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Boys track capsules: returning talent boosts York in state trophy bid

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.

IC Catholic Knights

Coach: Bob Cronin

Top athletes:

Jordan Rowell fr. sprints, jumps

Silvestre Saucedo sr. sprints

Outlook: Senior Silvestre Saucedo is back from the 4x400-meter relay that qualified for state in Class 1A last year. However, he is the only returner from that relay.

Freshman Jordan Rowell has had some strong early season results in the 100, high jump and long jump. He earned some time as a running back on the varsity football team in the fall and is translating that athleticism to the track.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Coach: John Vander Kamp

Top athletes:

Joe Bishop jr. sprints

Andy Margason so. middle

Outlook: The Trojans have struggled to compete in the team standings in the Metro Suburban Conference, but do have a few noteworthy athletes.

Sophomore Andy Margason was fifth in the 880-yard run at the MSC indoor meet in March and could contend in middle distance races during the outdoor season. Junior Joe Bishop is a varsity returner in sprints and lends some meet experience to the Trojans.

York Dukes

Coach: Stan Reddel

Top athletes:

Alex Bashqawi sr. middle distance

Josh Farrar sr. sprints, relays

Jarvis Grace-Hill sr. hurdles, relays

Emmett McCoy sr. high jump, shot put, relays

Nate Mroz sr. distance

Jeff Ostling sr. sprints, relays

Matt Plowman jr. middle distance, relays

Jack Sacksteder jr. sprints, relays

Reid Smith sr. jumps, pole vault

Outlook: The Dukes had high hopes for the state meet last year but managed just seven points at the state meet.

However, York has plenty of state experienced athletes coming back to make a more serious push for a state trophy.

All four runners from the 4x200-meter relay, Jack Sacksteder, Josh Farrar, Jeff Ostling and Emmett McCoy, are back. That relay was fourth in Class 3A last year and represented York’s best finish. The same foursome also ran the 4x100 at state last spring.

Cross country standouts Matt Plowman and Alex Bashqawi should give the distance relays a boost along with senior Jarvis Grace-Hill, who runs the 4x400 as well as the 300-meter hurdles. Another cross country runner, Nate Mroz, ran in the 1,600 at state last year.

Also of note is Reid Smith, a senior who was ninth in the state in the high jump last spring.

All that returning talent helped the Dukes more than double the point total of the nearest school in the indoor West Suburban Silver conference meet, which sets up York to have plenty of success in the outdoor season.

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