If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Anthony Jones
At the East Alton-Wood River boys track sectional, Triad’s 4×100 relay recorded one of their slowest times of the season at 43.13 seconds. Yet, given the circumstances, their performance may be their most impressive.
As the top-ranked team in IHSA Class 2A, the relay team of Tristan Darby, Tashon Crockarell, Cory Warren and Louis Yohannes seemed like a surefire pick to advance to state, but disaster struck as lane interference from another team led to a failed handoff.
After a successful petition based on the interference, the squad was granted a rerun. However, the conditions for their second attempt were less than ideal as they were to run by themselves and just minutes after two of their runners competed in the 4×400 relay.
Despite the challenges, the Knights would still qualify for state in their redo. Their time of 43.13 seconds was well below the state qualifying mark and earned second place overall.
While the petition to rerun was still undecided, the same four runners also competed in the 4×200 relay. The Knights blazed to a time of 1:27.78 to not only win the race, but to break the school record and become the top-ranked team in IHSA Class 2A.
In addition to their two relay state qualifications, Triad advanced to the state meet in five other events. While all top-two finishers automatically advance, all seven of Triad’s advancers met the state qualifying marks.
The first came from pole vaulter Parker Friedrich, as all pole vaulting was held a day early on May 17. Finishing in third place, the junior punched his ticket to the season’s culminating meet with a height of 3.96 meters. Friedrich’s advancement extended Triad’s streak of state qualifying a pole vaulter to ten years.
In the high jump, Crockarell became the first Knight to qualify for state on May 18. The junior cleared a height of 1.90 meters to finish second overall.
Zach Van Tieghem also took runner-up honors for Triad, doing so in the shot put. His best toss of 15.38 meters made him one of three competitors to advance from the East Alton-Wood River Sectional. Earlier in the meet, Van Tieghem finished sixth in the discus on a 42.34 meter toss.
Sophomore Drew Twyman ran his way into third place overall in the 1600 meter, but his time of 4:30.90 bested the state qualifying mark of 4:35.35. His sectional performance was over a six second personal record.
Finishing in sixth place, junior Mile Venhaus only scored one point in the 800 meter for Triad. Venhaus’s time of 2:01.63 made him one of six competitors to surpass the state qualifying mark of 2:01.83.
Triad’s best race without state qualifying was the 3200 meter. Drew Pace finished third with a time of 10:27.53 and Sam Kuckuck followed him in fourth at 10:38.94. Pace missed second place by less than 4 seconds and Kuckuck finished as the fastest underclassmen.
In one of his four events at the sectional, Yohannes finished fourth in the 110 meter hurdles. The sophomore’s time of 15.71 seconds was only bested by seniors.
With a height of 3.51 meters, pole vaulter Zack Rice provided Triad’s only other scoring finisher. The junior finished in sixth place overall.
The Knights just missed scoring in three seventh place finishes. One of said finishes came from Jalen LaFrance, who clocked in at 17.82 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles.
Ian Dempsey provided another seventh place finish with a 12.20 meter triple jump mark. The sophomore leaper also took eighth in the long jump on a 6.08 meter hop.
Triad’s 4×400 relay squad of Yohannes, Warren, Dempsey and Venhaus finished seventh place overall with a 3:41.61 time.
The Knights would finish the postseason meet in third place overall. Their team total of 63 points was only bested by East St. Louis and Cahokia.