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Combined effort

Boys, Girls Track and Field teams continue to dominate

Boys, Girls Track and Field teams continue to dominate

Boys, Girls Track and Field teams continue to dominate

Boys, Girls Track and Field teams continue to dominate

Donald Crocker, Assistant Sports Editor

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Considering that last year’s Boys Track and Field team was compiled of mostly sophomores and juniors, it was surprising to see that the team was not even ranked in the top 15 after placing 5th at State last year, according to Milesplit.com.

Every week since then, the boys have not been ranked lower than number two and have earned their ranking.

“Anytime a team gets a chance to be ranked, especially in a state that is as strong as Illinois, it’s really nice,” Head Coach Nathan Beebe said. “It’s great for the guys to get recognition for the work that they’ve done.”

Last year, the boys became the first track and field team to win Regional and Sectionals in the same year in H-F history. They also managed to win the 2017 combined State, which involved wheelchair athletes and able-bodied athletes.

Race to the Finish Senior Matthew Lewis-Banks and Joshua Bridges race each other during a practice.

On March 16, the team repeated as SWSC indoor Conference champions for the third straight year in a row.

“With the three indoor titles we have, it just proves how deep as a team we’ve been; I’m proud of our guys and I’m looking forward to our next title,” Senior Grant Floyd said.

Over the summer, junior Joshua Bridges placed seventh place at the AAU Junior Olympics in the 100-meter dash. He participated in the 4×200 meter relay that set a new indoor record of 1:30.25.

“I’ve just been following what my coaches have been feeding to me, and I’ve taken it in and embracing the process that they have been feeding us all this time,” Bridges said.

Though Bridges’ accomplishments should not be ignored, the team has talent in each area and not just with one player. At the indoor conference championship, the boys had six first place varsity team finishes.

During the same event, 22 players placed in the top 25 in various events. Throughout the season, 250 personal records were broken in total.

Senior Kellyn Gerenstein runs during his practice. He placed 6th in the 200-meter dash at the SWSC indoor championship on March 16.

“We’ve got a number of athletes that are in a similar boat to Josh. I could list off 15-16 guys that we’re counting on this year to make a huge impact,” Beebe said.

Senior Matthew Lewis-Banks is a prime example of this as he has been a part of the track and field program since he was a freshman.

“At first, I didn’t really buy into what they (the coaches) were saying but as soon as I bought in, I took all the workouts and everything seriously. I got better and better and I progressed through the season and I made it to state,” Lewis-Banks said.

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