PLANO — On a cold night under the lights at Plano High School, the Sandwich High School track and field teams put forth solid performances during their first outdoor meet of the season Tuesday evening here at Reaper Stadium.
The Indians boys captured nine out of 17 event championships. Two other Times area boys contingents competed, with Somonauk and Newark posting excellent efforts.
On the girls side, the Lady Indians recorded five event titles, while Somonauk and Newark weren't able to secure a crown.
Senior Derek Murphy got the SHS guys started with its first championship of the meet by winning the shot put with a throw of 45 feet, 9 inches, not too far behind his personal record of 47-3.
"It was so cold and my first throw was only 42-0, so I was kind of worried about that," Murphy said. "But I eventually got up to 45-0 and ended up just under 46-0, so I was pretty happy with that being our first outdoor meet in such bad conditions."
The Sandwich boys also received field event championships from senior Jon Pyka in the discus (120-7), senior Max Pinkowski in the triple jump, senior Trent Katzel in the pole vault (10-0) and freshman Jayden McCulskie in the high jump (5-8).
On the track, the Indians got a championship finish from the 3200-meter relay team of Cole Mansur, Steve Aguilar, Evan Underhile and Mason Kellogg. Senior Sam Brunoehler then won the 110-meter hurdles.
"I'm happy with today, getting first in the hurdles despite it being so cold," Brunoehler said. "I think I hit only two hurdles altogether. I hope I have many more firsts to come this year."
Senior Seth Randa then followed with a title in the 300 hurdles after an amazing start off the line.
"I focused in on a steady, strong start, and I knew I'd be fine if I could do that," Randa said. "After that my strides were all good, and I think I PR'd by about four seconds. It was a great race for me."
The Indian boys capped off the night by winning the 1600-meter relay after strong efforts from title team members Randa, Brunoehler, McCulskie and Nic Lidinsky.
Newark received a first-place finish from junior Connor Swanson in the long jump (18-10 3/4).
In terms of the overall girls standings, Sandwich saw Catrina Mitchell win the shot put with a throw of 30-5. Senior Maddie Dawson won the 400-meter run in style after finishing seventh at the Illinois Prep Top Times Indoor Track and Field Classic last Saturday.
"It's pretty cold to run in conditions like this, not like last weekend indoors," Dawson said. "It wasn't my ideal weather, but everybody's in the same position. I started off pretty good and fell off the last 100 but still won."
All-state senior Kayla Schiera ended up garnering two more championship honors for her amazing prep career after winning the 1600-meter run by 100 yards and then anchoring the Lady Indians' 1600-meter relay team that won the crown along with teammates Dawson, Claire Roberts and Jillian Fuchs.
"Most people don’t like this weather, but it's beautiful for me because I love running in the cold," Schiera said. "I've been battling a lower-muscle injury in my leg, but I fought through it tonight. I thought it was a pretty good performance for our team."
Complete official results of the meet were not available as of press time.