By Bob Balgemann

Harlem’s junior varsity and varsity boys outdoor track teams were a presence at this year’s NIC-10 meet, with the JVs taking second and the varsity, fifth.

Individually, the formidable varsity throwing contingent led by senior Riley Lundgren, continued preparing for the IHSA state tournament series, which is at hand. Part of that preparation was the conference meet when Lundgren set a new Harlem record in the discus of 174 feet, 3 inches, eclipsing the standard held by Anthony McKinney, at 172 feet, 6 inches, which he established in 2016. In winning the discus Lundgren emerged as the only individual conference champion for Harlem’s varsity.

He and junior KeShawn Harrington-McKinney finished 1-2 in the discus, and they also were 2-3 in the shot put. Their respective throws in the shot were 50 feet even and 47 feet, 8 inches.

The junior varsity had three conference champions. They were:

* Freshman Jahmani Muhammad in the 100-meter dash, with a time of 11.62 seconds. He tied for first with another freshman, Terry Peacock, of Rockford East. Freshman Brady Jacobson was fourth in the 100 for the Huskies, time of 11.97 seconds.

* Freshman Nick Tyrcha in the 400-meter dash, clocked at 55.76 seconds. Classmate Henry Clark was fifth.

* 4-by-800-meter relay team consisting of four freshmen, Dominic Carlson, Tyrcha, Owen Recoy and Leo Ramos. Their time was 8:55.16.

Team-wise, Belvidere North won the varsity side of the conference meet, totaling 115 points to 93 for second-place Hononegah. Rockford East (77) was third; Rockford Guilford (76), fourth; and Harlem (53), fifth.

Hononegah rang up 166 points to be the JV champion with rival Harlem close behind, having amassed 126 points. Rockford Auburn (80) was third; Belvidere North (68), fourth; and Rockford East (32), fifth.

Varsity results

Harlem had two entries in most of the 18 events and earned Top 15 places in many of them.

The Huskies got a second-place finish out of their 4-by-800-meter relay team, comprised of senior Aktanay Kwazdran, junior Tyler Wehde, senior Julian Lugo and sophomore Dylan Malmgren. It was a near photo finish, with Harlem’s time of 8:28.13 being right behind the champion, Belvidere North, which was clocked at 8:26.57.

Other Top 15 finishes were registered in the sprints by seniors Carlos Woodard and Deven Ortiz, taking 11th and 14th in the 100-meter dash, with respective times of 12.54 and 12.79 seconds; Wehde and senior Austin Durnil, 8-9 in the 400-meters, times of 54.78 and 54.87 seconds, respectively; Malmgren, fifth, and Lugo, seventh, in the 800-meter run, respective times of 2:05.39 and 2:06.96.

In distance events, Kwazdran was fifth in the 1,600-meter run, with a time of 4:51.51; and junior Eli Hernandez, 14th in the 3,200-meters, clocked at 12:25.30. The 110-meter high hurdles, 39-inch, saw junior Marko Skakavec come in ninth, at 19 seconds even.

Harlem had entries in two of the other relay races, starting with the 4-by-100-meters and its team of senior Tyrone Tyus, junior Kaden Davies, Woodard and Ortiz, which finished fifth in 47.22 seconds. And the 4-by-400-meter team, comprised of Durnil, Wehde, Davies and Malmgren, took sixth in 3:47.6.

Field events found Ortiz and Skakavec tying for fifth with two competitors from Rockford East, which each clearing 5 feet, 3 inches; and Davies was fourth in the pole vault, reaching a height of 9 feet even.

JV results

The junior varsity featured four runner-up finishes, all in the track events with Muhammad taking second in the 200-meter dash, at 24.62 seconds. Jacobson was fifth in that one. Ramos was second in the 800-meter run, time of 2:11.85, which was .30 of a second behind the winner, Ben Cooper of Hononegah, who came in at 2:11.55.

Also, the 4-by-200-meter relay team of freshmen Jarome Henert, Romeo Olivares, Jacobson and Muhammad was a close second to Auburn, with comparative times of 1:38.60 and 1:36.78. The 4-by-400-meter relay team, comprised of Tyrcha, Recoy, Ramos and Olivares, was second in a time of 3:59 even.

Top 10 finishes for the JVs were freshman Henry Clark, fifth in the 400-meters, time of 1:01.06; Recoy, third, and Carlson, fourth, in the 1,600-meters, respective times of 4:50.52 and 4:58.98; freshman Sawyer Ridens, sixth in the 3,200-meters, clocked at 14:33.28; Henert and Clark, fourth and sixth respectively, in the 110-meter high hurdles; and Henert, third in the 300-meter low hurdles, time of 40.87 seconds.

The 4-by-100-meter relay team, of Henert, Muhammad, Olivares and Jacobson, was third in a time of 47.21 seconds.

In field events, freshman Connar Penney finished third in the shot put, throwing 39 feet, 3 inches; sophomore Xavion Chapman was seventh. Chapman wound up third in the discus, with a distance of 100 feet even; sophomore Santo Salinas was sixth, at 89 feet, 5 inches. Sophomore Trey Smith cleared 4 feet, 9 inches, good for third in the high jump. And in the pole vault, sophomore Ayden Flaningam tied for third, going 8 feet even.

Freshman Antonio Aguilera reached a distance of 14 feet, 8 inches to place 10th in the long jump. Smith and Aguilera were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the triple jump. Their total distances were 31 feet, 8 inches, and 31 feet, 7.6 inches.

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