The future is bright for Lions track and field
Leo finished sixth in the IHSA Class 1-A Sectional track and field meet at Hope Academy on Wednesday, June 9, but one relay team and two individuals qualified for the state meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston on Thursday, June 17.
With 40 total points, the Lions trailed sectional champion Northridge Prep (94.3 points), Harvest Christian Academy (90), Hope Academy (61), North Shore Country Day (59) and Chicago Latin (53).
Sophomore Merrick Sample (long jump) and junior Jakolbi Wilson (shot put) will represent Leo downstate after runner-up finishes Leo in their individual events.
Sample’s best jump of 6.05 meters (19 feet, 9 inches) left him second to Sam Roszak of North Shore Country Day (6.61 meters, 21 feet, 7 inches). Wilson’s best effort in the shot, 12.71 meters (41 feet, 7 inches) placed second to Jaden Pankau of Hope Academy (15.38 meters, 51 feet, 5 inches). Pankau doubled up in the discus, winning with a throw of 41.92 meters, or 137 feet, 5 inches. Wilson (33.92 meters, 111 feet, 3 inches) placed third behind Pankau and Anthony Parra of Northridge Prep (34.47 meters, 113 feet, 1 inch).
With freshman Jahad Henderson running a blistering anchor leg, Leo’s 4-by-100 relay team blazed to a second-place finish in :45.12, one second off Hope Academy’s first-place pace of :44.12. Sample, fellow sophomore Rayshaun Davidson and junior Marcus Ray joined Henderson on the relay team that is headed downstate.
The 4-by-200-meter relay team placed third behind Hope Academy and North Shore Country Day, but was one second off the state qualifying standard of 1:33.90.