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Positive gains : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Positive gains
Augustin, Johnsrud post top-15 finishes at state track finals

by Kristin Sharp


The Oswego East and Oswego boys' track and field teams were represented in the Class 3A state finals, closing out the season at the main event last weekend in Charleston.

Oswego East sent three events to Eastern Illinois' O'Brien Stadium, and the 4x800-meter relay was the first to compete in last Friday's prelims. Seniors Justin Augustin, Tyler McQuality, Charles Thornton and Mike Delaney raced to the finish line in 8:05.02 to place seventh in their heat.

The final time to advance to finals was a 7:55.57 by St. Charles North, which was slower than Oswego East's sectional finish in 7:51. Neuqua Valley eventually won the state title with a time of 7:40.21.

Later that afternoon, Augustin returned to the starting blocks for the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and clocked in at 38.93 seconds to take second in his heat. That time nearly matched his sectional finish in 38.84 seconds, but was not enough to advance him to the finals. Augustin finished 10th overall, as the top nine times advancing to finals posted a time of 38.90 or faster.

St. Ignatius College Prep senior Conor Dunham won the event in 36.90 seconds the following day.

Oswego East's 4x400-meter relay closed out last Friday's finals, as junior Nico Divaldivielso, Delaney, Augustin and senior Julian Florers finished in 3:23.31 to place sixth in their heat. Lakes' relay took the final spot in the finals at 3:19.96, and East St. Louis won the relay the next day, clocking in at 3:16.59 to edge out Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley.

On Saturday, the 3,200-meter finals were held on the track and Oswego junior Peter Johnsrud navigated a talented field of runners on his way to placing 13th overall with a time of 9:30.73.

"He said he was satisfied with placing 13th, but I think he knews he maybe didn't run his best race. He actually ran a faster race at sectionals (9:24.33), but if he was able to duplicate that performance at state, he probably would have been All-State in the top nine," Oswego head coach Jeff Edwards said. "It's one of those situations where if it's the first time you've been to that magnitude of that meet with the stands completely full, it's an atmosphere that a lot of track people aren't used to because we don't get those types of crowds.

"It's an overwhelming experience, but a great thing to experience, especially as a junior and he'll get to go back. Those external factors won't be there. He's very happy with his performance and understands he's got more and will come back next year and really shoot for the stars."

McHenry junior Jessie Reisner won the event with a time of 9:03.60. Plainfield South senior Dan Lathrop had the best finish among Southwest Prairie Conference competitors, placing just ahead of Johnsrud in 10th in 9:28.07.

With a young squad this spring, Edwards looks forward to another year of experience and opportunity for his varsity squad.

"It's going to be a completely different landscape next year. As coaches, we're going to do our best getting them ready for the season and if the kids are willing to work and respond, I think they're going to have some great success next year," Edwards said.

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