WESTERN SPRINGS – Expectations didn’t deter Lyons Township at its own track sectional on Friday.
The heavily favored Lions blew away the field to send 17 entries to the state meet. LT finished with 196 points, more than 100 ahead of second-place Riverside Brookfield (87 points).
Senior Matt Harris was again a star. Harris won the long jump with the second-best qualifying distance in Class 3A (23 feet, 3.75 inches) and also took first in the 110-meter hurdles. The Northwestern football recruit also helped the 4x100 and 4x200 relays win the sectional.
Harris was a part of four wins on Friday, but he wasn’t the only LT standout on the day.
Senior Lino Mogorovic, who also was a part of four qualifying events, finished behind Harris in the 110 hurdles and admitted to a bit of a team rivalry with Harris. Beating Harris in that event won’t be easy, but simply staying close to him means Mogorovic ran a good race.
“He’s just ridiculous out of the blocks, but then it’s playing catch up every hurdle,” Mogorovic said. “I think if I keep following him we’ll do good at state.”
Mogorovic won the 300 hurdles and was in two winning relays, the 4x100 and 4x400.
“This was a huge confidence booster,” Mogorovic said. “You look at any guy here and not a single one of them is not happy with their performances. We had a lot of personal bests for a lot of kids that won’t be joining us at the state meet.”
Mogorovic qualified with the state’s fourth-fastest time in the 300 hurdles (39.01 seconds) and said he ran a conservative race. He is hoping to leave Charleston with a first-place medal.
“Coming back from last year with the fifth place, I definitely feel like I have what it takes to get first this season,” Mogorovic said.
Joining Mogorovic on the 4x400 were Jimmy Rhode, Antwan Swan and Alex Lima. Swan won the 400 ahead of Rhode to earn his first trip to state.
On a day where both individuals and relays thrived for LT, Swan said the relays carry more pride.
“I really like the guys on my relay,” Swan said. “We work hard every day. We push each other to do better. That’s probably my strongest event. The 400 is just my time to focus on what I need to do to prepare myself for the 4x4 to keep my form together.”