Boys track and field: Stevenson's Davis stays cool while Warren triumphs at NSC meet

By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/12/2022 10:12 PM

The smartest athlete at Thursday's North Suburban Conference boys track and field meet at steamy Libertyville had to be Stevenson senior Jimmy Davis.

He shielded himself from the blazing sun in the early going, using his mother Leslie's tan umbrella.


"I saw people under umbrellas in the stands last spring, when it seemed like every day was in the 90s," Davis recalled before the start of the eight-team, 18-event meet. "I thought they were crazy.

"I don't think that anymore."

None of the other competitors toted such protection.

The electric Patriot -- minus the accessory -- stood out in several other ways throughout the four-hour meet by topping the field in the 400-meter dash (50.5) and helping his squad's 3200 relay clock a first-place 43.42 (with Zach Goldman, Marcus Caselberry and Keegan Latulippe).

Senior and University of North Carolina-bound Luke Wiley, of team champ Warren, earned a grueling double (victories in the 3200 and 1600) for the second year in a row. The splendid Blue Devil went 9:28.43 in the 3200 and 4:18.19 in the 1600.

"Just tried to keep the pace (in the 1600) honest and give a good effort," Wiley said a year after posting an NSC-meet record 4:16.89 in the event.

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"I'm proud of our team; it's so special. We're solid across the board, and it's cool to see my teammates pop some big-time times."

Coach Josh Williams' Blue Devils captured the NSC championship outright -- after sharing it with Stevenson last spring -- behind an impressive eight event titles.

Warren scored 173 points to runner-up Lake Zurich's 102. Libertyville finished third (78.25), followed by Stevenson (70.25), Lake Forest (57), Zion-Benton (46.25), Mundelein (25.25) and Waukegan (2).

Warren kicked off the meet with a triumph in the 3200 relay (8:22.77), thanks to swift legs from Nathan Garcia, Ozzie Bandera, Cole Kaether and David Lara. Warren capped the meet with another victory, this time in the 1600 relay, as Aaron Ayobami, Garcia, Max Zeisler and Joell Belonga combined for a 3:30.89.


In between?

Those pair of golds from Wiley, as well as titles from Caleb Levy (800, 1:56.46), Jailen Duffie (200, 22.68), Jaden Turner (long jump, 20-5.25) and John Venisnik (triple jump, 41.1.75).

Libertyville junior Cole Matulenko emerged as a two-time winner, too, besting the shot put (48-11) and discus (146-6) fields.

Stevenson senior Mark Hellwig was magnificent in the high jump, clearing 6-4.75. Runner-up Leo Scheidler, a Lake Forest senior and Notre Dame football recruit, had a 5-10.75 effort.

Scheidler also anchored the winning 800 relay (1:32.33, after legs from James Bentley, Brume Ogufere and Jahari Scott).

Lake Zurich received first-place finishes from Jaydon Taboada (pole vault, 11-6.25), Brayden Veil (110 hurdles, 15.8) and Benjamin Cooper (300 hurdles, 41.04).

Zion-Benton senior Tradon Jones-Pugh zipped to an 11.18 to win the 100.

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