OAK PARK – Sidelined with a foot injury for virtually the entire spring, John Wold made his return to the track in a pair of relays at the Metro Suburban Conference meet.
A week later, at the Fenwick sectional May 16, the Glenbard South junior proved the long layoff didn’t hurt him at all.
Winning a pair of individual events, Wold helped the Raiders collect the sectional title with 130 points. More importantly, South qualified for the state meet in 10 events.
“It was great to have him back,” said Glenbard South coach Ronn Claussen. “He ran well and he felt really good after all of the races. All of the hard work and therapy and rehab he has gone through has paid off.”
Claussen said two tendons in Wold’s left foot that were crossing each other were the source of the discomfort, which the junior originally felt during the cross country season before going on to win the Class 2A title last fall.
At one point, surgery was thought to be the only option, Claussen said, but after consulting a variety of doctors, Wold and his family found an orthopedic chiropractor who proved to be the difference.
Wold placed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:00.02, nosing out Bobby Svoboda of Benet (2:00.17). He also emerged victorious in the 1,600 after crossing the line in 4:24.57.
Other individual winners were Brandon Blankenship (long jump), Jack Curtis (high jump) and Jeremiah Ratliff (triple jump).
Blankenship also moved on in the triple jump with a runner-up finish while Matt Loos qualified in both the shot put and the discus.
The 4x200-meter relay won in a time of 1:32.20, and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays both finished second.
Now the focus shifts to the prelims and trying to qualify as many people for Saturday’s finals as possible. Glenbard South has finished second and third in Class 2A the last two years.
Competing at the extremely competitive Class 3A Glenbard North sectional Friday, the Hilltoppers qualified their 4x800-meter relay for the state meet. The grouping of Chris Beuchner, Brandon Bonifer, Nate Crail and Ben Hecht finished runner-up with a time of 7:59.17.