WESTERN SPRINGS – Moving up in class, Riverside Brookfield entered unknown territory Friday.
The Bulldogs qualified six events to the state meet last year, but that was in Class 2A. This year RB headed into the Class 3A Lyons Township sectional and still sent five entries to the state meet in Charleston.
David Swon qualified in the long jump and the triple jump. Lewis Rogers was RB’s other individual qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles. The 4x200 and 4x400 relays also qualified to help RB take second to the host Lions in the team standings.
“To qualify five events in 3A I feel like is a successful year,” said RB coach Tim Olson. “David Swon and Lewis Rogers stand out, but even kids that didn’t qualify were running their best times, throwing their best [distances].”
Swon won the triple jump and was second in the long jump. The senior jumped personal records in both to make his first appearance at the state meet.
He missed sectionals last year due to injury and was battling an injury leading up to sectionals again. Swon was able to recover in time.
“For the past two weeks my leg has been hurt, but this week I’ve been rehabilitating it,” he said. “It felt really good so it put me back on track.”
For Rogers, qualifying was also a first. His second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles came before he ran the fastest leg of the 4x400, which also finish second to close out the sectional.
“After qualifying for that my adrenaline was just pumping ready for the 400,” Rogers said. “Personally it feels better to make the relay because I’m bringing my teammates with me. The guys I’ve been working out with all year long. Some of these guys play other sports with me so we’ve built a friendship up. It feels great to bring those guys down there.”
Matt Chapp, Andrew Bell and Gerrand Moody teamed with Rogers in the 4x400. Chapp, Mike McCabe, Bell and Marvin McKenzie ran the 4x200.
McKenzie qualified in the 400 last year and was seeded second at the sectional, but was recovering from a hamstring injury. Olson scratched him from that race to have him help the 4x200, a gamble that paid off for the relay.