Boys Track and Field: Nash helps Crete-Monee run off with title
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media April 12, 2014 7:26PM
Crete-Monee's Quentin Nash passes Lincoln-Way North's Billy Hurley to win the 1,600-meter relay at The Blue Smoke Invitational on April 11, 2014. | Jim Karczewski\For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 14, 2014 6:50AM
When Crete-Monee’s Quentin Nash received the baton on the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay, he trailed Lincoln-Way North by what looked to be an insurmountable distance — or “about 20 to 30 meters” from Nash’s perspective.
“He had a distance on me, but I was determined to close the gap,” he said. “I trusted my training and waited for the last 100-meter stretch and just went for it.”
Nash hit the jets and sailed smoothly past the finish line, leading Crete-Monee to a first-place finish in Thornridge’s 20th Annual TJ Shirley Blue Smoke Invitational on Saturday.
Nash won the 400 meters in 49.6 seconds and led the 1,600 relay to a time of 3:29.7.
“I ran the 400 last year,” Nash said, “but I was nowhere near as mentally or physically ready as I am now.”
Crete-Monee topped Bolingbrook, the meet’s reigning champion, 134-129, and outdistanced itself from a strong 12-team field that included Providence (105 points), Bradley (96), Joliet Central (94), Thornridge (86.5) and Lincoln-Way East (85).
Crete-Monee coach Brian O’Donnell called the sprint relays the strength of the team. The Warriors also triumphed in the 800 relay (1:30.8).
Bolingbrook’s Joshua Collins nabbed the 100 title in 10.6, and the Raiders went 1-2 in the long jump and pole vault. Jesse Pape and Ben Junkroski each vaulted 13 feet, 6 inches, while John Hall (21-91/2) topped Demare Portis (20-111/2) in the long jump.
Thornridge’s Nick Fizer conquered the 200 in 22.9 and anchored the winning 400 relay, which included Deonta Moses, Kevonte Fox and Raheem Stingley.
After “not finishing right” in the 200 during the Class 2A state prelims last year, placing 10th and just missing out on the state finals, Fizer has a new motto for his senior campaign.
“Finish through the line,” he said. “I want to be a state champion this year.”
Stingley, who ran the Falcons’ third leg, was happy to be back on the track after pulling a hamstring in last year’s sectionals. He had to watch from the sidelines as the 400 relay team took sixth in Class 2A.
“A minor setback for a major comeback,” Stingley said.
Lincoln-Way East state-placer Austin Corydon finished first in the 110 high hurdles, turning in a 14.1 despite a few hiccups with the wind at his back.
“I hit a couple — almost fell once because I nailed it — but I pushed through,” said Corydon, who added a first-place finish in the 300 hurdles (41.2).
Providence’s Mike Monroe won the high jump at 6-8. Joliet Central’s Salvador Lazaro won the 3,200 in 9:51, and teammate Favio Nunez was first in the discus (158-10). Lincoln-Way East’s Chris Kocur took the mile in 4:39.2.