HUNTLEY – McHenry junior Jesse Reiser relished the weekend in December when he traveled to Portland for the Nike Cross Country National Championships and got to have dinner with Jacobs graduate Evan Jager.
Jager is a McHenry County legend, having finished sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the 2012 Olympic Games and fifth in the World Track and Field Championships in 2013.
“[Jager] is one of my idols,” Reiser said.
Now, Reiser has something that belonged to Jager, the 1,600 meters record at the McHenry County Track and Field Meet. Reiser also has something Jager did not have, the 3,200 record.
The Warriors’ standout wiped out both records Friday night at Huntley’s Harmony Road Campus Stadium. He finished in 9:08.49 to nip Crystal Lake Community’s Bill Santino’s 1974 record of 9:10. Later, Reiser ran 4:14.92 to eclipse Jager’s 2006 record of 4:17.67 in the 1,600.
“I was shooting for those records, most definitely,” Reiser said. “I ran a 4:15 on Monday [in the 1,600], so I thought I had a chance. I really kicked the last 300.”
Reiser’s 3,200 run broke the second-oldest record in the meet.
Huntley ran away with its third consecutive county team title with 150 points, while McHenry (113) was in second. Junior hurdler Brennan Bell won the 110 high and 300 intermediate hurdles to lead the Red Raiders.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Bell, who notched a career-best time of 14.89 in the high hurdles. “I was just looking to do well and stay focused.”
Bell had to catch Johnsburg’s Sandro Magradze in the 300 hurdles in the final 20 meters to win that race 40.53 to 40.72.
“We’re good friends and I saw him and had to catch him,” Bell said. “I wanted to break 40, but that’s all right.”
Huntley coach Jim Rolando smiled as his team dominated with only a couple of senior athletes.
“John Los was our only senior who scored,” Rolando said. “I’m really proud of who were running in their first big meet we were trying to win. That’s the best Brennan’s competed, and I can’t say enough about Connor Boos. He ran his best race at the end and was really focused.”
Boos lost to Jacobs’ Josh Walker in the 100 meters, but came back in the 200 to win a county title. The 100 featured Boos and Marengo’s Jarrell Jackson, both of whom had 10.8s this season.
“That’s probably the best start I’ve had,” said Walker, who won in 10.95. “Once I got out there, I didn’t think anyone could catch me. I’ve been hearing about them for two weeks, it was nice to get a chance to race them and see how I could stack up against the best in the county.”