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Hinsdale Central, South boys track teams in hunt for state meet spots

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.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Coach: Jim Kupres

Top athletes:

TJ Caveney sr.

Blake Evertsen fr.

Kevin Huang sr.

Billy Magnesen sr.

Matt McBrien jr.

Derek Roberts sr.

Kyle Stiff sr.

Outlook: Billy Magnesen was the lone Hinsdale Central athlete to compete on the second day of the 2013 state meet when he competed in the 3,200-meter run. The senior should anchor a strong distance group for the Red Devils this spring.

He recently showed he is ready to compete at an elite level as he won the 1,600-meter run at the Downers Grove South invite on Saturday.

Magnesen was Central’s first finisher when it won the cross country state title in the fall. From that squad, TJ Caveney, Blake Evertsen, Kevin Huang, Matt McBrien and Emmett Scully are also on the track team.

McBrien and Scully bookended the Red Devils’ winning 4x800 relay at the Downers Grove South invite, and Evertsen was fourth in the 1,600 run.

In addition to running on a state-qualifying relay last spring, Kyle Stiff is also solid in the horizontal jumps. Steven looks poised to add depth in the field events as a pole vaulter; the junior placed third in that event at Downers Grove South’s invite on Saturday.

Tonight’s Lyons Township invite and Central’s own McCarthy invite on May 9 are two of the big meets remaining before the postseason starts with the West Suburban Silver meet on May 16.

Hinsdale South Hornets

Coach: Dean Norman

Top athletes:

Jake Czajkowski sr.

Zac Kolar sr.

Marcus Melancon sr.

Charlie Nodus so.

Anthony Riskus sr.

Outlook: Sprinter Tavaris Binion gave South a sure-fire point-scorer and elite athlete, but the 2012 100-meter state champ and 2013 dual all-state finisher has since graduated. Yet the Hornets should once again be in the hunt for state berths this spring.

Zac Kolar and Marcus Melancon both gained valuable experience last spring as part of South’s state qualifying 4x400-meter relay, and both return this spring. In addition to running relays, Kolar also looks to compete in hurdles races.

Charlie Nodus has already shown well in distance events (seventh in a stacked 1,600 race Saturday at Downers Grove South) and Jake Czajkowski will add depth to the sprint events, where South has traditionally been strong.

Away from the track, Anthony Riskus should help the Hornets score points in the throws this season. He medaled in the shot put and earned points in the discus at the DGS invite on Saturday. Senior Mark Watson could score points in the jumps.

Another invite at Downers Grove South tonight, the Hornet invite (May 2) and the Hinsdale Central invite (May 9) will pit Hinsdale South against stiff competition prior to the West Suburban Gold meet on May 15.

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