By Charlie Walsh ‘23
On Thursday, the track team competed at Sandburg for the Pete Struck Eagle Classic. This is one of the most highly anticipated outdoor meets of the year, with some of the best competition from 23 schools.
What I like most about this meet is the chance to see where we rank in certain events. With sectionals and Catholic League right around the corner, it is a necessity to envision ourselves in the midst of it with high competition. We are able to see what events are our strengths and which are our weaknesses.
What has stood out to me the most among all other events is the 1600m race. We have had great personal bests this year and last.
Last year Charley Duggan ran 4:42, his PR at the time. Sean McNally also ran a PR at 4:50. This year was even better. Gavin O’Connor ran 4:38 and freshman Andrew Straley ran 4:47, both personal bests.
Junior Charley Duggan had some thoughts on why we race so well here “I think the competition level is really good which allows us to compete alongside them, and I’m looking forward to racing there next year.”
Sophomore Gavin O’Connor, who had the best race of his life had some key takeaways on the race, said, “My strategy for the race was to stay relaxed and follow everyone else through the first half mile. Then I could dig deep for the last two laps. I enjoy when I don’t have to worry about setting the pace as it allows me to push my limits because there is always someone left in front of me to go after and try to beat. I felt very tired after the first 800 meters because I had never gone out that fast in a mile race; however, I pushed through with a very tough third lap and finished strong to achieve a new pr.”
After freshman Andrew Straley’s race, he said, “The 1600 at Sandburg was great. Even in the slowest heat, I felt good. The fact that it was under the lights was cool as well. Being the fastest one in my heat, I don’t think the high competition helped me as much as it would have been if I was in a faster heat against faster opponents. I’m looking forward to racing at this meet for the next three years. I think that it will allow me to face people at a higher level and challenge myself by racing with other schools from Illinois.”
Some other good performances were from Marcus Kennedy in the high jump and our 4×200 and 4×100 relay teams.
Moving forward, our focus is set on CCL and sectionals where all of our hard work for the last three months will be on display.