Boys Track: Elmwood Park conquers weather, foes on home track
Elmwood Park senior Patrick Sullivan earned a pair of first-place medals, winning the 1600-meter run and as a member of the winning 3200 relay with Austin Tillema, Ivan Stechyshyn and Nick Gonzalez. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:18AM
With the teams on hand battling blustery conditions in Elmwood Park Friday night, the Tigers’ boys track team showed its superiority, taking the top spot with 330 points to blow away the field.
Latin (118) finished second, St. Joseph (79) was third and Guerin (5) placed fourth.
Senior Alec Gomez saved a great performance for his last outing on the home track, winning each of his four events. He finished the 100-meter dash in 11.09 seconds — with a little help from the wind — while finishing the 200 in 25.4 despite going up against the wind.
Gomez also won long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 10 inches, and triple jump (39-6) as well.
“It was the worst meet I’ve ever been a part of with a terrible wind,” Gomez said. “It was really cold, but I pushed as best I could. I just tried to get as good a warmup as possible, and our coaches put good thoughts in my head — keeping away negative thoughts, and that helped in cold weather like this.”
Senior Pat Sullivan earned a pair of first-place medals, winning the 1600 run in 5 minutes, 6 seconds — and helping the 3200 relay win in 9:31. Sophomore Austin Tillema, junior Ivan Stechyshyn and senior Nick Gonzalez joined him in the relay.
“You have to zone out and not think about the weather,” Sullivan said. “You just have to run — (and) you always want to get better, even if it’s your best race ever. You want to get better, so you’ve got to push yourself.”
Added Gonzalez: “It took a while (to warm up). It’s easy to get out of focus with the weather that bad. I talked about dropping the (1600), but I ran it (and finished second).”
Stechyshyn teamed with freshman Danny McNulty, sophomore James Angelico and senior Andrew Kimmel to win the 1600 relay in 3:46.
“I had the mentality of just running as fast as I possibly could,” Angelico said. “I want to stay warm as long as I can, and then at the last second take off my warmups.”
Junior Travis Box was the only Tiger to post a personal-best in the rough conditions, as he threw the discus 96 feet, 7 ½ inches to take second place. Junior Conner Murphy placed first in discus, throwing 98-4, while also winning shot put (40-2).
Junior Wesley Calderon won both hurdles events, taking the 110 in 17.16 and the 300 in 46.0.
“Any time you can take a trophy, it’s a good day,” said Elmwood Park head coach Matt Weldon. “We have a standing order in our program not to complain about anything. If we have excuses before we compete, then we’ve lost already. They were fine. We preached it, and they believed.”