“When one door closes, another one opens”
This saying certainly seems to be apply as our student-athletes return from spring break. The end of break means the start of the competition season, where many Tuesdays and Weekends will be devoted to the oval (and field areas) and the good guys will be donning Columbia Blue and Navy. Starting this season, there were many questions that had yet to be answered; who will lead our team, where is the team’s strengths & weaknesses, who’s willing to take chances and compete, is this the right relay order, who are will emerge as a “diamond in the rough?” To further intensify the meet, the Eagles faced a cross-town rival (pioneer) which instantly brought up the energy level within the team.
The 4×8 team of Sam Jyawook (2:14), Abe Rycus (2:10), Anthony Giannobile (2:01) and Jon Russell (2:03) began the day of competition in a close fought battle that saw them come from behind to take the lead and battled down to the final lap, but unfortunately fell a bit short, losing 8:28.23 to 8:30.10.
In the short sprints (100m and 110hurdles) we saw a new Personal Best from Kyle Sowell-Peeples (110h, 3rd, 18.82) who was just edged for 2nd, but still managed to gain a point for the team. In a similar manner, Brandon Boyd (2nd, 100m, 11.59) competed in a thrilling race that came down to the final 10 meters, but held on strong for 2nd place by 0.07! Finishing 2nd for Skyline and 4th overall in the same race was Brenden Edmunds (4th, 100m, 12.04). The 100m also featured a trio of freshmen who are showing much promise: Jalen Penny (12.34), Logan Perkins (12.52) and Ryo Suzuki (12.61). Nice work fellas!
The boys on the 4x200m relay were determined to change the momentum of the meet and did they ever do so! The relay squad of Boyd, Guy Brent, Jacob Windsor and Tim Nelson-Slaton got out to a tremendous lead and blew the doors off the competition taking 1st with a time of 1:33.59 – this is going to be a fun relay to watch this season, I highly suggest you buy stock now! Their performance created a nice “pick me up” for the team and also got the milers amped and ready to race!
In the 1600m the dual of Conor Donnelly (2nd, 4:30.40) and Russell (3rd, 4:30.61*) led the way for the Eagles, picking up a valuable 4 points and pulling along several boys to new P.R.’s: Jyawook, Garrett Peck, Caleb Spall, Cooper Klein-Kassan. For those wondering, Jon has an asterisk next to his time because the F.A.T. system recorded him just 0.21 seconds behind Conor, but that was probably closer to 3.0 seconds. Nonetheless, a great double by the U of Michigan-bound Senior!
Up next was the 4x100m relay (Edmunds, Brent, Jordan Tirico and Boyd, 3rd, 52.41) and they were looking like they were going to keep “the mo” going, and that they did! Overtaking pioneer’s squad by midway into the 2nd leg, however an unfortunate accident caused the baton to skyrocket 8ft into the air (!), resulting in the relay to finish 3rd. The boys knew right away that it was a freak accident and understand that they won’t give away another chance like that again.
In the 400m Windsor a.k.a “Bacon” (3rd, 55.00) and Nelson-Slaton (4th, 55.13) both looked like they went into with similar race strategies; Playing a conservative start and pouring it out in the second half. Though they gave a tremendous effort, the slow start may have costed them each a placing, trying to play catch up in a sprint event is always more difficult than it seems. This was one of several great learning lesson for the team and I hope they learn from it. Again, although they may had not gotten the finishing places they desired, the long term development of these athletes is what’s most important. So, it’s good to see the boys figuring themselves out as athletes; trying new tactics and learning their strengths and weakness, and it’s good that we get this done early in the season.
The 300h saw Sowell-Peeples (2nd, 45.54) showcase his consistency and specialty in the hurdle events. At this point last season, Kyle hadn’t broken the 50-second barrier yet and he’s already within 1-second of his P.R. Nice work!! Also deserving much credit is Alec Pinson (4th, 47.19) who competed in his first 300h race and finished with a fine effort. Future’s looking good for these two guys!
Next up was the 800m which turned out to be a dramatic race from start to finish. Leading the way at the beginning was Adam Gaboury (2nd, 2:02.70) who carried a 15m lead through the first lap in 57.1 and looked as though he was literally running away with the race. However, Anthony Giannobile (1st, 2:01.46) seemed to have other plans. Learning and adjusting from his 1st race of the day (where he took out the first 200m in 26.5) he took a more cautious approach and started to gain ground on Adam mid-race! The two came into the final stretch stride for stride and with 70m to go Anthony had gained 3 stride lengths and held onto the win. A heck of a double for the frosh and a fine 1-2 finish. When the pace is fast up front, the tendency is that the entire field gets pulled along to quick times as well! Capitalizing on Adam and Anthony’s lead was Sabir Islam (2:19.19), Kobi Eichner (2:20.50) and Collin Van Loo (2:52.67) all picking up new P.R.’s!
Brandon Boyd (2nd, 23.68) wasn’t done putting in his day’s worth of work and the same should be said for Jordan Tirico (4th, 24.70) as the two fought hard tooth and nail from the gun. Both having an equal in purple to compete against, also had different races within the event itself. Brandon can get out of the blocks with an incredible quickness and holds on early, while Jordan may need 50m to builds up to his top end speed and chases after guys well. A special shoutout is in order for Wayne Wang (26.11) who won his heat by over a full second and it looked as though the entire team was roaring for his race!
Conor Donnelly (1st, 10:07.82) led the way and worked with Abe Rycus (2nd, 10:27.57) throughout the majority of the race, before pulling away with 2-laps to go. Following the leading tandem was Zach Reynolds (5th, 10:58.08) and Nick Angerman (6th, 10:59.88). Nick opened up the race with a blistering first 800m, but the intense pace caught up with his legs while Zach cautiously worked his way up through the field to catch up with Nick by the end. A spectacular effort by freshman, Justin Michele (11:14.73) who was spending extensive time at Physical Therapy even 4 weeks ago, now is looking to be in almost full form! Dude is tough as nails.
Last on the track, the 4x400m brought its fair share of dramatic moments both during and prior to the race. With a few of kids catching illness early this week, it left several relay teams incomplete and have to be rearranged last minute. As you can imagine it created some chaos and the official was less than pleased. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ In an odd sense the meet came full circle (pun not intended) as the Varsity relay fell behind early, but managed to rallied back tremendously with help of a 52-second anchor leg from Adam Gaboury.
In the Field Events, Hunter Goodman just missed his P.R. in the Discus (2nd, 104’ 9”), but picked up a big P.R. in the Shot Put (2nd, 38’ 1”)! Sherwin Valentine didn’t have the day he was hoping for in the Discus (5th, 81’ 1”), but did turned it around in the Shot Put (1st, 39’ 8.5”) with a 3’+ P.R. and the victory! In the Long Jump it was a pair of Freshmen that led the Eagles, big congrats to Logan Perkins (4th, 17’ 7.5”) and Alec Pinson (5th, 17’ 4.5”)! Gabe Kardia absolutely deserves much recognition for turning into “Mr. Field Events”, competing in the Shot (6th, 31’ 10”), Disc (4th, 87’ 11”), Long Jump (7th, 16’ 11”) and the Pole Vault (1st, 11’ 6” – New School Record). Awesome day Gabe!
Funny story from the meet: During the 4x400m, one of the relay teams (which was supposed to have two boy returning from the 3200m) toed the line with 2 guys missing. Unsure of what to do/who to give the baton to, Jordan Tirico, like a champ ran his leg of the relay then continued on to jog another lap when no one was there for him.
Race splits and other stats will be up later, thanks for your patience.