Boys track and field: Sato's two wins lead Grayslake Central to NLCC title
It came down to Grayslake vs. Grayslake Friday night at the Northern Lake County boys track and field conference championship.
Grayslake Central and Grayslake North did battle for the top spot all evening, and Central runner Trey Sato did his part for the Rams in a big way.
Sato won the 800 in the time of 2:00.14, and then came back to capture the 1,600 with a 4:30.63.
Those two victories led Grayslake Central to the championship with 160 points, besting Grayslake North (2nd with 116) in the meet that was held at Wauconda's stadium.
Sato said that it was an all-out effort down in the stretch in the 800 that led to his win.
"I got out well the first 100," said the sophomore, "then I slowed down too much the next 200. I went two seconds slower than I wanted to, so at the end I just tried to push as hard as I could.
"Ultimately I didn't get my goal, but that's OK."
Speaking of goals, North's Connor Johnson, a senior, set a personal record in the 110 hurdles to win at 15:56.
"Coach (Elaina) Armata said I PR'd," said Johnson, "but it didn't really feel like it. I guess the hot weather (was a factor), and I was rested this week. I knew I had to take this race if we were going to be in the running for the title."
"The start felt really good. Right out of the block, I couldn't see anyone so I knew that I was out there."
Coach Armata, an assistant for the boys team and head coach for the girls program, appreciated the effort of Johnson.
"I've been lucky enough to be coaching him since the seventh grade," said Armata. "I could see the tenacity on his face tonight and I knew he was going to do something big."
Adding to the Central triumph were senior Bryan Vale, first in the 3,200; Kaiden Miller, who won the long jump and the triple jump; and Jaydin Kante, best of all in the shot put.
The Rams also won the 4 x 400 relay.
Grayslake North's runner-up finish included three relay wins, the 4x100, the 4x200, and the 4x800.
Zach Weitgenant of the Knights, a junior, took first place in the 400 with a 49.83; while teammate Nate Alfaro was victorious in the discus.
Paul Migas of Lakes cleared 14-2.75 to win the pole vault; Matthew Brooks from North Chicago (22.97) took a victory in the 200; while Charlie Hamann of Grant won the 300 hurdles in 41:46.
For the host Bulldogs, Kosta Zografos won the high jump with a mark of 6-5.
Zografos, a sophomore who finished 14th in state last season, said his goal is to break the school high jump record of 6-7.
"It's been good (this season)," said Zografos, "but it's also been a little rough because the weather hasn't been on our side."
"I came really close (to the record) today," he added. "I had a monster amount of clearance over 6-7 1/2, but I just came down wrong, the bar shook a little bit and the wind kind of blew it down."
Wauconda jumps coach Anna Porten said that she has no doubt that the sophomore will succeed.
"He's an excellent athlete," Porten said of Zografos. "He has a lot of drive, he's determined to work hard and he's a good kid. He almost had it today."
Jamariel Brown of Round Lake won the 100 in 11.41.