Boys Track and Field: Bolingbrook earns title at Thornridge Invite
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media April 6, 2013 10:08PM
Providence hurdler Andrew Helman (right) was the only varsity athlete to win two events at the Blue Smoke Invitational Saturday at Thornridge. | Jeff Vorva~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 6, 2013 2:25AM
Veteran Bolingbrook coach Art Pahl separated his thumb and forefinger less than an inch apart to show how close a couple of his athletes were from qualifying for the state meet last year.
“Kokeith Perry missed qualifying in the 800-meter run by an eighth of a second,” he said. “And my triple jumper (Parrker Westphal) missed by three inches. So we have some hopes this year.”
Both Raiders opened the season Saturday with victories to help their team score 154 points to win the 19th TJ Shirley Blue Smoke Invitational at Thornridge. It’s the second time in a row the Raiders won the 11-team, 29-event meet that also includes scoring from frosh-soph events and a weight man relay in which shot put and discus throwers compete in a running event.
Perry, a senior, won the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 5.80 seconds, while teammate Peyton Chapman was runner-up (2:06.70). Perry also joined Johnathan Cook, Jerome Davis and Chapman as 3,200 relay champs. Westphal, a junior, won the triple jump with a 43-foot, 3.5-inch effort, four inches better than Thornridge’s Phillip Thompson.
Other Bolingbrook winners included Ben Junkroski (pole vault), Damari Portis (frosh-soph long jump) and Justin Rivers (frosh-soph high jump).
“We had a good indoor season and I like coming to meets where the maximum amount of people participate,” Pahl said. “Coming here with a lot of frosh-soph events gives these kids a chance to participate, which is good since we haven’t been able to do anything the last couple of weeks because of the weather.”
Thornridge finished second with 136 points, Crete-Monee was third with 122 and Providence was fourth with 100 despite winning six events.
The Celtics, a Class 2A power last year who moved up to 3A this year, were missing pole vaulter Chad Weaver (away on a spring break trip), 400 state qualifier Kevin Ward (who had recent season-ending hip surgery) and Jake Hopkins (who injured his knee in the 200 preliminaries Saturday).
Providence’s Andrew Helmin (13.60 seconds in the 110 high hurdles and 39.30 in the 300 intermediate hurdles) was the lone varsity competitor to win two individual events in the meet. He finished fourth in the state in both events in Class 2A last year. He is heading to Notre Dame next year.
“I’m not into shape yet,” Helmin said. “I don’t mean I’m out of shape because I haven’t been running, I mean I’m not in the same shape I will be in when it comes to the state meet. I need a little more endurance and that will come.’’
Other varsity individual champs were Lincoln-Way East’s Scott Hammond (100), Young’s Jon Villasenor (1,600), Lincoln-Way East’s Ben Hedges (3,200), Joliet Central’s Favio Nunez (discus), Joliet Central’s Sean Swabowski (shot put), Providence’s Mike Monroe (high jump), Thornridge’s Thompson (long jump), Young’s John Franklin (400) and Lincoln-Way North’s Julian Hylton (200).