DOWNERS GROVE — After a run of six state trophies in seven years, the York boys track and field team was nowhere to be found in the team race last year.
This Saturday’s win at the Downers Grove South’s Bud Mohns Invitational showed that the Dukes might be back in the hunt for a state trophy.
York won the eight-team meet that included three-time defending Class 3A champion Lake Park. Dukes coach Stan Reddel referred to the Lancers as the measuring stick.
“We don’t match up in many events against each other, but obviously they’re a class act and the favorites to win it again,” Reddel said. “We were happy with the progress that our kids made.”
The relay teams highlighted the meet for York with three firsts and a second-place finish. The 4 x 800-meter relay (Jack Achen, Alex Bashqawi, Alex Baughman and Chris May), 4 x 400 (Basqawi, Jarvis Grace-Hill, Andrew Iwaskiewicz and Matt Plowman) and 4 x 200 (Jake Farrar, Ben Gornick, Iwaskiewicz and Emmett McCoy) picked up the wins.
Grace-Hill also won both the 110 and 300 hurdles. Alex Mimlitz earned York’s other first-place finish by winning the 3,200.
“All things considered we were happy with how everything turned out,” Reddel said. “We’re still finding out about our team.”
Competing in cold and wet conditions throughout the early part of the spring has made evaluating the athletes difficult, especially for junior Ruthvik Sunil-Kumar. Sunil-Kumar is a transfer from California and is experiencing his first Midwestern spring.
Still, he placed third in the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 4 inches. Teammate Reid Smith also cleared that distance to take second. Sunil-Kumar cleared 6-7 in California as a sophomore, a height that would likely qualify him for the state finals. He missed the indoor season due to injury and is still getting back in shape.
Sunil-Kumar is one of the many juniors stepping up to push York back to the state’s elite.
“We’re a pretty heavily junior dominated team in the balance of things, but we definitely think we’re good,” Reddel said. “Last year was a little bit of a slump year for us. We think we’re going to be better than that.
“Our goal is to be 35 and plus (state points) again.”