Men and Women’s Varsity Track & Field Team Succeed At City Meet
by Cristian Trandafir
This track season, the entire Mustang track & field team qualified for the Chicago city championship meet. It is an invitational event, where only the best schools in the city (and some surrounding neighborhoods) are invited to run. On Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, both the men and women’s varsity track & field teams competed at Hanson Stadium. The massive stadium has historically been used for almost every elementary, middle school, and high school track city meet in Chicago.
Although the Mustangs typically qualify for the meet each year, many members do not look forward to attending due to the length of the meet. Daniel Agbeo, Adv. 808, said “I was lucky because they ran the 100 meter dash first this year, so I didn’t have to wait for hours like some of the people doing hurdles or the 3200 meter dash.” This year, there were 35 events in total--17 for the men’s team and 18 for the women’s. Each event takes time to set up, with teams scattered across the stadium, cancellations or postponements due to rain, referees disputing times after the race is finished, etc. It is not atypical for the entire meet to go on for more than seven hours. The 2017 city championship meet lasted for more than eight hours.
The meet this year started off with the men’s 100 meter dash. It is the most popular event each year, with dozens of competitors from each school and multiple heats. The women’s 100 meter dash proceeded the men’s, again with multiple heats. Guy Lohoua, Adv. 808, was the highest placing Mustang, achieving 14th place in the city. The 200 meter, 400 meter, and 800 meter dash all had the same results. However, one Mustang placed first in the 1600 meter run. Sara McCoy, Adv. 807, ran a 5:18 mile, barely beating out Whitney Young’s second place finisher with a 5:20. McCoy also finished third in the 3200 meter dash. Gabriel Vara, Adv. 900, ran a 10:50 in the 3200 meter run. The field events were also going on at the same time, but the rain picked up on Saturday, and the meet had to be postponed until the following day.
On Sunday, hurdles, relays, and field events kicked off the rest of the meet. Elias Decker, Adv. 806, set a new personal record in the 110 meter hurdles, as well as the 300 meter hurdles. The 4x100 meter relay was next, with Agbeo, Osazee Osaghae, Adv. 904, Nicholas Brown, Adv. 800, and Carel Jones, Adv. 802, placing fifth. The next relay team was the men’s 4x800, where Darius Deloye, Adv. 807, Minjun Kim, Adv. 906, Norberto Nieves, Adv. 900, and Jacob Yosowitz, Adv. 803, placed eighth. Randy Jackson, Adv. 000, was the last to complete an event and placed placing eighth in the triple jump.
Although the city championships are not a gateway to state, it still allowed the Mustangs to taste what awaited them at sectionals. The future meets for qualifying team members will be much more difficult than city. The Mustangs have been able to prove themselves as highly competitive, going against the Northside stereotype of being all brains. “I hope I can do just as well as I did at city, because finishing top three in state is my goal,” said McCoy. As the season comes to a close, everyone else who will qualify for future track meets will likely follow her words.