CHARLESTON — Reece Young surprised himself on Saturday afternoon.
The Wheaton Warrenville South senior is a standout two-way football player. Young remains uncommitted on his college decision but showed off his vast skills with five touchdown caches, two interceptions and shining as a kickoff and punt returner.
Young made a point to show off his skills one more time in his career, turning in one of the top performances at the Class 3A state track and field meet at Eastern Illinois University.
Young, who has the fifth-best time in Friday’s 100-meter dash preliminaries, shocked the field by blazing a time of 10.58 seconds to win the 100 title on Saturday afternoon.
“That was the best run I’ve had in my life,” Young said. “The key was getting my quad healthy. It hurt a lot on Friday. I hurt it at sectionals last week. I was stretching every day and drinking water. I didn’t feel good (Friday). Around the 60 to 70-meter mark, I didn’t see anybody around me. I can’t describe this feeling. I might be leaning toward track now in college.”
Wheaton Warrenville South’s Zach Marsico added two medals, with a sixth-place finish in the shot put (17.25 meters) and a ninth-place showing in the discus (47.73).
“I feel pretty good, especially after I didn’t qualify for state in the shot put last year,” Marsico said. “I worked really hard during the offseason, so it feels good to reap the benefits of my hard work. I really didn’t expect much out of discus, so I feel pretty good to come out on top and get a medal.”
Downers Grove South senior Eli Reed admitted he might want to add track to his college list. The Northern Illinois football recruit turned in a stellar effort on the blue track, clocking a first-place time of 48.13 seconds to win the 400 dash. The Mustangs also notched a third-place effort in the 3,200 relay (7:48) and a seventh-place medal in the 400 relay (43.09) to go with Reed’s stellar run.
“This means everything to me because I’ve been running track for so long, and to finally have this pay off in my last race is amazing,” Reed said. “I really realized I had a chance in the 400 at Top Times. This was the goal. It’s finally over. I got football next. The key for me was to still have my legs at the end.”
Downers Grove North senior Roy Llewellyn came a few meters away from winning the 1,600, until Edwardsville’s Ryan Watts pulled off a strong finishing kick to win the state title. His teammate, Vince Davero, added a sixth-place medal in the triple jump, while the 800 relay placed fifth and the 3,200 relay ended in seventh.
“I went out there and gave it all I had, and did not leave it wondering,” Llewellyn said. “I didn’t feel Watts coming at the end. He’s fast. My eyes were mostly on the clock. I feel like I exceeded my own expectations place-wise because it was such a strong field.”
Naperville North sophomore Maverick Ohle set in motion the possibility of a special three-year run after he seized second place in the discus (54.70). Also, in the pole vault, Naperville Central’s Chris Fleschut snagged sixth and Ryan Eck snared eighth. The Redhawks’ 1,600 meter relay added a fifth-place medal in a time of 3:21, while the 3,200 relay notched sixth in 7:55.
Naperville North had a big day in the relays, collecting a second-place medal in the 400 relay (42.28) and a third-place finish in the 800 (1:28). Danny Eloe added to Naperville Central’s medal count with a fifth-place showing in the 100 and Brian Holmes took eighth in the 300 hurdles.
Sophomore Carson Marlar said the Redhawks ran a strong race in the 400, but just couldn’t beat Homewood-Flossmoor.
“It was pretty good, and I feel we could’ve finished first, but we did great,” Marlar said. “It was my goal to stay on the H-F runner’s hip.”
Pasteris, a senior, said he felt in a good position when he received the baton on the third leg of the 400.
“With H-F in front of us, I tried to stick to that guy around the curve and we had some good handoffs that went well,” he said.
Jacobs, a junior, said he had hoped to follow the same formula as Friday’s prelims, when he ran a strong anchor leg to beat Homewood-Flossmoor to win the heat.
“I tried to track him like I did the day before, but I didn’t quite get there,” Jacobs said. “We’re going to be really good in relays again next year.”
In the 800, Wheaton North’s Ryan Schreiner snared a fourth-place medal in a talented field with a time of 1:55.
Hinsdale Central had a solid showing in several events, paced by Daniel Watcke’s second-place medal in the 800 (1:56). The Red Devils snared two second-place relay medals, in the 1,600 and the 3,200. Lake Park’s Lucah Jones ended in third in the discus and Desmond Horton took third in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump. Neuqua Valley’s Nick Pennington notched second in the pole vault.
In Class 2A, Benet senior Jack Chvatel left his final track meet with a smile following a fourth-place effort in the high jump (1.90 meters). The Redwings also received a third-place medal from Jason Huang in the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.69 meters.
“It feels nice to get something to commemorate the moment,” Chvatel said. “I’m just happy I got fourth and a medal in my first time at state. I just tried to keep calm and keep the stress down. I just made the finals, and it gave me this shot to get a medal.”