Bureau Valley senior Ryan Taylor knows the IHSA State Track and Field Meet is more fun with teammates.
So Taylor scratched out of his individual events at the Class 1A Bureau Valley Sectional to make sure the Storm got the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter relays to Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium in Charleston this weekend.
“I went as a freshman in a relay,” Taylor said. “Having more guys there makes it a lot more memorable.”
Bureau Valley is seeded to advance to the finals in the 1,600 relay and is seeded just outside the finals in the 3,200.
In the 1,600 relay, Taylor, Logan Hoffert, Tucker Schoff and Daniel Trone are seeded ninth — which would give them the last spot in the finals — based on their sectional time of 3:28.64.
Taylor, Andrew Smith, Colton Peterson and Kane Eastwood ran an 8:27.2 at the sectional and are seeded 13th in the 3,200 relay. The top 12 advance to finals in the 3,200 relay.
“We don’t just let people beat us easy,” Taylor said. “We like to make it hard for people to win. We’re really competitive and that’s helped us.”
Hoffert also will compete in the 300 hurdles and the triple jump. Hoffert, who placed seventh in the 300 hurdles last year, is seeded ninth in the hurdles and 11th in the triple jump.
He will compete in both events against Hall senior Landon Piccatto, who was one of the 12 jumpers to reach the triple jump finals last year but did not medal.
Piccatto is seeded 10th in the triple jump and 17th in the 300 hurdles.
“Technically, it wasn’t a very good race,” Piccatto said after finishing fourth in the 300 hurdles at the Bureau Valley Sectional. “I hit a lot of hurdles, and I was jumping wrong off my left foot.”
St. Bede senior Steven Gualandri also will run the 300 hurdles. He is seeded fifth.
Like Hoffert, Marquette senior Luke Hill is returning to state after earning a medal last season.
He placed fourth in the 3,200 last year and is seeded seventh in the event this season. Hall sophomore Al Baldonado is seeded 20th in the event, while Henry-Midland junior Alex Pettis is seeded 21st.
Also competing are Marquette sophomore John MacBean in the discus, Bureau Valley senior Kristian Konneck in the 200 and Fieldcrest junior Dawson White in the 110 hurdles.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.