In a season full of outstanding performances, Robinson High School's boys' track team may have saved their best for last.
Robinson had three individual champions and qualified for the state meet in eight events, on their way to winning the IHSA Class A Lawrenceville Sectional Friday.
"We had good performances all year, but this one tops it off," RHS head coach Tony Cork said. "We performed like crazy. The effort was absolutely outstanding."
The Maroons scored in 14 of 18 events, while totaling 131 points to win the meet. Newton was second with 113, followed by Teutopolis (71), Casey-Westfield (58), Altamont (41), Vandalia (34), Cumberland (22), Effingham St. Anthony (20), Cowden-Herrick (20), Patoka (14), Marshall (10), Red Hill (7), Lawrenceville (6), Oblong (6) and Palestine-Hutsonville (5).
Not only did the usual suspects lead the charges for the Maroons, they also got help from some unexpected sources.
Blake Hale ran to the win in the 800 with a time of 1:59, while Nic Iovanac and Jesse Richart went 1-2 in both throwing events. Iovanac won the shot put with a throw of 53-2, with Richart second at 46-1.5, while Richart won the discus with a throw of 157 and Iovanac was second at 153-8.
Robinson's 3200 relay team of J.B. Chapman, Hale, Tyler Thompson and Noah Tennison and the 1600 relay team of Aaron Siler, Austin Weck, Alex Schulte and Hale each finished second with times of 8:24.37 and 3:32.58, respectively, to qualify for the state meet, while three other individuals also finished second to advance.
Michael Akande was runner-up in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.99, Weck was second in the long jump at 21-0.75 and Garrett Blagrave finished second in the 100 in 12.06.
Narrowly missing berths in the meet with third-place finishes included Nolan Hillard in the 300 hurdles (44.03), Joe Smith in the long jump (20-7.25), the 400 relay team of Schulte, Daniel Richardson, Siler and Austin Beard (46.31) and the 800 relay team of Beard, Richardson, Smith and Siler (1:36.73).
Finishing fourth for RHS were Richardson in the 100 (12.24), Blagrave in the 200 (24.13), Schulte in the 400 (52.82) and Phil Salesman in the triple jump (35-10.25).
Fifth-place finishers were Schulte in the 200 (24.50), Cole Chipman in the 400 (53.20) and Seth Keeler in the pole vault (12-7), while Henry Treadway was sixth in the 3200 (11:37).
Other finishers for RHS included Chipman in the high jump (8th 5-6), Tennison in the 1600 (8th 4:49.86), Cole Fiscus in the 3200 (9th 11:52.34), Garrett Hays in the 300 hurdles (9th 47.11), Cam Callaway in the pole vault (11th 11-6) and Jordan Douglas in the 110 hurdles (12th 21.23).
"We had 22 season-or career bests, plus three of our four relay teams had their best times of the year," Cork said. "That's more than you could expect. Blake ran well and our shot and discus guys did well. I had already taken Garrett's uniform because the fresh-soph season was over, but he came out Monday and we timed him and thank goodness we put him in there. That was awesome. Phil had not done triple jump before earlier in the week, then he goes out and finishes fourth. It was just unbelievable."
For Oblong, their only points in the meet came from their two relay teams. The 400 relay team of Tucker Inboden, Chase Mendenhall, Zack Coker and Kurtis Fleek finished fourth in 47.13, while the 800 relay team of Keaton Neeley, Inboden, Coker and Fleek placed fifth in 1:37.86.
Other finishers for OHS were Alec Jacobs in the long jump (7th 19-1), high jump (10th 5-4) and 400 (12th 59.80), Fleek in the 100 (9th 12.72) and 200 (9th 25.20), Mendenhall in the long jump (9th 18-7.5), Tucker Inboden in the 100 (13th 12.85), Coker in the 200 (13th 25.90), Dalton Noblit in the 800 (15th 2:29.04), Tyler Jenkins in the 1600 (16th 5:35.83), Tristan Knicely in the shot put (19th 31-7) and Daylan Inboden in the shot put (31-4.5).
Palestine-Hutsonville was led by Ryan Wells, who finished fifth in the high jump at 5-8.25 and sixth in the 300 hurdles in 45.40, while Mikey Roberts was fifth in the 3200 in 11:20.
Other finishers for the Pioneers were the 800 relay team of Caleb Kamplain, Ben Chapman, Richard Miller and Roberts (8th 1:44.46), Miller in the long jump (10th 18-1) and 100 (11th 12.80), Kamplain in the 200 (10th 25.36), Roberts in the 1600 (13th 5:19.31), Chapman in the long jump (16th 17-0.75), Nick Pfeifer in the discus (19th 77-0) and shot put (24th 28-2) and Michael Illyes in the discus (20th 74-0) and shot put (22nd 30-8.5).
Robinson's state qualifiers will compete in the preliminary round of the Class A State Finals at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Field in Charleston Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday's final round also begins at 10 a.m.
2013 IHSA Class A Boys Track Sectional
Team scores - Robinson 131, Newton 113, Teutopolis 71, Casey-Westfield 58, Altamont 41, Vandalia 34, Cumberland 22, Effingham St. Anthony 20, Cowden-Herrick 20, Patoka 14, Marshall 10, Red Hill 7, Lawrenceville 6, Oblong 6, Palestine-Hutsonville 5.