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Princeton’s Drew Pranka runs to victory in the hurdles Saturday at Mendota’s Don Gooden Invitational. Pranka won the 110-meter hurdles in 16.66 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 42.07 seconds. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Mendota junior Ryan Reeder soars into the pit during the triple jump Saturday at Mendota’s Don Gooden Invitational. Reeder won the triple jump with a leap of 41 feet, 1 inch and the high jump by tying the meet record of 6-4. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
MENDOTA — The annual Don Gooden Invitational was a close points battle throughout Saturday’s five-hour contest.
Princeton finished in second place with 91 points. The Tigers were seven points behind Somonauk with 98 points and 8 ½ points ahead of the host Trojans (82.5).
Drew Pranka led the Tigers with two first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (16.66 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (42.07) along with a second-place finish in the pole vault with a hoist of 11 feet, 6 inches.
Princeton’s first-place finishes didn’t stop with Pranka as Caleb Strom won the long jump with a leap of 20-8.
Strom and Pranka joined Kai Tomaszewski and Blake Janssen for the 400 relay to take second with a time of 46.2 seconds.
PHS would have taken third, but Mendota was scratched from the event — the Trojans would have won — because of a baton passing violation.
“I think everything at this meet has been promising,” Mendota coach Brock Sondgeroth said. “Even that DQ in the 4x1 meter, we ran well, it was just we caught the (baton) early by about a foot. That can easily be adjusted. I was really pleased with us and hopefully it will get our kids angry and make them go faster.” Mendota’s highest point gatherers were Ryan Reeder.
The junior won the high jump with a personal best and invite record-tying 6-4, claimed the triple jump with a hop of 41-1 and helped Mendota’s 800 relay team to second place in 1:36.5 along with Wyatt Martinson, Mikan Biers and Bryce Otterbach.
“That’s my personal record, so I was already excited and then when I found out it was for the record, it made it better,” Reeder said. “I wasn’t really sure how I was going to feel today. My hamstring has been tight all week and it didn’t really loosen up today, but in the end it all turned out OK.”
Martinson and Sandwich’s Austin Breunig had a photo finish in the 100 as Martinson took second after stumbling at the start and at the finish line.
He crossed the line in 11.53 seconds, while Breunig finished in 11.52.
The 200 was similar as Martinson took second to Breunig with times of 23.63 and 23.53, respectively.
Patrick O’Sadnick took third in the 110 hurdles behind Pranka and Byron’s Danny Falconer, while Adam Kellen took first in discus by beating St. Bede’s throwers Michael Slingsby and John Barnes with a toss of 132-4.
Slingsby might have been bested in the discus — which had a long delay because two tape measurers broke — but he did the besting in the shot put. The senior took first with a throw of 47-11.
“I threw alright today. I wasn’t really happy with how I threw, but I’m getting better,” Slingsby said. “I didn’t pull the leg as high as I could have and I threw too high.”
Bureau Valley senior Justin Buckman finished second with a throw of 45 feet and Fieldcrest senior Trevor Muntz took third with a toss of 42-8.5.
The Storm finished fifth in team standings with a score of 76.5 behind Buckman’s discus, Kane Eastwood’s first-place time of 2:06.7 in the 800 and Tucker Schoff’s second-place time of 42.55 in the 300 hurdles.
Eastwood and Schoff were joined by Colton Peterson and Ryan Taylor to win the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:36.8.
St. Bede finished eighth with a score of 32, Hall came in 12th with a score of 21 and Fieldcrest took 13th in the 14-team invite with 15 points.
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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