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Boys track concludes season at state meet

Quinn Cunningham

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Last weekend six athletes competed at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Finals at Eastern Illinois University. The athletes consisted of senior Grant Wagner who competed in the high jump, freshman Josh Methner who ran in the 3200, and the 4×800 meter relay team of sophomore Ryan Buch and seniors Danny Gritt, Sam Svienty, and Jacob Krupa.

Wagner was one of 48 athletes who competed at the state meet. Unfortunately, he was unable to make it out of preliminary round..

The 4×800 team competed in a very competitive field in their preliminary heat Friday afternoon. The heat was led by the defending champions of Sandburg followed by Whitney Young and East St. Louis. The Huskies placed fifth in their heat and missed qualifying for the finals by less than two seconds.

The team walked away disappointed after not making finals. “I would rate the team’s performance as just okay,” Svienty said. “We didn’t run as fast as we did at sectionals and I think we could have done better.”

During the season Svienty was unsure if he would even be on the 4×800 meter relay team. “I only decided to do the 4×800 after running a huge PR (personal record) in the 800 at the East divisional meet,” Svienty said. After this, Svienty knew the 4×800 could be very competitive at the state level with him on the team.

Krupa also had a decision to make regarding which event he would compete in at sectionals. For his four years on track, Krupa had been mainly a two-miler. At the conference meet he ran five seconds faster than the state qualifying time and the sixth fastest 3200 in school history. However, he ultimately decided to focus on the 4×800 at sectionals. “I wanted to race with my teammates, and I knew if I ran the 4×800 we would have a much better team,” Krupa said.

For Buch, this was his second time competing at state for the 4×800 team. Buch was one of the top freshman in the state the previous season. “My main challenge this year was just getting back up to the level I was at as a freshman,” Buch said. Although Buch had some experience at the state meet he said he was just as nervous this time around.

The state meet was the culmination of almost six years of competing running for Svienty. “I’ve been running competitively since 6th grade, and throughout my highschool career I have run thousands of miles with my teammates whether it was in the 90 degree heat of the summer or 10 below wind chill of the winter,” Svienty said.

Freshman Josh Methner placed 12 in the 3200 meter run out of 25 of the state’s fastest runners. Methner received some great learning experience from his race. “My performance was good but not great. I ran much faster at sectionals than I did at state, but I was still finished higher than I was ranked.” Methner said.

Methner along with his teammate, Max Svienty, currently rank first and second, respectively, in the 3200 meter run for freshmen in Illinois. “It’s always fun and competitive at the same time. We both know we can help each other get better by pushing each other in practice,” Methner said.

Methner also ended the season with the ninth fastest 3200 meter time in school history.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
Boys track concludes season at state meet