Relying on teammates is key to a successful track and field relay.
The St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ track and field team understands this concept. Because the Spartans have really good relay teams.
SJO showed off this aspect in full force during last Friday night’s Class 1A sectional meet the Spartans hosted in St. Joseph. And SJO will get the chance to put four relay teams in action on the big blue track at O’Brien Stadium on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston when the 1A state meet preliminaries begin on Thursday.
SJO advanced its 400-meter relay team, its 800-meter relay team, its 1,600-meter relay team and its 3,200-meter relay team to state after standout performances at the sectional meet.
SJO won the team sectional title with 206 points, well ahead of runner-up Salt Fork (166) and third-place finisher Paxton-Buckley-Loda (150) at the 18-team meet.
Brock Trimble was the lone SJ-O athlete to win an individual sectional title, with the sophomore placing first in the discus with a toss of 165 feet, 2 inches. That was the best sectional throw by any 1A competitor at any 1A sectional meet, giving Trimble the top seed going into state.
The 1,600 relay of junior Tyler Burch, junior Aidan McCorkle, sophomore Spencer Wilson and senior Jonathan Poulter crossed the finish line first with a time of 3 minutes, 34.77 seconds and the 3,200 relay team of Wilson, senior Elijah Mock, sophomore Isiah Mock and senior Charlie Mabry also won their race, doing so in 8:53.28.
The Spartans will also have their 400 relay of Burch, McCorkle, junior Aidan Moberg and Poulter compete at state after the quartet placed second with a time of 43.87. Burch, McCorkle, Poulter and Wilson comprise the 800 relay that will run at state after finishing second at the sectional meet with a time of 1:33.10.
Burch in the 100 (11.35) and freshman Charlie Schmitz in the pole vault (11-7 3/4) also finished second in their respective events to qualify for state.
Burch in the 200 (23.16), McCorkle in the 400 (52.88) and Trimble in the triple jump (38-9) narrowly missed out on state berths by finishing third in those events.
Elijah Mock in the 800 (2:09.18), senior Luke Stegall in the 1,600 (4:42.66), junior Payton Wendell in the 3,200 (10:53.54) and senior Jett Morris in the pole vault (9-2 1/4) finished fourth to help SJO compile crucial team points towards its sectional title, while fifth-place finishes by Mabry in the 1,600 (4:50.05) and senior Braden Clampitt in the 300 hurdles (45.82) also proved vital for the Spartans.
The state meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, with the first SJO athletes set to compete at 11 a.m. The pole vault and the 3,200 relay get going at 11 a.m., with the 400 relay slated for approximately 11:39 a.m., the 800 relay set for 12:59 p.m., the discus beginning at 1:10 p.m., the 200 set for 2:14 p.m. and the 1,600 relay slated to start at 2:30 p.m.