The annual Mustang Invitational provides blueprints to future success for boys track

Metea runners line up before the 1600-meter run.

Max Berglind

Metea runners line up before the 1600-meter run.

Max Berglind, Sports Reporter

This past Saturday, the Mustangs hosted their annual Mustang Invitational. They are coming off of a meet the previous Tuesday hosted by Neuqua Valley. The team welcomed seven other schools, including Hoffman Estates, Marmion Academy, Naperville Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield North, Warren Township, and Wheaton-Warrenville South.

The first event of the day was the triple jump. Senior Xavier London took quick care of the rest of the field with a distance of 13.12 meters, almost a full meter ahead of second place. 

Shotput was the next competition. Senior Jake Paulline and junior Evan Sweeney set personal records with distances of 14.3 meters on their throws, placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Senior Braden Ventrella also had a throw of 8.81 meters.

The next event in which the Mustangs had competitors was the long jump. London had a leap of 6.33 meters, placing him fourth amongst the rest of the field. Junior Jalien Shegog set his new season record at 6.16 meters. Senior Andrey Voropayev put out a 5.52-meter attempt as well.

London would compete in one more event, the high jump. He placed second out of ten, with his attempt hitting 1.85 meters. 

Sweeney and senior Luke Gavin set personal records in the discus throw. The two threw 40.31 and 35.18 meters, respectively. Paulline also threw in the event, with his attempt reaching 38.18 meters. 

The 4×800 meter relay did not meet the expectations of the Mustangs. The team consisting of junior Connor Vine, junior Rohan Shah, sophomore Joshua Murray, and senior Haricharan Musunuri ran a cumulative 9:08.74. The team placed sixth out of the six teams participating in the event. 

The two-mile (3200-meter run) was next. Sophomore Austin Brown finished under the oh-so-elusive ten-minute mark, finishing with a time of 9:59.24. Junior Alex Trimeloni followed with an 11:21.89. 

Brown was ecstatic with his performance by setting a personal record in the race. 

“It felt good breaking ten,” Brown said. “Especially being on the home track. It was really something special. I mean, it got difficult, especially on those last two laps in the wind, but it was a really great experience.”

The head distance coach Ruben Nino also praised Brown’s achievement. 

“It was a good accomplishment for him,” Nino said. “Just a testament of his hard working dedication the season, just showing the rest of the guys that we are capable of going in those times and exceeding the two-mile and mile times as well.” 

The following event was the 110-meter hurdles. Senior Jalen Johnson stole the show with a 14.69-second time, more than enough for first place. 

Junior Arthur Cox and sophomore Daniel Pere led the way in the 100-meter dash, posting 11.5 and 11.65 second-times. Senior Luke Jachimiec got off to a late start and finished with a time of 16.17 seconds.

In the 800-meter run, sophomore Zach Ortlund set a personal record time of 2:14.57. Murray also competed in the event, running a 2:15.09 and adding a personal record.

The 4×200-meter relay ran a 1:38.88, coming short of a top-five finish. Junior Christian Smith, senior Jonathan Jacobson, senior Aron Ramiscal, and junior Christian Hoffman competed in the event. 

Sophomore Lucas Van Vlerah set a season-record with a 53.62-second time in the 400-meter dash. Junior Zaid Kazmi set a new personal record with a time of 59.08. 

Johnson dominated the 300-meter hurdles as he did the 110, placing first by a full second. He just missed his season record by 0.8 seconds. 

Three Mustangs ran the 1600-meter event, placing within a second of each other. Musunuri ran a 4:55.19, senior Ben Lamsma ran a 4:55.20, and sophomore Nathan Behr ran a 4:55.86. 

Cox ran a 23.37 in the 200-meter dash, resulting in a first-place finish and a personal record. Pere and Smith followed with times of 23.72 and 25.24. 

The last event of the day was the highly anticipated 4×400-meter relay. The lineup went as follows: Van Vlerah, senior Nikolas Russell, Brown, and Johnson. Van Vlerah took the first leg and handed it to Russell, holding second place. Russell and Brown continued to hold the placement until the handoff to Johnson. 

The Mustangs were behind by about 15 meters, and Johnson covered it by enough. Johnson’s last lap gave the Mustangs a .3-second advantage, securing the win.

The Mustang pride was glowing amongst the team, with that win, even with the evident exhaustion of the athletes after a successful meet. 

“During my leg I was very tired,” Brown said. “I was just trying to hold on. It was great. I am really proud of how we did.”