IVHS track team has reason for optimism

John Michaels
IVN Contributing Writer

The Illinois Valley High School track team had a pair of meets this week, competing in the Phoenix Icebreaker Wednesday and the Crater Twilight Classic Thursday. Although the Cougars did not fare well in the team scores of either meet, there were a number of individual performances that gave coach Scott Thornhill reason for optimism.
Illinois Valley saved its better performances for the Crater event and several Cougars made marks that served notice that the Cougars might score points at the State Championship meet at the end of the year. The I.V. boys finished in eighth place at Crater with 11.5 points, while the girls finished in sixth with 27.5 against stiff competition from schools at levels 6A down to 2A.
Grit Charitram and Curtiss Heier had noteworthy performance for the boys’ side, while Blossom Robinson, Lyila Murphy and Jessame Pope had stellar performances for the girls.
Charitram finished fourth in the high jump clearing 6’1 at Crater. Although he finished in fourth, his mark is the second best in the state among 2A schools so far this year. Charitram also finished ninth in the pole vault, but his 9’6 mark in the event set a school record. Heier finished ninth in the 3000 meter race at the Twilight, but his time of 9:48.79 is the fifth best in the state at 2A this year. Heier also set a personal record in the 800 at 2:16.57.
In the girls’ events, Robinson finished second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.21. Her time is good for third in the state this year at IV’s level. Robinson edged out Pope, who finished in 13.48. Pope’s fifth place finish at Crater is also the fifth on the 2A list this year. Pope also finished the Twilight with two school records in other events. Pope’s mark of 14’ 4 ½ in the long jump finished eighth at Crater but is the best ever by a female Cougar. She also set a school record in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 50.2 while finishing in second place. Finally, Murphy finished fifth in the 400 race at Crater, but her mark of 1:07.16 is also fifth on the state list this year.
Matt Ellis was the only I.V. on the medal stand at Crater, taking fifth place at the Invite in the javelin with a toss of 146.2. Ellis participated in the shot put with a heave of 33’0 and got a mark of 100’11 in the discus. Though no other Cougars made the medal stand at Crater, many others made marks and continue to improve with their eyes on the District championships scheduled for May 11.
Dylen Hall had a mark of 31’10 in the shot. Kenneth Wunch showed his versatility by participating in the shot (30’1), discus (82’6) and 3000 meter race (13:58.72). Trenton Davis ran a 11.91 100, followed closely by Tanner Brazil at 12.43. Brazil also tossed the javelin 119’4. Hannabal Bohmker ran both the 800 (2:27.43) and the 3000 (11:15.0)
The girls’ team saw Orion Hardy set a school record in the discus with a heave of 73’11. Hardy also managed a 24’ 1 ½ mark in the shot put. Robinson in addition to running the sprint had a toss of 20’9 in the shot. Maddalyn Hearn was the only other female Cougar to register a mark at Crater, she had a throw of 62’0 in the discus.
The Phoenix Icebreaker on Wednesday saw both the boys’ (19 points) and girls’ (10 points) finish in seventh place, but it gave many of the I.V. crew a chance to compete.
Shelby Reed scored nearly all the points for the girls’ squad. She finished third in the 400 (1:07.7) and fourth in the 200 (29.0) Shan Watkins also tallied a point by finishing eighth in the 400 (1:13.9).
Thomas Allen had the best individual finish among the boys at Phoenix. He placed third in the 110 hurdles (21.1). Shilo Farnsworth had a fourth place finish in the 300 hurdles (48.4) and a seventh in the 400 (56.5). Skyler Szijjarto finished fifth in the 3000 (12.37.4), while Kellum Hardy finished sixth in the shot put (33’1) and Ethan Green matched that with a sixth place finish in the javelin (110’3). The boys’ squad also made the medal stand with a seventh place finish with a 4×400 relay team of Szijjarto, Allen, Shya Texiera and Manny Taylor finishing in 4:14.5.
Texiera and Taylor ran the 100 as did Brody Riolo and Miles Hearn. 200 meter participants included Taylor, Texiera Green, Riolo, Allen, Kailen Forsythe-Elder and Tristan Reyes. Szijjarto, Forsythe-Elder and Hearn all finished behing Farnsworth in the 400.

Randy Huang, Alejandro Zamora and Hearn ran the 800.

In the boys’ field events, Reyes, Cameron Shinault, Aldo Cruz-Morado, Taylor and Cooper Guinther all participated in shot put. Shinault, Hardy, Cruz-Morado and Reyes marked in discus. Cruz-Morado, Zamora, Hardy and Guinther had scoring marks in javelin. Green cleared the bar in pole vault, Green, Riolo and Allen all had qualifying marks in long jump.

In the girls’ races at the Phoenix Icebreaker, I.V. had Abigail Bohmker, Kaya Whittlinger, Kave Rose, Airabella Ferdon, Carla Borselli Descalzo Carlotte Bosse, Kylee Fisk and Azalea Lahey compete in the 100. Ferdon, Bohmker, Rose, Watkins, Whittlinger, Bosse and Borselli Descalzo finished behind Reed in the 200. Jayden Conrad ran the 400 finishing behind Reed and Watkins.

The Cougars’ field events saw significant participation as well. Watkins, Fisk and Bosse marked in the long jump while only Rose cleared a height in the high jump. Carmin Parker, Caydence Pope and Conrad all marked in javelin. Lahey, Pope and Naomi Merrill qualified in both shot and discus.

The Cougars have some time off before their next competition. The next scheduled competition for Illinois Valley will be the Medford Rotary Relays April 5 and 6.