top two spots.

"It's crazy," said Hernandez, who finished in 2:03.09, just .33 seconds ahead of Aquino. "We started moving at the 300 like our coach told us too. That's why we finished 1-2, we didn't wait until the 200 like we usually do. It's a huge accomplishment for both of us and our program. We haven't had a state qualifier in two years. It's a huge step."

That duo was also a part of the state qualifying 3,200 relay, which included Nick Brouch and Joe Leo.

Lisle's Isaiah Hunter cruised to the title in the 400, clocking a time of 50.03, just off his personal best of 49.95.

"I just had to get out strong," Hunter said, "and then at the 300, accelerate. I wanted to stay in front, that was my main goal. If I'm in front at the 200, I feel strong. I can't wait for state. They are all fast because it's state so I have to go there and fight."

Wheaton Academy will be represented at state by Jonah Jones, who qualified in the 1,600 via his time of 4:27.15 after crossing the line in third.

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