For the second straight week, Elgin Memorial Stadium will be the host site for a crucial boys track and field meet.
One week after Neuqua Valley captured the Upstate Eight Conference championship, Bartlett plays host to 14 schools Friday night for a berth in the Class 3A state meet next week at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
Bartlett coach Erik Kramer is looking for his team to rebound from a disappointing conference finish.
“We’re trying to concentrate on this week,” Kramer said. “We didn’t have a very good meet at all at conference.”
But Kramer is already optimistic in the aftermath of the seeding meeting earlier this week.
Senior Dan Cotton has been anointed the top 3,200-meter runner in the field after his season-best time of slightly under 9 minutes, 30 seconds. Dan Danek has the top throw in the discus from the DuPage County meet. The junior leads the field at 160 feet, 10 inches.
But Kramer is equally excited about the Hawks’ sprint relays. Bryce Petty and AJ Santori are the mainstays — the former also is a threat in the 100, while Santori is the third seed in the 300 hurdles.
Kramer said handoffs will be the difference in the 400 and 800 relays.
“Every coach will tell you that year after year,” Kramer said.
Larkin also has designs in the sprint relays. The Royals’ quartet of Dante Bonds, Jarelle Shipp, Keiran McKenzie and Aaron Campbell swept the two distances at the Upstate Eight Conference meet last week.
“Most everybody is running for the second slot (behind state powerhouse Schaumburg),” Larkin coach Nate Williams said. “The four-by-four is up for grabs.”
Bonds and Shipp ran at the state meet last year in the 1,600 relay for Larkin.
“If you were to hold my feet to the coals, I think we will get two of three (relays) out,” Williams said. “Which two I am eager to find out, more as a fan than anything else.”
Jacobs distance coach Kevin Christian is rolling the dice Friday night at Huntley.
“We’re putting everything in the four-by-eight,” Christian said. “That’s our best shot. If we can get the four-by-eight down, (the athletes’ individual events) become afterthoughts.”
Jon Godinez and Matt Golby are the Eagles’ anchor and lead legs in the event. Godinez has a realistic chance to also advance in the open 800. The same holds true for Golby in the 1,600.
Matt Johnson will attempt to duplicate his cross country Downstate appearance in the 3,200 for Jacobs.
“He has been battling injuries all year,” Christian said of Johnson. “He would be a shoo-in but is on the outside looking in.”