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Boys State Track and Field: Providence’s Andrew Helmin gets leg up in hurdles

Providence Catholic's Andrew Helmleads 3A 110-meter hurdles prelim. Also attempting qualify are ThorntFractional North's NikitSmith (left) Lincoln-Way East's AustCoryd(right). |

Providence Catholic's Andrew Helmin leads the 3A 110-meter hurdles prelim. Also attempting to qualify are Thornton Fractional North's Nikita Smith (left) and Lincoln-Way East's Austin Corydon (right). | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 27, 2013 6:56AM



CHARLESTON, Ill. — Andrew Helmin’s day was pretty good but not perfect, at least in his eyes.

The Providence senior had the fastest qualifying time in the 110-meter hurdles Friday in the Class 3A preliminaries at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field, running 14.19 seconds. He also had the second-best time in the 300 hurdles, a 38.36.

“I’m in the finals, a little nervous, but that’s all that matters,” Helmin said. “If you’re not nervous, you don’t want to be out there.”

One thing Helmin wants to do is sort out his footwork in the 300s, where his qualifying time still trailed only that of Lyons’ Lino Mogorovic (37.72).

“I want to do a little better than that,” Helmin said. “That’s not the time I want to be getting (Saturday).

“I got my wrong lead leg again. It is what it is; I really don’t know what the problem is. It just happens and I can’t extend the leg. It’s usually the fourth or fifth hurdle. ... I’m on the wrong leg and not (getting) as much power going over the hurdle so it slows me down.”

Still, Helmin was fast enough to get to the finals along with teammates Chad Weaver (pole vault) and Mike Monroe (high jump), who cleared the qualifying heights in their respective events.

T.F. North, Bloom and Thornton all advanced three entries to the 3A finals.

Bloom senior William Williams had the best prelim effort in the long jump at 23 feet, 8 inches. Teammate Micah Frazier qualified eighth in the 200 (22.17) and on the eighth-seeded 400 relay team (42.53).

For Thornton, Tifonte Hunt (3rd, 110 hurdles, 14.42) and Jauan Wesley (4th, 100, 10.74) each qualified individually and as part of the sixth-seeded 400 relay (42.44).

T.F. North’s Marvell Thompson advanced in both the 400 (3rd, 49.31) and 200 (9th, 22.20), while Nikita Smith qualified in the 110 hurdles (7th, 14.63).

Sandburg’s 3,200 relay team of Denis O’Callaghan, Sean Torpy, Nicholas Prajka and Pat McMahon won its heat in 7:50.89 and is second-seeded for the finals.

“Very good way to start the day,” McMahon said. “Our handoffs looked beautiful (Friday). Everybody did their job.”

Lincoln-Way North’s Julian Hylton won his 100 heat with the second-best qualifying time (10.68), but experienced a leg cramp in his 200 heat and missed the last qualifying spot by one place and three-hundredths of a second.

“I’ve just got to focus on (Saturday),” Hylton said. “Try to run my best and prepare for next year.”

In Class 2A, Thornridge has finalists in five events, led by triple qualifier Yemi Ogunbamero (400 relay, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles).

The area’s top 2A prelims performance came from Hillcrest’s Moshood Adeyemo, the top seed in the 200 at 21.89. He also advanced in the triple jump (fifth, 44-7.5).

“I think I started to die a little bit,” said Adeyemo, who plans a different pre-race regimen for the finals: “Maybe eat some more food, protein, so I can have the energy.”

St. Laurence’s Mike Hyc is seeded second in the shot put (57-11.5) and third in the discus (171-11).



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