The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 1:00 am

Track and Field

Bruins' boys take SAC title by a nose

Photo finish in 400 helps them edge Cadets, Saints

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

Northrop's CJ Davis and North Side's John Mekki were in a dead heat as they reached the finish line of the 400 meter dash at the SAC Boys Track and Field Meet at North Side on Monday. 

A few strides before the line, Davis tipped over, chest forward, and crashed to the ground. It looked like he had leaned forward in the hopes of crossing the finish line a few milliseconds before Mekki, but afterward Davis admitted it was exhaustion, not strategy. 

“I started giving up, I got too tired and I tripped,” admitted Davis, who thought he had lost his chance to win the event. “I didn't even mean to lean in, I just lost my footing and flipped over.”

Davis and Mekki were both clocked at 50.42, but they had to wait several minutes as meet officials examined photos of the finish, finally deciding that the falling Davis had broken the plane less than a hundredth of a second before Mekki.  

That might have been the most dramatic win of the night for Northrop, but it was just one of four event victories for the Bruins, who won their seventh conference title in a row with 134 points. Concordia was second with 117 points and Bishop Dwenger third at 113, repeating their order of finish from 2021. 

Northrop's Matthew Morgan won the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, Jayden Almendralo cleared 12 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault to win by a foot and a half, and Hunter David claimed the long jump conference title with a leap of 20 feet, 9.75 inches. 

The Bruins also finished second in the 110 hurdles (Javon Westfield ran 16.29), the 4x800 relay (8:18.50) and the shot put and the discus (Damon Baney was second in both events with a mark of 46-06.50 in the shot and 133-09 in the discus). 

Although exhausted, Davis faced another neck-and-neck race to the finish on the final leg of the 4x400 to conclude the meet. This time it was Concordia's Xander Pratt who prevailed to help the Cadets win in 3:27.50. Northrop was right behind in second at 3:27.90. 

“Not to sound self-absorbed, but when I see someone about to beat me, something clicks, and I was able to fight through the pain very well,” Pratt said. “Once we were battling and he couldn't get past me, I knew I would win.”

Pratt was feeling poorly earlier in the day so was not able to set personal records in the sprints as he had hoped, but he still won the 100 in 10.87 and the 200 in 22.06. 

The also Cadets dominated the middle- and long-distance races: Dan Adair won the 800 in 1:56.38 (he was the only runner to go sub-2 minutes) and ran a leg in Concordia's winning 4x800 team (8:14.16). Gabriel Connelly won the 1600 in 4:40.62 and was visibly excited when he turned around to see that teammate Ben Bentz was second in 4:41.07. Connelly followed that win with another in the 3200 in 10:22.76, while fellow Cadet Karsten Schlegel took second in 10:24.54.

Wayne dominated the hurdles events: Jordan Donahue won the 110 hurdles in 15.97 while his teammate Jacob Sharin was third in 16.70, and then the two flipped their order of finish in the 300 as Sharin, a freshman, won in 41.77 and Donahue was second in 42.14.  

North Side caught Bishop Dwenger on the final straightaway of the 4x100 to win in 43.51 (the Saints finished second by 0.09 of a second in what seemed like a close finish until the dramatic 400 dash). 

Jordan King picked up North Side's second victory by winning the shot put with a mark of 53 feet, 5.5 inches. Dantanio Wilson of South Side claimed the Archers' lone victory with a throw of 137-04 in the discus. 

vjacobsen@jg.net 


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