By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – Seniors Josh Black and Josh Kowalski have made some memories for themselves, in their final track meet representing Harlem High School.

The occasion was state competition held May 27-28 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Black finished third in the shot put finals with a toss of 59 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Kowalski was close behind, throwing 58 feet even, which was good for seventh place.

Together, going against the best the state has to offer, they scored all of 24th-place Harlem’s 10 points in the meet won by East St. Louis. No other NIC-10 members scored points.

In Friday’s preliminaries, Black was fourth in Flight 3 by reaching a distance of 57 feet, 9 inches; Kowalski was second in Flight 3, throwing the ball 55 feet, 8 inches.

A third senior, Anthony McKinney, qualified for the discus finals with a throw of 166 feet, 11 inches, which put him in sixth place in Flight 4 of the preliminaries.

He wound up 11th in Saturday’s finals, based on his qualifying throw.

McKinney concluded his career as a Huskie by lettering in three sports: football, wrestling and track. He qualified for state in wrestling this season, at 285 pounds. In addition, he was selected first team, all-conference in wrestling.

Harlem only had one competitor in the track events, junior Jayvious Johnson. In the preliminaries he was sixth in Heat 1 of the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.35 seconds. That wasn’t quite good enough to move on to the finals.

Hononegah had three individuals and one relay team qualify for state with senior Ryan Polfliet competing in two events and advancing to Saturday’s finals in one of them.

In the preliminaries on Friday, Polfliet qualified for the finals by tying for first place in Flight 2 of the high jump. He cleared 6 feet, 4 inches, to move on. He did not place on Saturday.

He also reached state in the long jump. In the preliminaries, he leaped 21 feet, 9 1/2 inches, which was good for second place in Flight 1. But it was just short of allowing him to go to the finals.

Junior Vito Guerrero was fifth in Heat 4 of the 100-meter dash, with a time of 11.04 seconds. Another junior, John Terry, finished eighth in Flight 3 of the shot put, tossing the ball 50 feet, 3 inches.

The Indians 4-by-200-meter relay team took eighth in Heat 3 with a 1:32.52 time. Members were Guerrero, senior Jacob Eccles, junior Tyshan Ford and sophomore Zach Allen.

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