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Boys track capsules: Defending champ Matt Burns, Glenbard East, AT looking for state meet success

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:41 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Glenbard East's Tyler Rosso (left) and Glenbard West's Nate Crail run in the 4 x 800-meter relay West's invite on Saturday. Rosso and the Rams are looking to finish in the top half of the DuPage Valley Conference this season.
Caption
(Shaw Media file photo)
Willowbrook's Matt Burns celebrates his victory in the 400-meter dash at last year's Class 3A state track meet. Burns is expected to lead the Warriors' solid group of sprinters this spring.

The starting gun has gone off on the boys outdoor track season, but the finish line is still off in the distance as most teams have had just a pair of outdoor meets.

The end goal is to make it to the state meet in Charleston during the last weekend of May. Here’s a look at what to expect from area boys track and field teams as they push toward the state finals.

Addison Trail Blazers

Coach: Bruce Kelsay

Top athletes:

Darius Conrad jr. sprints

Darrion Conrad fr. sprints

Ronald Duling sr. jumps

Luis Miranda sr. distance

Juan Valdez sr. 800

Outlook: State returner Juan Valdez will be a key athlete in the 800-meter run for the Blazers, but he will also be a part of strong 4x800 and 4x400 relays. Luis Eugenio, Luis Miranda, Israel Olascoega and Matt Oliva will join Valdez for those relays.

Basketball players Ronald Duling and Taylor White and football standout Jaavion Bradley will compete in the jumps and bring some athleticism to the field events.

Freshman Darrion Conrad won the 200 dash in the indoor conference meet and junior Darius Conrad will also be a threat in sprint races.

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Jack Brady

Top athletes:

Vince Booth sr. middle distance

Maurice McGee sr. sprints, relays

Drew Mikel sr. sprints, relays

Jack Peters sr. middle distance

Outlook: Jack Peters headlines the Rams’ roster as a returning state qualifier in the 800-meter run. He was sixth in Class 3A.

Fellow cross country standout Vince Booth will also run similar distances. Seniors Maurice McGee and Drew Mikel head up the sprints for the Rams and will contribute to the team’s relays, which should be a strength of the team.

“We’re hopefully looking for state qualifiers in the 800 and in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays,” coach Jack Brady said. “Also, a goal is to have a top half finish at the outdoor conference meet.”

The Rams were sixth out of eight teams at the DuPage Valley Conference indoor meet in March.

Montini Broncos

Coach: Eric Brechtel

Top athletes:

Tony Barrett jr. discus

Jack Brady sr. long jump

Michael Hollingshed jr. sprints

Chris Holloway so. sprints

Dylan Maher so. triple jump

Outlook: First-year coach Eric Brechtel takes over a young Montini team.

Returners Michael Hollingshed and Chris Holloway will be joined by a talented freshmen class in the sprint relays.

“The strong point of the team will be in the sprint relays,” Brechtel said. “There are pieces that can do some damage, but there is still some work to be done. The freshmen class has a lot of potential and could be a real force in the coming years.”

Mitch West, Prince Walker, Will Smith and Dylan Leschewski make up that freshmen group.

Tony Barrett, Jack Brady and Dylan Maher should be key contributors in field events as well.

Willowbrook Warriors

Coach: T.J. Artman

Top athletes:

Jake Bloemke sr. sprints

Matt Burns sr. sprints

Devin Childress sr. hurdles, jumps

Jimmy Funteas jr. distance

Outlook:The Warriors took second in the indoor West Suburban Gold meet without returning 400-meter dash state champion Matt Burns competing.

Burns ran at West Aurora’s John Bell Invitational on Saturday and took third in the 400, running more than two seconds slower than his state winning time last spring.

Once Burns gets back into gear, the Warriors should have some good relay teams. Jake Bloemke won the 55-meter dash at the indoor conference meet and was second in the 400. Sprinters Dylan Jones, Josan Murphy and Donnie Hawkins will join those two for sprint relays. Murphy will also be competing in jumps and Hawkins is also a hurdler.

Distance runner Jimmy Funteas will be hoping to qualify for state after a strong season with the cross country team.

Football standouts Devin Childress, the indoor conference champ on the 55-meter hurdles, and Hayden Adams will also contribute.

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