Fastest Man Competition puts the fleet in football
By Matthew Bruce For Sun-Times Media July 27, 2012 11:40PM
Lincoln-Way East's Nick Colangelo (right) beats Joliet West's Korey Rogers at the 16th Annual Football's Fastest Man Compeition. | Matthew Bruce~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 30, 2012 6:22AM
It was a competition in which the name explained it all.
And if they didn’t know already, Lincoln-Way East senior rusher Nick Colangelo proved the Griffins will have some speed in their backfield come the fall season.
Colangelo finished third at the 16th Annual Football’s Fastest Man Competition on Friday at Joliet West’s Ray Klootwyk Memorial Field.
“It was fun,” Colangelo said. “Nothing better than coming out here and having a good competition. I got a feel for a couple of other players, and that’s all I can ask for.”
The event was a showcase of speed as dozens of gridiron warriors took to the track and competed in 40-yard dashes. Colangelo got clipped in the semifinals by Hinsdale South Tavaris Binion, perhaps the fastest man in the state. Binion won the Class 3A state championship in the 100-meter dash in May. Binion edged Minooka speedster Devin Ingram in the championship run to win Friday’s event with a 4.50-second sprint.
“This was one of the best years we’ve had,” said Tim Graf, a speed trainer who helped found the annual midsummer combine. “The kids were great. It’s a really good competition, a nice atmosphere and people enjoy it.”
The event is an open invite for prep football players throughout the state with the sole mission of determining the fastest man on the track. Newman Catholic players, who made the two-hour trek from Sterling, won the team title. Minooka, guided by Ingram’s second-place showing, finished second in the team standings.
“I felt pretty psyched seeing all the guys on the track,” Ingram said, who said he felt a boost from the competition at the event. “I feel that if somebody is just as good as me, why can’t I be better? If somebody is better than me, why aren’t I better than them? So that’s just the motivation that I use.”
The double-elimination contest featured area gridders in four separate divisions being paired against one another to run in one-one-one heats. The divisions were based on position, with the four runners who won their respective position brackets racing in a finals race to determine the fastest man.
“It’s good to see them come out, compete and run. There were a couple of really good players in this group,” event coordinator Tim O’Halloran said. “It’s really just to emphasize the importance of speed.
“It’s just a fun event to have every year.”