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York track wins state title for retiring coach

York's Reid Smith competes in the finals of the Class 3A high jump at the state meet on Saturday. The Dukes won their first team state title since 2009.
York's Reid Smith competes in the finals of the Class 3A high jump at the state meet on Saturday. The Dukes won their first team state title since 2009.

CHARLESTON – York's boys track team was hoping to send Stan Reddel out on a high note Saturday after a 40-plus year coaching career.

Mission accomplished.

Receiving points from six individuals and two relays, the Dukes gave their retiring coach the perfect parting gift after bringing the Class 3A state championship trophy back to Elmhurst. The program's last title came back in 2009.

"It feels incredible," said senior Reid Smith, who finished third in the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 8 inches. "This is what we've been working towards for the last four years. This was our goal since freshman year.

"Everyone who came down contributed; everyone wanted to do well for each other. And we wanted to do this for coach Reddel. He is a phenomenal coach, he is a phenomenal guy and he's our friend."

With 36 points and tied with Edwardsville and Lake Park late in the meet, York needed their final competitor, Alex Bashqawi, to finish at least ninth in the 1,600-meter run, the final event in which any of the three schools had an athlete competing. The senior responded with a sixth-place finish with a time of 4:13.01.

"Reid told me before the race that we only needed one point," Bashqawi said. "It was good to know and made me feel a lot more relieved. I thought we needed more points.

"It [the state title] means a lot. Coach Reddel is retiring and that's what we wanted to do for him."

The team's top showing was put forth by the 4x100 relay team of Jeff Ostling, Josh Farrar, Greg Gornick and Itoro Akpakpan, which placed second by a nose with a time of 41.48 seconds. The group set a personal record in the prelims and then broke that mark in the finals.

"That was an awesome moment, an awesome experience," Ostling said. "We really cleaned things up. All year, we had one bad handoff here or one bad handoff there. We put it all together [Saturday]."

The 4x200 grouping of Jake Sacksteder, Farrar, Gornick and Akpakpan came in third in 1:26.66.

Farrar was also fifth in the 100 (10.87) and Matt Plowman added a fifth-place showing in the 800 (1:54.8).

"It's cool to medal, but I just wanted to get points for my team," Plowman said. "It was a fast race, a good race, and I was just happy to be a part of it."

Jarvis Hill was seventh in the 300 hurdles (38.41) and Kyle Mattes contributed a ninth-place finish in the 3,200 (9:27.85).

"I just wanted to do my part to help the team," Mattes said.

Farrar qualified for state in the 200 dash and clocked a time of 22.05.

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Team scores

1. York, 40 points

2. Edwardsville, 36

2. Lake Park, 36

4. Naperville Central, 34

5. Thornton, 32

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