IVHS track team hosts annual Star Wars meet May 4

John Michaels
IVN Contributing Writer

In what was almost a carbon copy of the previous week, the Illinois Valley High School track team had a very demanding week. The Cougars sent a full squad to the Skyline track meet at Phoenix Tuesday. I.V. sent a small contingent to the 74th annual Grants Pass Rotary Invitational Saturday. The remaining athletes not participating in the Rotary meet Saturday competed in the Petersen Memorial Invitational at Douglas High School in Winston.
In Tuesday’s Skyline Meet at Phoenix, IVHS finished with 8 points on the boys’ side, finishing fifth out of the five teams at the event. The girls’ squad finished with 2 points, also finishing fifth.
The best performances for the Cougars at the Skyline Meet were turned in by the relay teams. The boys 4×100 relay team of Ethan Green, Manny Taylor , Thomas Allen, and Brody Riolo finished second with a time of 50.4, while the girls 4×100 relay team consisting of Carlotta Bosse, Kaya Whittlinger, Abigail Bohmker and Airabella Ferdon finished third in 58.4.
Illinois Valley had several other performances at Phoenix that finished in the top eight places.
On the boys’ side, Randy Huang (2:51.3) and Felix Becker (2:53.4) finished 4th and 5th respectively in the 800 meter race. Allen finished 5th in the 110 hurdles with a personal best of 19.9. Allen also finished eighth in the long jump at 15’ 2 ½. Green cleared 8’ 6 in the pole vault to claim sixth place. Kellum Hardy marked 36’ 3 in the shot put, good for seventh place. Taylor ran a 58.1 in the 400, setting a personal record and finishing eighth.
The girls’ relay team were not the only Lady Cougars to have decent days at the Skyline. Ferdon, in addition to running a leg on the relay, finished sixth in the 200 (30.8) just ahead of Bohmker who finished eighth (31.0). Bohmker also finished seventh in the 100 at 14.5. Naomi Merrill had a seventh place finish in the 800, completing the two laps in 3:09.4. Rayna Hulsey tossed the shot 24’ 5, which was good for seventh.
On Saturday, Illinois Valley split its squad and pulled double duty, sending a small squad to the 24-team Grants Pass Rotary meet, with the remainder heading to Winston for the Peterson Memorial.
The Cougar boys scored 22 points at the Rotary, good for 12th place, while the girls tallied 4 and finished in 23rd. Grit Charitram and Matthew Ellis had exceptional days for the boys’ side, each finishing in the with at least a bronze in at least one event, while Blossom Robinson did all the scoring for the girls’ team.
Charitram finished second in the long jump with a leap of 20’ 5 ¼. Charitram also tied for third in the high jump clearing 5’ 10. He still has the second best 2A high jump mark in the state so far. Ellis finished 3rd in the javelin with a heave of 160’ 10. His mark at the Rotary meet moved Ellis back into the Top 5 2A javelin tosses in the state this year. Robinson claimed seventh in both the 100 (13.46) and 200 (28.17) races.
Although they did not find the medal stand, several other Cougar harriers participated at the Rotary meet. Curtis Heier doubled up in the 1500 and 3000 races. Shilo Farnsworth ran the 300 hurdles. Charitram teamed with Tanner Brazil, Trenton Davis, and Shya Teixeira to run the 4×100 relay. Ellis also participated in the shot and discus.
Shelby Reed and Lyila Murphy ran the 400 for the girls. Robinson teamed with Reed, Murphy, and Bree Reed to run the 4×100 relay. Orion Hardy had scoring marks in both the shot and the discus.
Illinois Valley had a much better showing at the seven-team Petersen Memorial in Winston. The boys finished with 48 points and the girls totaled 23.
Thomas Allen, showing similar form to his race in Phoenix, finished second in the 110 hurdles at 20.49. Texeira, who left the Rotary meet in Grants Pass after the relay race to take part in the Petersen meet, finished third in the 400 at 1:00.95. Kellum Hardy followed up his Skyline toss by finishing third in the shot with a mark of 37’ ½. Skyler Szijjarto finished the 1500 in 5:09.76, good for fifth place. Alex Robles Leal also had a fifth place finish, tossing the discus 99’ 9. Ethan Green placed sixth in the javelin with a heave of 120’2. Texeira, Allen, Szijjarto and Green teamed up in the 4×100 relay to finish seventh at 55.63.
Jayden Conrad had the best individual finish among the girls. Conrad placed third in the 1500 with a time of 6:30.98. The 4×100 relay team consisting of Airabella Ferdon, Carla Borselli Descalzo, Kaya Whittlinger and Abigail Bohmker finished fourth, completing the race in 58.58. Ferdon also finished sixth in the 200 race (31.92) while Bohmker placed eighth (32.35). Rayna Hulsey finished 6th in the shot (25’ 3) and seventh in the discus (68’ 1). She was bested by one spot in the discus by teammate Maddalyn Hearn, whose toss of 68’ 4 was good for sixth. Whittlinger, in addition to running the relay, finished sixth in the long jump (12’ 3 ¼), edging out Carlotta Bosse (12’ 1 ½) who finished seventh.
Many other I.V. tracksters participated either in Phoenix or in Winston without finding the medal stand. Bryce Merritt ran several sprint events, as did Tyler Shrewsberry and Miles Hearn. Kenneth Wunch ran the 3000 and had scoring marks in several field events. Camerson Shinault, Cooper Guinther and Noah Becker took part in several throwing events. George Kouspov threw the javelin and Alejandro Zamora attempted the long jump.
On the girls’ side, Kylee Fisk ran several sprints. Naomi Merrill, Carmin Parker, Caydence Pope and Aleigha Hix partook of the throwing events. Unfortunately, time and space do not permit me to list every athlete and every event in which said athlete participated.
The Cougars schedule eases up just a bit as they prepare for the District Meet at Bandon High School May 11. There will be just one competition this week as Illinois Valley hosts their annual Star Wars themed “May the 4th Be with You” meet Saturday.