CHARLESTON – McHenry’s Maki Mohr was having the time of his life.
Every time the senior cleared another height in the Class 3A high jump, he popped up and let out a scream.
When Gurnee Warren senior Brandon Ellis made that same height, Mohr smiled and jogged over to congratulate his friend.
Mohr started the crowd clapping as he approached 6 feet, 9 inches, 6-10 and 6-11. When Crystal Lake South’s Jack Becker ran by the high jump area in the 3A 1,600 meters final, Mohr, who knows Becker from cross country, cheered him on.
Mohr and Ellis finally missed at 6-11, with Ellis winning on fewer misses. Mohr happily took second place at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
McHenry’s Brian Keyes joined Mohr as a state runner-up with his 187-1 throw in the discus.
“It was honestly crazy,” Mohr said. “I knew Brandon from playing basketball when we were younger. The feeling of having someone against you, but you’re jumping with them, it’s unbelievable. We were both cheering for each other. It was awesome having everyone else who was up before (in the high jump) cheering for us. It was amazing.”
Marengo sophomore Finn Schirmer took third in the Class 2A 200 meters and fourths in the 110 high hurdles and 100 meters.
Other local athletes who medaled in Class 2A were Richmond-Burton’s Reed Marshall (fourth in triple jump) and Marengo’s Aaron Shepard (fifth in high jump).
In Class 3A, seven of the nine Fox Valley Conference schools had medalists.
Dundee-Crown’s 4x800 team of Anthony Hurgoi, Joey DeVita, Jorge Hernandez and Adam Swanson took third. Prairie Ridge’s Grant Jensen was fourth in the 800, Huntley’s Ben Litwin was fourth in the discus and Becker was sixth in the 1,600.
Huntley’s Eric Mooney took eighth in the 200 and was seventh with Antonio Passarelli, Zach Tepper and Ron Noll in the 4x100 relay. It is the fourth consecutive year the Red Raiders medaled in that race.
Jacobs’ Jermaine Maegdlin-Ferguson took seventh in the 300 intermediate hurdles, while Cary-Grove’s Andrew Stokes (shot put) and Jason Petko (discus) both took seventh.
Keyes’ second throw in the discus finals (187-1) moved him from third to second place.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Keyes said. “I’m happy because it was a decent throw, but I was really looking for first. It’s nothing to be mad about. I have four more years (at Illinois), and that’s an opportunity a lot of other people don’t get, so I’m super excited.”
Schirmer termed his season “very successful.”
“My races went really well,” Schirmer said. “I was just glad to get out here and race my heart out. I hit a couple hurdles in the 110s, so that was an issue. I stumbled on my start in the 100, but the 200 was really good.”
Jensen was running in his first final in three state meet appearances in the Class 3A 800.
“It felt good,” Jensen said. “It felt like I finally deserved to run in a meet like this. I hadn’t made [finals] the last two years, but now I finally got to the top. I tried to hand on and not get outkicked by too many people.”
Litwin threw the discus about 10 feet farther than he did in his preliminary flight and moved from seventh to fourth place.
“That first throw, everything felt really good,” said Litwin, who will throw at DePaul next year. “I had a lot of adrenaline. I’ve never had that many people around me cheering me on, so it was really good. I got ahold of one.”