By J.W. Campbell, Sportswriter
Running on their home track, the Triad boys track and field team finished third at the Madison County Meet on Tuesday, April 23.
The Knights finished with 107 points, trailing Edwardsville (137.16) and Collinsville (116.5). Rounding out the field was Alton (91.33), Granite City (71) and Highland (29).
Triad had five champions at the meet, including Will Hancock in the high jump and Jadon Elliott in the pole vault.
Hancock had a leap of 6-2 in his event, while Elliott vaulted 15-2, setting a new school record in the process.
“Elliott was having a great night; we knew it was going to be a good one when he almost made 6-2 in the high jump with a hip clearance of 6-5,” Triad Coach Brian Weiss said. “He attacked the vault and ended up with a new school record. He then had a really good third attempt at 15-4.
“Will Hancock had another great day, tying his personal best and nearly clearing 6-3.”
The Knights also won three relay events. In the 4 x 200-meter race, the foursome of Johnnie Caswell, Carson Milligan, Jack Hansen and Josh Edison was first with a time of 1:31.07. The combo of Ben Walter, Hansen, Luke Perry and Drake Bleier won the 4 x 800-meter competition in a time of 8:11.69. Triad capped the night off with a victory in the 4 x 400-meter relay. The quartet of Hansen, Edison, Walter and Milligan won with a time of 3:29.87.
“We nearly swept the relays, finishing second in the 4 x 100 to a good Collinsville squad by .08 seconds. We were only .2 seconds off our season best. The 4 x 800 took nine seconds off their season best. Ben Walter ran a solid 2:04.1 opening leg to keep us within striking distance of Edwardsville. Jack Hansen ran a scintillating 2:00.1 and nearly broke two to put us back up near the lead. Luke Perry ran an inspired 2:03.5 against the great Roland Prenzler, and Drake Bleier ran a 2:03.6 to bring home the win. Our 4 x 800 is currently ranked number one in the 2A state.
“The 4 x 200 continued to set the track ablaze. Johnnie Caswell put us in the lead, dominating his leg. Carson Milligan held our lead and Jack Hansen, in his third event of the night, kept us close. Sophomore Josh Edison ran away for the win and for our first Triad top 10 performance in this event in four years.
“The 4 x 400 ended the night with a five second season best and winning the show-stopping event in 3:29.87. All four guys ran PRs.
“Hansen competed in four events and PRed in every event he could. He was on three quarters of our relay teams and on all three relays that recorded season bests. Josh Edison and Carson Milligan also had big nights. They were both on all three sprint relays and they are both huge competitors. There is more to come from both of them in the last month of the season.”
Coming up with individual seconds for the Knights were Elliott and Caleb Ruiz. Elliott cleared 6-0 in the high jump and Ruiz went 13-6 in the pole vault.
“Jadon’s performance (in the pole vault) was awesome, but the energy was already high for us before he got to his big heights because sophomore Caleb Ruiz, vaulted a foot and a half PR to clear 13-6. The IHSA state qualifying height is 13-0. Caleb had some really good looks at 14. Coach Eric Postma now has two 2A state ranked athletes. Jadon and Caleb are currently sitting at number two and number eight in the state.”
Adding a Triad second in the 4 x 100-meter relay was the foursome of Luke Foreman, Caswell, Milligan and Edison. They finished the event with a time of 43.58 seconds.
Contributing thirds to the Triad cause were Jarod Willis in the 3200-meter run and Bleier in the 1600-meter run. Willis clocked in at 10:13.38, while Bleier finished his race in a time of 4:34.80.
Turning in fourth-place performances for the Knights were Hansen in the long jump (20-2.5) and Simon Covert in the 400-meter dash (54.34 seconds) and the 200-meter dash (24.12 seconds).
Earning a fifth-place medal for Triad was Seth Martin in the 3200-meter run (11:07.47).
Scoring points for the Knights with sixth-place performances were Kevin Pottorff in the long jump, James Wedmore in the triple jump, Everett Walsh in the shot put, Foreman in the 100-meter dash, Hunter Jones in the 200-meter dash and Logan Wongler in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.