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C-G edges Belvidere to repeat as champion

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CARY – There is a high level of expectation for Cary-Grove’s boys track and field team regarding any 400 meters races.

It does not matter who happens to be running the race that day, the Trojans figure the 400 and 4x400 relay are theirs.

C-G displayed its sprint depth Saturday in the Al Bohrer Track and Field Invitational when its best two 400 runners – Michael Gleeson and Alex Bussan – finished second and third in the 200, meaning neither was available for the last race, the 4x400.

No problem. Daniel Speer, Jared Fullerton, Michael Saxon and Joey Klawitter put the finishing touch on the meet with a first-place finish as the Trojans repeated as champions of their own meet with 123 points, eight ahead of second-place Belvidere North.

“We knew we won this meet last year and wanted to do a repeat,” Klawtitter said. “We knew this was our best event, so we wanted to go out and get it.”

The 4x400 team was aware of C-G’s six-point lead over North in the team standings heading into the final race. North would have needed to finish three spots ahead of C-G to tie the Trojans. They were not going to let that happen. Klawitter held off North’s Jesse Laseman in the anchor leg to win in 3:38, three-tenths of a second ahead of the Blue Thunder.

Speer and Saxon are sophomores, and Fullerton and Klawitter are juniors.

“I told them, ‘The meet could come down to this race,’ ” Trojans coach Layne Holter said. “ ‘This is your moment to make a statement. Right now, get the wind out of your mind and get after it.’ We have some depth there (in the 400) and some guys who want to earn a spot. We try and foster that a little bit.”

Gleeson won the 400 and 100, while sophomore Ricky Hurley won the shot put and discus for the Trojans. Gleeson has been set back by an injury in P.E. class where he bruised his lower back while falling on the base holding up a volleyball net.

“We came out as a team and did real well,” Gleeson said. “I was pleased with how I did. It’s a good start. There’s still a lot of work to do before state.”

Johnsburg took fourth place with 54 points and got a first from sophomore Sam Blankenship in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

Marengo’s Casey Doyle anchored the Indians’ fifth-place 4x800 team, then came back to win the 800. Marengo finished fifth with 49 points.

“I just wanted a reasonable time,” said Doyle, who won in 2:07.1. “The pace was really slow at the beginning. Everything is crammed in at this meet, so there wasn’t a lot of time between the 4x800 and the 800. I was pretty dead and though I’d just get second or third. Then, I realized I could win it in the last part.”

Richmond-Burton junior Corey Prejna won the high jump to lead the Rockets to sixth with 46 points. Prejna said the winds near 20 mph made jumping difficult.

“The weather wasn’t quite favorable today, but I had a nice time jumping for our first outdoor meet,” Prejna said. “It was a good look at how much room I have to improve and what I can achieve later in the season.”

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