Illinois Valley track team keeps on running

John Michaels
IVN contributing writer

The Illinois Valley High School track team had a pair of meets this week, sending a squad of underclassmen to the Bob Newland Frosh/Soph Classic at South Medford High School Friday and a sizable contingent to the Timber Country Coca-Cola/Champion Car Wash Twilight Invitational at Roseburg High School Saturday.
Once again, the Cougars did not score well as a team in either of these huge meets, with almost all of the schools participating being much larger than I.V. However, there were notable performances by Cougar athletes at both events.
As a team, Illinois Valley finished with 14 points on the boys’ side, good for 13th place at the 21-team Timber Classic. The girls’ squad finished with 4 points, which placed them 19th at Roseburg. The Cougars finished in the Top 10 in three female and three male events at the Classic.
Blossom Robinson had a particularly good meet for I.V. in Roseburg. Robinson finished 6th in the 200 meters with a time of 27.94. She also finished 9th in the 100 at 13.57. Robinson was also on the other Cougar Top 10 finisher, running a leg on the 4×100 relay team with Shelby Reed, Lyila Murphy and Bree Reed. That crew finished 8th, setting a personal record, or “PR” with a time of 53.5. That mark is currently the fourth best mark among 2A schools in that event.
Matt Ellis, Grit Charitram and Curtiss Heier had noteworthy performances for the boys’ side, each finishing in the Top 10 in at least one event. Ellis set a PR in the javelin with his mark of 155’ 3 good for second among all the athletes in Roseburg. It was the best individual finish by a Cougar on the day and leaves Ellis just outside the five best 2A marks this season. Charitram cleared 6’0 in the high jump to finish 4th. He still has the second best 2A high jump mark in the state so far. Finally, Heier finished 8th in the 3000 at 9:46.56, about one-half second off his personal best that he set previously at the Medford Relays. Heier owns the fifth best time in 2A in the 3000 this season.
There were a number of other I.V. athletes that finished outside the Top 10 in Roseburg, but still had memorable days. Trenton Davis (12.23) and Manny Taylor (12.94) ran the 100. Taylor’s mark was a PR. Charitram (24.30) and Davis (25.32) both PR’d. in the 200. Taylor set a personal record in the 400 at 59.47. Heier (2:13.34) and Shilo Farnsworth (2:08.40) both had PRs in the 800. Eli Deutsch (5:22.58) had his best ever time in the 1500. Farnsworth finished the 300 hurdles in 49.24. Charitram, Davis, Tanner Brazil and George Kouspov set a team PR in the 4×100 relay in 46.85, just a little more than one second outside the Top 5 in 2A this year.
In the field events, Ellis (34’ 3) and Cameron Shinault (32’ 1) had marks in the shot put, with Shinault getting a PR. Ellis (108’ 3) and Kenneth Wunch (77’ 0) participated in discus. In addition to Ellis, Ethan Green also PR’d in the javelin with his best throw of 112’ 4. Green also set a personal record clearing 8’6 in the pole vault while Kouspov had a PR in the triple jump when he landed at 36’ 2.
In addition to Robinson, the girls’ team had a number of participants and several personal records set. Carla Borselli Descalzo ran her best ever 100 finishing in 15.71. Bree Reed set a PR in the 200 at 29.15. Shelby Reed (1:09.22) ran the 400, while Naomi Merrill (3:08.78) ran the 800 and had scoring marks in the shot (21’ 3) and discus (59’ 6) with the discus mark being a PR. Aleigha Hix went 20’ 9 in the shot and Caydence Pope had a discus toss of 61’ 1. Bree Reed chucked the javelin 81’ 4. Finally, Carlotta Bosse marked in the long jump at 11’ 5.5.
The underclass contingent that went to the Bob Newland Frosh/Soph Classic on Friday saw the boys’ score 13 points (9th place) and the girls’ score a single point (tied for 13th place) at the 14 team event.
Rayna Hulsey was the only girl to score a point, finishing in 8th place in the discus with a PR toss of 68’ 7. Three other Lady Cougars participated in Medford with Carmin Parker setting a personal record in the javelin (59’10) Jayden Conrad PR’ing in the 800 (3:18.48), and Maddalyn Hearn getting her PR in the discus (65’ 7). Hearn (23’ 9.25) and Hulsey (23’ 8) also participated in the shot put.
On the boys’ lineup, seven Cougars finished in the Top 10, led by Kouspov’s 4th place finish in the high jump with a PR of 5’ 6. Kouspov also placed seventh with a personal record long jump of 18’ 3. Brazil’s PR mark of 130’ 3 in the javelin was good for 5th place. Brazil also PR’s and finished in the Top 10 in the triple jump (34’ 4, 8th place) and 200 (25.71, 10th place). Thomas Allen had his best ever time (20.69) in the 110 hurdles, placing 8th. Kellum Hardy also finished 8th with a PR in the discus (86’ 11).
Shya Teixeira (12.61) and Kouspov (12.88) both PR’d in the 100 at the Newland Classic. Kouspov also had a personal best in the 200 (26.59). Teixeira went 1:01.45 in the 400, a PR. Skyler Szijjarto set two personal records in the 400 (1:02:05) and 800 (2:25.34).
In the boys’ field events, Hardy not only threw the discus, but had scoring marks in the shot (32’ 3.5) and javelin (101’ 0) with the javelin being a PR. Tristan Reyes participated in the shot (30’ 1.5) and discus (70’ 6). Brody Riolo cleared 4’ 6 in the high jump, a PR. Allen, in addition to his hurdles PR, also had a personal best in the long jump at 15’ 0.5. Finally, Bryce Merrit PR’d in the triple jump, landing at 26’ 3.
The Cougars have a quick turnaround and a remarkably busy workweek this week. Illinois Valley was scheduled to participate at the Skyline track meet at Phoenix on Tuesday. I.V. will send some runners to the 4th Annual Phillips-Klimek Distance Twilight Friday. Finally, the Cougars will have a contingent at the 3rd Annual Phoenix Invitational Saturday.