High school boys track and field: Defending champ Huntley leads at McHenry County Meet

HUNTLEY – The pressure was on Crystal Lake South’s Sam Peschke as the pole vault competition headed to 15 feet, 1 inch, but Peschke prefers it that way.

Only Peschke and Huntley’s Jacob Riese remained, both having cleared 14-7. Since Riese had fewer misses, Peschke had to make 15-1 to win, which also would give him the record at the McHenry County Track and Field Meet.

“I had to make it,” Peschke said. “That’s always stressful, puts the pressure on, but I generally do an OK job of leveling my head. There’s a lot of meets with a lot of pressure, I do an all right job with that.”

Peschke cleared 15-1, landing in the pit before the bar eventually fell, although judges ruled it was the wind, with gusts reaching 28 mph, that was responsible for that and not Peschke. The Gators’ senior had the meet record and the title after Riese missed on his three attempts.

The field events were completed on Thursday and five-time defending champion Huntley leads with 56 1/2 points over South (35), McHenry (29) and Woodstock (23). Running finals start at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the first heat of the 3,200 meters.

Woodstock’s Will Maidment won the high jump, Jacobs’ Loren Strickland won the long jump, Richmond-Burton’s Reed Marshall won the triple jump, McHenry’s Brian Keyes won the discus and Huntley sophomore Alex Pitrone won the shot put.

Peschke said he did not struggle too much with the wind gusts, although he stopped on some runs when the wind pushed his pole down.

“It made things a little wild, but it helped with the speed,” Peschke said. “I put my (approach) steps back, but (the wind) was pretty consistent. It was about a foot farther back than usual.”

Peschke broke the record of 14-9 set by Crystal Lake Central’s Brandon Dahl and McHenry’s Kevin Szamlewski last year. Dahl won that event on fewer misses, but both were regarded as record-holders.

Marshall also liked the wind at his back in the triple jump, as he went 43-5 1/2 to win. Woodstock’s Will Maidment and Huntley’s Melvin Aninagyei both jumped 43-3. Marshall’s previous best jump

“I was seeded a couple feet behind (Aninagyei), but I knew I could get out there,” said Marshall, who also was third in the long jump. “I wanted to air it out and jumped in the 43s. That was pretty exciting.”

Marshall said all his jumps were in the 42s or 43s.

Keyes finished seventh in the Class 3A State Meet last year in the discus and won his first county title with a 180-6 throw. He said the wind, blowing from the right side of the sector, was not a huge factor.

“I take practice throws in every type of weather, especially in the wind, I always try to get out there in the wind,” Keyes said. “Taking second last year (here) to a great thrower (Huntley’s Tim McCloyn) who took third at state, it was motivation for this meet and I really wanted it. It was great.”

Maidment has cleared 6-6 or 6-5 in the high jump three times in the last two weeks and held off Woodstock North’s Matt Haynes, who made 6-3.

Pitrone came in seeded second in the shot put, but had not thrown better than 51 feet. He threw 52-6 1/2 to win by 4 feet.

“It was repetition and showing up to practice and going every single day,” Pitrone said. “Just practicing and staying focused. I was so happy. Qualifying for state it 52-7, so I’m one-half inch away. I’m extremely happy and pleased.”


McHenry County Meet

Partial team scores (field events are final): 1. Huntley 56.5, 2. Crystal Lake South 35, 3. McHenry 29, 4. Woodstock 23, 5. Cary-Grove 21, 6. Richmond-Burton 19, 7. Woodstock North 11, 8. Jacobs 10, 9. Crystal Lake Central 8, 10. Prairie Ridge 7, 11. Johnsburg 5.5, 12 (tie). Marengo, Marian Central 4, 14. Alden-Hebron 1, 15. Harvard 0.

Shot put: 1. Pitrone (Hunt) 52-6.5, 2. Meador (CLS) 48-6.5, 3. Rosch (CG) 48-1.5, 4 Piskule (Hunt) 47-10, 5. Stokes (CG) 47-8, 6. Keyes (McH) 45-8.

Discus: 1. Keyes (McH) 180-6, 2. Litwin (Hunt) 167-10, 3. Rosch (CG) 155-7, 4. Meador (CLS) 142-11, 5. Munn (CLC) 140-10, 6. Berg (CLC) 136-0.

High jump: 1. Maidment (Wdk) 6-5, 2. Haynes (WN) 6-3, 3 (tie). Bolas (Hunt), Bell (Jbg) 5-11, 5. Shepard (Mgo) 5-11, 6. Mohr (McH) 5-11.

Long jump: 1. Strickland (Jac) 21-10.5, 2. Mooney (Hunt) 20-7.5, 3. Marshall (RB) 20-4, 4. Kucharski (Wdk) 20-4, 5. Taylor (MC) 20-4, 6. Reall (CLS) 20-0.5.

Triple jump: 1. Marshall (RB) 43-5.5, 2. Maidment (Wdk) 43-3, 3. Aninagyei (Hunt) 43-3, 4. Lentz (PR) 41-6.5, 5. Carrick (CG) 41-6.25, 6. Pena (WN) 20-10.

Pole vault: 1. Peschke (CLS) 15-1 (meet record), 2. Riese (Hunt) 14-7, 3. Polizos (CLS) 13-1, 4 (tie). Richartz (McH), Everhardt (Hunt), Schweitzer (McH) 12-1.

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