Eagles finish third at first-ever Rantoul Indoor Meet

The first annual Eagle Invitational was nothing if a rousing success.

Not only for the Eagles, who finished third as a team, but for all teams involved. Rantoul, who was one of four teams that scored over 60 points, finished third with 68 points. McHenry, a Lake County team in suburban Chicago, won the meet with 90 points. Yet another Chicago-based suburban team, Thornton Fractional South, took second with 78 points. Nearby Danville was fourth with 64 points and Pontiac, another central Illinois team, rounded out the top five with 49 points.

"Finishing third to a couple of Illinois High School Association Class 3A teams was pretty impressive," said Mitch Wilson, the Eagles head coach. "Hosting an indoor meet is so much work, but for me was a ton of fun as well. I thought our young men competed really well and had tremendous performances against bigger schools."

Donnell Robertson, a junior, won the 60-meter hurdles, convincingly, but also scored points in the shot put and won a fun race, the Dunkin' Donut 60-meter dash between the top eight shot put competitors.

In the 60-meter hurdles, Robertson dashed to victory in 8.69 seconds and was the only athlete to break nine seconds in the event. Thornton Fractional North's Clyde Cobb was second in :09.02. In addition to Robertson scoring points in the event, Garet Kinnett also scored points in the hurdles, finishing forth in :09.11.

"I was concentrating on running the best time of my career," said the junior. "I knew, because of the good week of practice, that I would have a good race, but I was shocked it was not a little bit closer."

Robertson would also score points in the field, finishing fourth in the shot put with a toss of 45 feet, 7 inches. In the Dunkin' Donut 60-meter dash, he finished first in :07.47.

Angelo Brown sprinted to victory in the 60-meter dash and helped the 800-meter relay team take third. Brown edged out Thornton Fractional South's John'te Crawford, who finished in :07.28.

"I was very excited when I noticed my name pop up with that time," said Brown. "My teammates came up to me and they were smiling. They hugged me and gave me high fives. It made me feel great inside."

Brown later joined forces with Dillion Harper, Taveous Bell and Kayon Cunningham to finish third in the 800-meter relay. The Eagle foursome ran a time of 1:35.14, which is their top time off the indoor season.

Jerry Harper, a sophomore 400-meter runner, picked up a pair of second place finishes. Individually, he dashed to a time of :51.98 in the 400-meter, which was good for second place. He lost only to Danville junior Quemarii Williams, who finished in :50.41.

Harper teamed with Kayon Cunningham, Jacob Swiney and Kinnett to take second in the final running event of the day, the 1,600-meter relay. While they did not run their fastest time of the year, they ran a 3:40.73, which was good for second. Danville won the event with a time of 3:27.90.

"I was happy with my day, especially with the time in the 400-meter," said Jerry Harper. "Quemarii is making me a better runner in the 400. Even though I ran my personal best time, everytime I run against him, I am reminded of how much better I need to get. He is where I want to be. In the relay, I think we can be better than we were one year ago."

Rashid Moffett scored points in both the long jump and the triple jump, taking third in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump. He recorded a leap of 20-4.5 in the long jump and was one of three athletes to jump over 20-0. He was also less than five inches from the winning distance of 20-9, which was jumped by St. Teresa junior Jacardia Wright. In the triple jump, he finished with a leap of 41-0.5.

Elijah Hall ran the top indoor time of the year in the 1,600 meter run and finsihed fourth overall. The two-sport Eagle athlete broke the tape at 4:46.28.

The final Eagle point was scored by the 3,200-meter relay. Jonathan Gossett, Ivan Diaz, Raj Patel and Jacob Swiney finished in 9:48.55 to pick up eighth place.

"Angelo, Donnell, Jerry and Elijah all had good days," said Wilson. "We had some freshmen and sophomores who had good days for being this young. We still have room to improve. The potential of this team is very good. I am happy we are doing this well, this early."

sports@rantoulpress.com

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