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St. Bede senior Michael Slingsby unleashes a throw in the discus at Friday’s Class 1A Erie Sectional. The Bruin star won the event with a toss of 136 feet, 11 inches to advance to next weekend’s IHSA State Track & Field Meet in Charleston. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
ERIE — The IHSA Boys State Track & Field Meet is going to have plenty of area athletes in its ranks next weekend after they brought their A-game at Friday’s Class 1A Erie Sectional.
Not only did three local relay teams and nine individuals qualify for state, but many athletes will represent their schools in multiple events, including Hall senior Collin Aimone and Bureau Valley senior Kane Eastwood, both of whom qualified for state in three events.
Aimone finished second in two individual events — the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 11 inches and the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.29 — and joined Patrick Einhaus, Chris Hammonds and Alic Hernandez to finish second in the 400 relay with a time of 44.34.
“I wasn’t too happy with long jump, but second is second and state is state,” Aimone said. “In the 400, that Mayberry kid (Ryan Mayberry of Morrison) is tall and he pushed me to get my best time in that, so I was happy. I wish I could have got him, but I give him props. I wanted to make sure I crossed the finish line with nothing left and I did that. I’m happy with how I did today.”
Eastwood won the 800 with a time of 2:01.94 and was part of two victorious Storm relays.
The 3,200 relay of Eastwood, Ryan Taylor, Daniel Trone and Colten Peterson won with a school-record time of 8:12.48, while the 1,600 relay of Trone, Tucker Schoff, Peterson and Eastwood finished a nose ahead Erie-Prophetstown as Eastwood leaned his face across the finishing line at 3:28.63 — six-hundredths seconds before E-P.
“I’m really glad I made it down with my relay teams and as an individual,” Eastwood said. “There were nerves until I got to race time, then it was just another race.”
St. Bede thrower Michael Slingsby won the discus with a throw of 136-11 to beat teammate John Barnes’ second-place heave of 135-06.
However, Barnes got the best of Slingsby in the shot put as Barnes placed second with a toss of 48-01 and Slingsby took third and didn’t qualify.
They both will compete in the discus at state, while Barnes will also compete in the shot put.
“It feels good. There is a lot of pressure off my chest,” said Slingsby, who is a first-time state qualifier. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to go to state and I wanted to get there. I practiced a lot. I threw a lot to get it down pat.”
Aimone and Eastwood were not the only members of their respected teams to make it to state in individual events as Hall senior Al Baldonado won the 3,200 and BV senior Tucker Schoff’s time of 41.45 in the 300 hurdles bested the state-qualifying time of 42.0 seconds.
Baldonado won the 3,200 by 18-tenths of a second as he crossed the finish line at 9:54.01, and Henry senior Alex Pettis finished second at 9:54.19.
“I was really nervous going into the race because I had a lot of competition,” Baldonado said. “I have ran (state) qualifying times before this but you can never be for sure. On the last straightaway, I saw that first place was right there and I just grabbed it.”
“When we had three laps to go, going into the sixth lap I had to convince myself ‘If you stay with him, you’ll get him at the end.’ I just convinced myself to stay and hang on.”
Fieldcrest junior Levi Schmillen will also compete in the 3,200 as his time of 9:57.19 beat the automatic state-qualifying time of 10:04.00.
Schmillen will be joined by teammate Dawson White, who won the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.53.
“I went into the race mad about my 110 (hurdles),” White said. “I went to state last year in 110s and I was hoping to go back in both this year. I just went into the 300s thinking ‘OK, prove yourself. Let’s do it right here.’ I was in Lane 3 so I had a view of everybody else ahead of me. It looked pretty even and at the 150 mark I tried to kick it in and give it my all.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
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