ROCHELLE – Over the last decade, the Hub Relays have usually been a back-and-forth affair between Dixon and Harlem.
On Saturday, the Dukes began to put the meet away after the morning’s runnning of the 6,400-meter relay and field events, but lost several athletes to prom and settled for a 120-120 tie.
“We weren’t sure things were going to play out and whether or not we had a big enough lead built up,” Dixon coach Ryan Deets said. “After the hurdle shuttle, it was freshmen and sophomores the rest of the way for us. I think that says a lot for the future of Dixon track and field if we can win a meet like this with younger kids.”
Christian Seagren, Cadyn Grafton, Andrew Lohse and Collin Grady cruised to a time of 19:25 in the seldom-contested 4x1,600, besting the 20:15 by Harlem.
“A distance-type meet like this plays to our strengths,” Deets said. “We have about eight milers we could have used in the 4-mile relay.”
The Dukes also won the 4x800 relay with a 8:43, nipping the 8:45 posted by Erie-Prophetstown. Seagren, who ran on both relays, came back to win the 3,200 run, giving him 3½ miles of work for the day.
“Even though it’s cold and windy, it feels good,” said Seagren, who looked as fresh afterward as he did before the meet started.
Brayden Forrest (20-9), Kade Callison (19-2) and Nate Long (18-5) had three of the top four marks in the long jump for an easy win. Forrest also keyed the high hurdle shuttle win, with Hunter Gehrt, Skyler Connolly and Isaac Hernadez joining him.
Aaron Duncan hit a PR of 53 fee, 5 inches in winning the shot put, pacing the Dukes to team win of 131-7.
“We knew Aaron had it in him last year,” Deets said. “In the discus, he’s only getting better.”
Oregon’s lone first came in the discus relay, with Bobby Youngren, Carson Sweeney and Colton Manser combining for 364-10. Duncan had the individual best of 143-11.
Dixon won the fresh-soph 4x400 relay, but were disqualified in the fresh-soph 4x200 relay, missing out on points that would have given them the outright team championship.
In the top performance of the meet, it was Kyle Kruthoff of E-P topping 16-1 in the pole vault to lead teammates Cameron Abell (13-0) and Kadin Jacobs (12-6) to a cumulative mark of 41-7. The 41-7 was one of the best ever in the 43 years of the meet, but still below the 43-0 posted by DeKalb in 1978.
“It felt good today,” said Kruthoff, as he dashed over to run a leg on E-P’s 4x200 relay moments after finishing his final attempt at 16-6. “It was just too windy on my final tries. I want to get 17 feet before the year’s over.”
E-P also picked up a win in the 1,600 sprint medley from Abell, Chris Link, Jay Dykstra and Christian Slater. Anchor Max Weidel led the 4x400 relay of Kruthoff, Link and Alex Gusaf to another E-P win to close out the meet.
Levi Cole of E-P had the top high jump at 6-1, but barely clipped the bar off with his heel at 6-5.
“I like how our relays are coming around,” E-P coach Jon Schlagheck said. “The 3,200 is getting close to state qualifying, and the sprint medley did not have any seniors on it. And, how about Kyle making 16-1 and immediately run a strong leg on the 800 relay.”