CARY – When Cary-Grove’s Brad Wolter handed off to Michael Saxon for the third leg of the 4x400-meter relay, Saxon was in fourth place, about 20 meters behind the leader.
Wolter had complete confidence in Saxon and anchor runner Joey Klawitter finishing the job.
“I know these guys, and they’re really fast,” Wolter said. “I didn’t have a doubt they would catch up to them. Me and Daniel (Speer) had some slower times, but they held up their end of the bargain and pulled us out of a tough spot.”
C-G already had the team title of its own Al Bohrer Invitational wrapped up, but the Trojans capped it with a 3:36.0 to beat Belvidere North’s team by one second. C-G won the meet with 143 points, its third consecutive title, while Belvidere North was second with 114 and Johnsburg took third with 82.
Speer almost didn’t run in the final race. Trojans coach Layne Holter said Speer was throwing up five minutes before the start and then decided to lead it off. Wolter had won the 400, while Speer was fifth, and they had less than a half hour to recover for the 4x400.
“Those first two guys were tired from the open 400,” Holter said. “Speer wanted to run it. Michael [Saxon] had a challenge today and he took it like he typically does, and Joey [Klawitter] did a great job finishing it. We take a lot of pride in our 4x400 and when they were sitting in fourth place, I knew they weren’t going to be happy.”
Saxon had only the 1,600 and 200 to recover, but still had enough left to hand off to Klawitter in first place.
“Joey told me, ‘If you give it to me in first, I’ll stay in first,’ ” Saxon said. “I felt like I had to do it for my team. On Tuesday, I sort of let it get to me. Today, it was like, ‘I can do this.’ We try to hold up the [4x400] tradition.”
Saxon won the 110 high hurdles and took second in the 300 intermediate hurdles. C-G also got wins from Ricky Hurley in the shot put (56-11 3/4) and discus (164-3 1/2) and John Cody (3,200).
Saxon ran 15.4 to win the high hurdles by three-tenths of a second over Marengo’s Nick Simons. Saxon had finished fourth in a quadrangular Tuesday.
“I wanted to live up to what I did last year,” said Saxon, a junior. “I let it get in my head a little bit. It felt like I was there again today. That made me think I’m back and ready to go.”
Wolter was pleased with his 50.2 time in the 400, despite some tough gusting winds. He edged Johnsburg’s Sam Blankenship by one-tenth of a second.
“The wind didn’t slow me up that much,” Wolter said. “I was behind and started kicking in the last 200 meters. I passed the Johnsburg guy right at the very end.”
Johnsburg got wins from Bailey Stefka in the 100 and Sandro Magradze in the 300 hurdles. Magradze’s 40.6 was just off the Class 2A state-qualifying standard (40.44) in the 300 hurdles.
Simons won the long jump (18-9 3/4), was second in the 110 hurdles and third in the pole vault to lead Marengo.
Richmond-Burton got a win from Ryan Garrett, Ben Gardner, James Kaht and Greg Arther in the 4x800 relay.
Marengo sophomore Jarrell Jackson, who ran a school-record 10.8 in the 100 meters at Al Bohrer Field on Tuesday, did not run Saturday. Jackson attended the Nike Sparq Football Combine at Lake Barrington Field House on Friday and was invited to attend a training camp at Addison Trail High School on Saturday.