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Minooka wins title at Southwest Prairie Conference Meet – Shaw Local

JOLIET – The Southwest Prairie Conference meet took place Wednesday with some of the region’s top teams in Joliet West. The fight for first place was ultimately close, but only one team was able to win.

Minooka finished as Southwest Prairie Conference champions with a final team score of 118. Plainfield North was right behind them with 114, while Yorkville took third place on the podium with 94.

Many competitive events took place throughout the day, including a 100 meter dash which saw a friendly rivalry between teammates finally settled… for now. Minooka’s Nate George and Dejay Smith battled it out after previously competing in other races, with Smith saying he was looking forward to the opportunity.

“I’ve been looking forward to this race for a very long time,” Smith said with a smile. “It was the second 100 of my entire high school career. I always thought I could beat this guy, so I wanted to put him to the test.

Smith finished by saying that George “showed me what he had.” George made it, but just by a hair as George took first place with a time of 10.91 seconds, and Smith finished second with 11.01.

“I give him a lot of credit,” George said. “He’s just coming off a dominant hurdle race before. It was a great competition and we pushed ourselves to the limit. We have a bright future ahead of us.

This last part is especially true. George helped the 4×100 relay team win with a time of 42.50 seconds, 0.24 seconds ahead of Plainfield North and 0.31 seconds ahead of West Aurora. Smith crushed the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.49 seconds and then won the 300 hurdles in 40.70.

It was also George who pushed Minooka across the finish line for first place as a team. Plainfield North had trailed Minooka before the 200, but George’s victory with a time of 22.05 seconds gave Minooka the final points it needed.

Alongside George and Smith, Cooper Bowman took first place in the pole vault with a height of 4.37 meters.

Plainfield North spent most of the day with just one winner, Keith Cyracus. The junior won the gold medal in the long jump with a distance of 7.01 meters.

It was the final race of the day that saw Plainfield North capture another gold medal, as the 4×400 team took first place with a time of 3:21.96. Minooka managed to finish second in the event to keep the distance they needed to preserve the overall victory.

It was also a solid day for several Plainfield South Cougars. Camryn Viger won the gold medal in the 1600m with a time of 4:16.23, just 0.44 seconds ahead of teammate Dylan Maloney. The 4×800 team ran a time of 7:52.36 to also win the gold medal.

“We came out strong with the first runner,” said presenter Gavin Borger. “I knew I was in good enough shape to overtake and still set a good time. It’s just about doing it for my team, really, trying to get as many points as possible, building morale and trying to get a conference win.

Borger’s lifelong friend Joshua Cygan also had a great day. The senior and recent Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit broke the meet record in the discus with a distance of 54.59 meters.

“It’s awesome,” Cygan said. “I hope to achieve my goal of becoming a state champion by the end of my high school athletic career.”

Another notable result came from Joliet Central, which saw senior Zion Kostyra take first place in the triple jump with a distance of 13.63 meters.

Oswego’s Dontrell Young (400), Yorkville’s Owen Horeni (800), West Aurora’s Samuel Rocio (3,200), Yorkville’s Dominic Vashkelis-Benson (shot put) and West Aurora’s Kewon Marshall (high jump) were the other individual winners. West Aurora took home the victory in the 4×200 relay.

Oswego finished seventh as a team with 47.5 points, while West Aurora finished tied for fifth with Plainfield South with 80 points.

Oswego East won the freshman and sophomore competition with 103 points, while Minooka (87.5) and Plainfield North (87) took third place.