Boys track: Senators defend home turf at Washington Township Relays
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent May 4, 2013 6:02PM
Washington Township's Thamarr McGee looks back to see where his competition is at the finish line as he anchors the winning 4x100 race on Saturday, May 4, at Washington Township High School. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 4, 2013 11:36PM
VALPARAISO — When the final results were announced, a roar erupted from the middle of the infield, where a group of Washington Township runners were stretching. The Senators’ home victory at the Washington Township Relays came as a pleasant surprise.
“I’m ecstatic,” Washington coach Teri Barkas said. “They had no clue they were going to win; it was close going into those last few races.”
“It was heart-stopping; I haven’t really won anything in track before,” said senior Thamarr McGee, who was part of first-place finishes in the high jump and 400-meter relay.
Washington’s score of 86 surpassed Morgan Township (75) and three-time defending champion River Forest (63), at the meet where the scores for every event — field events included — consisted of at least two competitors per school.
Senators senior Nick Moskwa, who was part of the second-place 3,200-meter relay team, said sprinters were vital to usurping the Ingots’ throne.
“Our sprinters have gotten a lot better over the years and our distance runners have improved, too,” he said. “We usually beat (River Forest) on long distance but I think the key was getting ahead of them in some of the sprints.”
Morgan Township won the two long distance events, thanks in part to the work of freshman Ben Savage. In his leg of the 3,200-meter relay, Savage started 75 meters behind the leader but turned that into a 25-meter lead before handing off to anchor Alec Kostelnik, who coasted to victory.
“They kept sprinting for the first 200 meters, but they weren’t keeping their pace,” Savage said. “I thought that if I kept going at a steady pace, I could pass them.”
River Forest senior Ryan Brown had a similar come-from-behind performance as the anchor in the 1,600-meter relay.
“I thought he was going to beat me, honestly, because he took off and was holding that pace for a while … until the last 200 meters,” he said.
Brown was also part of the victorious shuttle hurdles quartet for River Forest.