Boys Track and Field: Sandburg sending four relays to state meet
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media May 23, 2014 11:30PM
Updated: May 24, 2014 3:26PM
Sandburg’s four relay teams and Lockport double-winner Cody Andrus in the hurdles were among the top Southland performers Friday night at the Class 3A Romeoville Sectional at Lewis University.
Sandburg won the 3,200-meter and 800 relays and placed second in the 400 and 1,600 relays, advancing all four to next week’s state meet at Eastern Illinois.
Chris Torpy, Tom Brennan, Sean Torpy and Matt Hetzler started the track events by winning the 3,200 relay in 7 minutes, 47.56 seconds, which would have placed fourth in the state last year.
“We were really trying to get after it,’’ Sean Torpy said. “We knew it was going be a tough race. We had Downers North and Hinsdale Central out there. For the past couple years, we’ve been really focusing on getting the 4-by-800 down to state.’’
Sandburg’s 400 relay (43.01) of LaVelle Johnson, Jibreel Brown, Ryan Parthemore and Ayo Abiona took second to Bolingbrook (42.85) to earn a downstate berth.
The Eagles’ foursome of Parthemore, Brown, Dean Yozze and Abiona won the 800 relay (1:29.51) before the 1,600 relay (3:25.25) of Parthemore, Brown, Chris Torpy and Hetzler earned a state spot when it took second to Downers South (3:23.46).
Double champion Andrus raced to a sectional title in the 110 hurdles in 14.61 and came back to claim the 300 hurdles in 39.42.
“It’s a great feeling. I knew I could do it,’’ Andrus said. “The 300s I’ve been working really hard in practice for those. It was the goal to get down in both. To be able to accomplish that goal is a great feeling.’’
Lockport teammate Adrian Walkosz earned a sectional championship in the 400 (50.34).
“I felt really good. I finished hard, so I’m happy with what I did,’’ Walkosz said.
Walkosz, a senior, is a first-time state qualifier who missed the 2013 indoor season after suffering a broken collarbone in a snow boarding accident.
“I wasn’t as fast until this year, something happened,’’ Walkosz said. “I trained a lot more, too, and I actually had a full season. That helped a lot, too.’’
Oak Forest’s Luke Taccola won the shot put (53 feet, 6 inches) and took second in the discus (162-0) to advance in both events.
“It’s a culmination of my last four years,’’ Taccola said. “I’ve been training since sixth grade for this. A couple weeks ago, you couldn’t have told me I was going to qualify for the disc. I was throwing 130. All of a sudden, I was throwing big distances. Shot put I’ve always been better at.’’
Five runners in the 3,200 advanced to the state meet, led by Downers North’s Zack Smith (1st, 9:16.28). The lone Southland qualifier was Shepard’s Josh Maier, who ran 9:27.95 to place fifth and beat the 9:29.04 standard.
Downers North’s Ryan Clevenger won the 1,600 (4:17.02) and Sandburg’s Denis O’Callaghan was second (4:17.49).