Boys Track and Field: Homewood-Flossmoor’s Matt Anyiwo a force on qualifying day at state meet
By Mike Clark email@example.com May 30, 2014 8:06PM
Homewood-Flossmoor's Matt Anyiwo sweeps the competition in the 400-meter dash prelim. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 31, 2014 4:14PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. — Qualifying day at state track is all about doing what’s necessary and not a lot more.
“I’ve got three events to do, it’s hot out here,” Homewood-Flossmoor’s Matt Anyiwo said. “You try to get to tomorrow and do your best (then).”
Mission accomplished for Anyiwo, who had the fastest qualifying time in the Class 3A 800 meters at 1 minute, 54.95 seconds. He also won his 400 heat (49.25) and anchored the Vikings’ 1,600 team to a spot in the finals at 3:19.86.
“He ran the way we needed him to run,” H-F coach Nate Beebe said. “He ran a very smart, tactical race in the (800), didn’t have to push too hard in the (400), got himself through. He did have to work in that 4-by-4.”
Anyiwo did have to reach back for a little extra in the metric quarter-mile, by his own estimate: “The guy from Bloomington (Johnathon Warren) really made me work hard on that back stretch.”
He expects to do the same Saturday, when he’s hoping to go under 1:51 in the 800 and under 48 seconds in the 400.
“I just hope everybody doesn’t run a strategic race, just goes out there to run their best,” he said.
Also maneuvering for Saturday were Jauan Wesley and his Thornton teammates, who are trying to win the school’s second state trophy in four seasons. The Wildcats and Downers Grove North both have seven finals qualifiers, one fewer than four-time defending champ Lake Park, York, Neuqua Valley and Edwardsville.
“We’re trying to get in a great position to win the state trophy (Saturday),” said Wesley, who advanced in the 100 (10.82) and as a member of the 400 and 800 relay teams, which ran 41.88 and 1:26.65, respectively.
With so many teams in the running for a top-three spot, every single point takes on importance.
“Coach (Vince McAuliffe) emphasizes that every night,” Wesley said. “And probably after this (day), he’s probably going to emphasize it some more.”
Thornton also advanced Jowahn Brown in the long jump (21-11.25) and triple jump (45-1.5), Tifonte Hunt in the 110 hurdles (14.27) and Adonis Johnson in the triple jump (44-10.75).
“All of our heavy hitters were where we needed,” McAuliffe said. “I think ... it’s going to be as competitive as can be.”
The only other Southland teams with multiple athletes advancing in 3A were H-F and Bloom with three each, and Sandburg and Providence with two apiece.
The Blazing Trojans will have two runners in the 110 hurdles final (Jonah Wiley and Daylen Hubbard). Wiley also advanced in the long jump. Sandburg advanced in the 3,200 relay and qualified Denis O’Callaghan in the 1,600, while Providence’s finalists are pole vaulter Andy Jatis and high jumper Mike Monroe.
Crete-Monee’s Elijah Douglas is the top qualifier in the 3A long jump at 23 feet, 0.25 inch.
“He’s been just getting better and better,” Crete-Monee coach Brian O’Donnell said of Douglas, who had a personal best by 3 inches.
Also advancing in 3A were Brother Rice’s Jordan Boyd (high jump), Oak Forest’s Luke Taccola (shot put), Lincoln-Way East’s Austin Corydon (110 hurdles), Lockport’s Cody (110 hurdles), T.F. North’s Adonis Barnes (300 hurdles) and Lincoln-Way North’s Julian Hylton (200).
In Class 2A, Franklin Hunt led the way for Rich Central, winning his 100 heat (10.88), running on the 800 relay team that won its heat and advancing in the 200.
Illiana Christian got its 3,200 relay through to the final and also advanced Kevin Vroegh (800).
Also moving on were Marian Catholic’s Matthew Martinson (high jump), Hillcrest’s Luther Newburn (triple jump), St. Laurence’s Anthony Berrios (800) and Morgan Park’s Brandon Riley (400).