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By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville had several qualifiers for the Class 3A state track meet in Charleston at Eastern Illinois University over the weekend.
While the Kahoks did not get any podium finishes (top nine) they did gain valuable experience for a possible return to next year’s meet.
“Great performances,” said CHS coach Darryl Frerker. “The boys I think performed well but when you go to the state meet it seems like if you don’t set a personal record you’re not going to be on the stand.”
Junior KJ Thorps-Watt and sophomore Devin Habermehl each qualified for the final day in their respective events.
“Obviously it was awesome from that standpoint to get those two boys to Saturday,” said Frerker.
Thorps-Watt was a return qualifier to the second day of high jump competition. While he was unable to improve on his ninth place finish from a year ago he came close.
He cleared 1.90 meters or 6’ 2” but couldn’t quite clear the next height and finished in 12th place.
“He was right there in the high jump,” said Frerker. “He barely took the bar off with a heel on his best jump of the three. Every time he was over it, but he just drug the bar off with a hamstring or a heel. If he had cleared that jump which was 1.92 meters, the qualifying mark he would’ve been on the awards stand.”
Voldy Makabu of Champaign (Central) cleared 2.04 meters or 6-7 to set a personal best and win the state title.
Habermehl took a 10th place finish in the discus with a toss of 46.28 meters or 151-8.
“Devin threw a bomb that was just barely out of the sector that would’ve put him on the medals stand,” said Frerker. “That was unfortunate but he’s a sophomore. Just keep your head up and I know next year he’ll come back even stronger. He’s just a hard worker, a great kid.”
Kahok senior Jonathan Sewell also made it to state but was unable to qualify for the second day in the discus. He finished in 24th place with a best throw of 39.77 meters or 130-4.
“Sewell’s a great kid, he just didn’t have a personal record to get to the finals,” Frerker said.
Maverick Ohle of Naperville (Central) tossed the disc 55.82 meters or 183-1 to win the state title.
Junior Trey Peterson was one of 54 qualifiers in the 800 meters. Unfortunately he did not have his best day as he took 49th place with a solid time of 2:03.57.
“We knew it was going to take a personal record,” began Frerker. “Trey went out after it and there was a gap between number one and the rest of the pack and Trey was in that gap. He went through the quarter in under 56 (seconds). It was absolutely perfect exactly where we needed to be, wanted to be and he said he came through the quarter and his legs started to hurt and just couldn’t finish from there.
“The bottom line is you go out after it and you’re either there or you’re not. Unfortunately he was not but it was his first time there.”
Dan Watcke of Hinsdale (Central) ran a ridiculous time of 1:52.16 to win the state title. He won the 800 in 2021 and is committed to run next year at the University of Oregon. Watcke was also named the Gatorade Illinois cross country athlete of the year for this academic school year.
The 4×400 meter relay team of Peterson, Jalek Nelson, Jeremiah Yarbough and Trent Strong did not qualify for the second day of the meet. They took 41st place with a time of 3:30.54.
“Jalek led off and was up front and handed off in second,” said Frerker. “Then Jermiah Yarbough – someone lit a fire under him – he took off and handed off in the lead, but we just couldn’t win it. We would’ve had to win the heat to qualify. It would’ve taken a personal record and everyone would’ve had to run a second faster and it just wasn’t in the making.
“Jeremiah’s the only senior but hopefully we’ll qualify those guys and more next year.”
Yorkville won the state title in the relay with a time of 3:19.04.
IHSA Team scores
Homewood-Flossmoor won the 3A title with 58 points while Naperville (Neuqua Valley) had 42 and Champaign (Centennial) had 40.
Edwardsville and Hinsdale (Central) tied for fourth place with 37 points. Tiger Malik Allen was the triple jump state champion.
In Class 2A, East St. Louis scored 79 points to beat Cahokia’s total of 59. Herrin was third with 47 points while Columbia took fifth with 33. Salem was seventh with 21 points.
In Class 1A Catlin (Salt Fork) made it back-to-back state titles with Shelbyville and Newton placing second and third.