ST. JOSEPH — Friday’s IHSA sectional at St. Joseph Ogden High School may have been the end of the season for many athletes, but for seniors Lucas Chittick and Dalton Burk of the Fisher Bunnies boys track team, it won’t be. Both of them are heading to Charleston to compete at state.
Chittick qualified for both the 3,200-meter and 1,600-meter run.
He won the 3,200 with a time of 9:48.05 and fifth in the 1,600 with 4:37.71. Both times were personal records.
Burk finished second in the 100-meter dash with a state-qualifying time of 11.15 seconds. It was also a PR for him.
“I always like seeing kids finish out on a high note in their events,” Fisher track head coach Michael Hallden said. “Any time the program can send the kids to state just shows the growth and strength of the program. It’s been a solid season for these kids.”
In the 3,200-meter run, Chittick was followed closely by Aryan Lalwani of Uni High, who finished second (9:57.61).
“We were pushing each other back and forth,” Chittick said. “At the very end I had a very good kick. It was a good race.”
This will be the first time competing at state for Chittick.
Chittick said that qualifying for state only comes second to running in the Boston Marathon last April in terms of his Chittick’s accomplishments while at Fisher.
Chittick said he practiced six days a week, an hour a day at least to excercise to prepare for the sectional.
“It makes it feel like all of those hard runs I did out in the cold weren’t just for fun,” Chittick said. “They were for a reason. It gives me a little bit of purpose and justification for what I’ve done.”
For Burk, this will be his second time going to state, but this time was extra special as he is a senior.
“It’s my last one with the high school, so it feels really good to be seen,” Burk said. “I was there last year, and it’s so much fun. Running on the blue track is absolutely amazing. I love it.”
Burk also competed in the 200-meter race, finishing third with a PR time of 22.65 seconds.
He usually raced in the 400 meters before the 200 meter dash, but this year he decided to run only the 200.
“Usually I am really tired for the 200, because I had the 400 right before,” Burk said. “But since I skipped the 400 today, so that race felt a lot better than usual.”
Luke Hurley finished first in his heat of the 1,600-meter run. The result was short of qualifying for state, but it was a PR.
Hurley, a freshman, said that after this year he hopes to keep doing track for as long as he can.
“I did it in junior high,” Hurley said. “ It’s been kind of fun racing against people that are a lot better than me. It just makes me push myself to my limits. I am going to keep doing it through high school and maybe if I’m lucky, in college as well.”
Sophomore Drew Purvis made it to the finals of the triple jump, where he finished eighth with a final distance of 35-feet, 10-inches.
Purvis said this was his first year doing the triple-jump. He did only hurdles last year.
“The experience has been better, and I’ve made a few more friends, so that has made me excited,” Purvis said. “My brother did track, and he was really good at it. I got told I would probably be good at it because of my length and athleticism.”
Leighton Shipman competed in the pole vaulting for the Bunnies. He finished with a PR of 9-feet, 3-inches.
Hallden said since this was his first year at Fisher as track coach, he was focused on providing a “positive atmosphere” for the program.
“I just wanted the kids to enjoy track, to come out, run and stay in shape as well as start setting goals and looking at personal records,” Hallden said.
Contact Ben Theobald at firstname.lastname@example.org