Panthers fall short in Oregon
'Bago beats Erie-Prophetstown for Hawk Classic title
OREGON – The 38th annual Hawk Track Classic featured five of the top six teams from last year’s 1A state meet, but it was a 2A school that won it. Winnebago held off Erie–Prophetstown 95-77 in the 23-team event contested for the first time ever on a Friday night.
In what had been a back-and-forth battle all night, the two teams were tied 65-65 after 15 events, but the Indians pulled away in the 1,600-meter run, 200 and 1,600 relay.
“This is the second time we’ve come to this track and lost to a quality 2A team,” E-P coach Jon Schlagheck said. “Dixon beat us earlier at the Gebhart meet. Knowing we can compete with both of them gives our kids a psychological edge.”
The Panther 400 relay of Jack Bauer, Dvaree Thomspon, Grant Ames and Chris Bauer bested Winnebago 44.19 to 44.41 to win that event. In another close relay, Winnebago edged those same four runners from E-P in the 800 relay, 1:31.83 to 1:31.97. Chris Bauer finished second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
“Our times keep coming down,” Schlagheck said. “Our kids were pushed, and showed they can compete. And, they know they won’t see Winnebago or Dixon at sectional or state.”
Dylan Binion got E-P’s lone individual first with a personal-best time of 15.29 in the 110 high hurdles. Regan Todhunter of Newman finished second at 15.60, but beat a decades-old school record of 15.7.
“He was a nice surprise for us,” Newman coach Andy Accardi said.
Todhunter also got second in the 300 hurdles, this time to Bryce Holesinger of Fulton (40.66). Binion was third as the Three Rivers dominated both races, and each hurdler bettered 1A state-qualifying standards.
With Brady Rude missing the entire meet other than one long jump attempt, Newman took fifth with 41 points, followed by Oregon (39), Fulton (38) and Polo-Forreston (34).
“He strained a hamstring and as a precautionary measure, we sat him out.” Accardi said. “It hurts to lose a kid that is a part of three state relays and loves this particular meet, but it gave our young kids a chance to step up. In the 800 relay, we were only a second off state qualifying.”
Newman's Nolan McGinn took second in the long jump, but what was more significant was that his 42-foot, 6-inch mark was 6 inches above state qualifying.
Oregon's Ashton Rutherford was disappointed to be below his PR of 13-6, but still won the pole vault with at12-6. Rutherford also placed in both hurdle races.
Polo-Forreston scored big points in the high jump, with Brad Cavanaugh taking first at 6-2 and brother Brian third at 6-0. Taking second at 6-2 was Chris Walker of North Boone, who won the long jump (21-2), set a meet record in the triple jump (45-1), and was voted the meet MVP.
Top 5 teams
1. Winnebago 95; 2. Erie-Prophetstown 77; 3. Rockford Christian 55; 4. North Boone 53; 5. Newman 41
Meet MVP: Chris Walker, North Boone, won long jump & triple jump; set meet record in triple jump