Boys and girls track season update: Strong performances dominating, sectionals around the corner
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 9:14am
Strong performances are dominating this year’s Uni High boys and girls track teams. The teams are a more than halfway through their outdoor season and have been excelling in multiple areas.
Before the outdoor season even started, Uni was represented by five members of the boys team at the unofficial indoor state meet, otherwise known as Prep Top Times. Senior Iain Konigsberg, junior Nealay Kalita, and sophomores George Gunter, Jonny Yockey, and Vinay Shanbhag all had the opportunity to compete at the meet.
In order to run at Prep Top Times, an individual, or a relay team, must meet a qualifying standard at some point during their indoor season. Unfortunately, no member of the girl's team was able to meet the qualifying standards during the indoor season. However, the boys who did meet the standards did so with flying colors.
Junior Nealay Kalita (second from the left, orange uniform) competes in the 100m dash at St. Thomas More along with senior Nick Cho (second from the right, orange uniform). Gargoyle photo by Lara Orlandic (click to enlarge)
Konigsberg, Gunter, Yockey, and Shanbhag qualified as a 4x800 meter relay team. In one of the first few meets of the season, the relay team surpassed the qualifying time and earned their chance to compete at the Prep Top Times meet. They also ran the time again a couple meets later.
At the Prep Top Times meet, the relay team ran a personal best of 8:37.01. Though they did not medal, this time was a great improvement from their previous times and showed promise for the relay team in later meets.
Gunter also participated in an individual event: the 800 meter run. Gunter managed to secure his spot early in the indoor season just like the relay team, and at the Prep Top Times meet, Gunter gave a great showing. His time was a personal best, 2:01.22, and Gunter ran away with the 5th place medal.
Kalita qualified for the 200 meter run at the very last indoor meet of the season before Prep Top. At a meet in Charleston, Kalita ran the 200 meters in 23.97, slipping just under the qualifying standard and securing himself a spot at the Prep Top Times meet.
At the meet, Kalita did not run his best time, but getting the chance to compete at Prep Top is an honor on its own. All five members of the boys team represented Uni well during the indoor season and at the Prep Top Times meet.
Freshman Joy Jin (orange uniform) rounds the last curve of her 800m race at St. Thomas More. Gargoyle photo by Lara Orlandic (click to enlarge)
After a strong performance at Prep Top by the boys team, the boys and girls track team had their first outdoor meet on March 29 at PBL. On the girl's side, senior Tanya Denisova and sophomore Havah Berg swept first and second place respectively in the 800 meter run. Junior Emma Hoyer, who previously held the girls shot put school record at 30 feet 7 inches, bested her previous mark to 30 feet 11 inches.
On the boys side, the 4x100 meter relay team, the 4x200 meter relay team, and the 4x400 meter relay team all placed first. Kalita had a strong individual showing, placing first in the 100 meter run as well as the 200 meter run. Gunter took first in the 800 meter run.
At Uni’s first meet at St. Thomas More, Hoyer once again bested the school record with a throw of 31-10. Gunter and Yockey took second and third respectively in the 800 meter run, Konigsberg took third in the 1600 meter run, and Kalita took second in the 200 meter run.
Both teams returned to PBL for a second meet, and this time around, there was more success among both teams.
Sophomore Lea Slauch (second from the left, orange uniform) starts strong during the 100m dash at the Girls Unity Invitational. Gargoyle photo by Lara Orlandic (click to enlarge)
For the girls, sophomore Lara Orlandic won the 3200 meter run, junior Chelsea Edwards won both the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdle events, Denisova won the 800 meter run, sophomore Niyah Jackson won the 200 meter dash, and sophomore Lea Slauch took second in the 100 meter dash.
The boys almost won the meet as a team, but ended up missing first place by one point behind PBL. Once again, the 4x100 meter relay team, the 4x200 meter relay team, and the 4x400 meter relay team each took first. Shanbhag won the 3200 meter run, Gunter won the 800 meter run, junior Kody Carmody won the 300 meter hurdle event, Kalita won the 100 and the 200 meter dash, Yockey won the 1600 meter run, and senior Joey Smith won the long jump.
After returning to PBL for the second time this season, the girls team had their first invitational at Unity High School, which is also where they will be competing when Sectionals comes around on May 11.
The only two athletes to score were Hoyer and Edwards. Hoyer took third in the discus with a throw of 107-7, breaking her previous mark of 105-9. Edwards took fifth in both the 100 meter and the 300 meter hurdle events.
Junior Kody Carmody takes a practice jump over a hurdle at St. Thomas More before competing in the 110m high hurdle event. Gargoyle photo by Lara Orlandic (click to enlarge)
The teams returned to St. Thomas More for the second time a couple days later. The girl’s 4x800 meter relay team, the 4x100 meter relay team, and the 4x200 meter relay team all took second. Berg took third in the 800 meter run, Jackson won the 100 and 200 meter dash, Slauch took second in the 100 meter dash, Edwards took second in the 100 meter hurdles, and Denisova and Orlandic took third and fourth in the 1600 meter run.
The boy’s 4x800 meter relay team and the 4x200 meter relay team each took second, Carmody won the 300 meter hurdles and took second in the 110 meter hurdles, Kalita took third in the 100 meter dash and won the 200 meter dash, and senior Tahar Bowen-Pinto took third in the 200 meter dash.
Also at that same meet, Hoyer, for the third time this season, broke the school's shot put record with a throw of 33 feet 2 inches, and senior Steven Morse broke Uni’s boy’s discus record. The record was set by Frankie McFarland in 2008 with a throw of 141-1. At St. Thomas More, Morse both won the discus event and set Uni’s record at 142-1.
The very next day, the freshmen and sophomore boys had a meet at PBL. The highlight of the meet was Gunter’s performance in the 800 meter run. He ran a time of 2:04.35 and set the meet record for the freshman-sophomore meet at PBL. Other notable performances were Shanbhag’s win in the 3200 meter run, Yockey’s win in the 1600 meter run, and the 4x400 meter relay team taking second place.
Tonight, the boys will compete at St. Joseph and the girls will compete at Monticello. With Sectionals around the corner, both teams will be practicing and competing hard for the rest of the season. Hopefully, we'll see multiple athletes qualify for the IHSA State meets and get the opportunity to compete at the News-Gazette meet.