Freshmen Win Outdoor CSL North ChampionshipTuesday, May 8 2012 - CSL North Frosh Outdoor Invite
The Highland Park freshmen track & field team had already won the Indoor CSL North Championship, so the target was on their backs at Outdoor Championships hosted by Maine West.
Things did not get off to as strong of a start as the team had hoped. The Giants did have one field event champion as Eddie Smoliak won the Pole Vault at 10’6”. Aaron Strauss was able to get 5th place with a vault of 8’0”. Other field event medalists included Smoliak in the Shot Put with a 33’4” for 5th place, Rock Cerrant and Willie Denson taking 4th and 5th in the High Jump at 4’10” for both, and Deven Greenleaf had a big personal best in the Triple Jump to place 4th at 34’10.5”.
On the track the points began to snowball as the meet went on.
The 4X800 Meter Relay of Andrew Huddleston, Brady McDougall, Justin Gunzel, and AJ Huey battled tough with each guy running a personal best. They finished in 4th place, just 2.4 seconds out of 1st.
The 4X100 Meter Relay made smooth handoffs and got the baton around the track in 1st place with a time of 48.4. The team included Robert Carlsen, Sammy Coan, Greenleaf, and JP Leskovich.
In the 3200 Meter Run Ben Casey ran away from the field to win in 10:21.2. Evan Lissoos had an outstanding race as he battled from behind the chase pack. He moved up throughout the race until he finally caught up the 2nd and 3rd place runners in the race. He made a gutsy effort in the final lap but finished in 4th place at 10:47.8, just 1 second out of second place.
Greenleaf ran a solid race to finish in 3rd for the 110 Meter Hurdles. His time was 18.4.
Leskovich had a very tight race in the 100 Meter Dash with the top sprinter from Maine West, but was able to get 1st place. Both runners had a finishing time of 11.8.
The Giants were hoping to get a lot of points out of the 800 Meter Run and they did just that. Deerfield had a very strong 800 runner and HP’s Zack Goldberg and Kevin Merkel went right at him. Deerfield finished first, but Goldberg (2:11.0) and Merkel (2:11.5) were 2nd and 3rd.
The 4X200 Meter Relay finished in 4th place (1:49.8). The team had Coan, Merkel (who just ran the 800 and was ready to pass out), Huddleston, and Cerrant.
The 400 Meter Dash was another event we were looking to score big in and the Giants did not disappoint. Leskovich won in 54.4 and Carlsen was 3rd in 56.8.
Greenleaf finished off his night with a 3rd place finish in the 300 Hurdles. He ran a 47.0 out of the slow heat against just one other runner.
Ben Casey again dominated an event by winning the 1600 Meter Run in 4:51.7. He was 9 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
Coan ran an super race in the 200 Meter Dash to get crucial points by finishing 3rd in 25.9.
At this point Highland Park was down by 1 point to Niles North going into the final event…the 4X400 Meter Relay!
From the start HP took the lead and ran away from the field to win the championship. The team of Carlsen (56.9), Casey (59.5), Goldberg (57.1), and Leskovich (54.2) ran a 3:47.8 which is just 1.2 seconds off the Highland Park High School Freshmen Record.
The meet was a incredible display of focus, mental toughness, determination, teamwork, and enthusiasm by the Giants. We can only hope that this will filter up through our program and the success will carry on for years to come.