RANTOUL — As the outdoor track season begins with the Rantoul Invite on Saturday at the Roger Quinlan Track and Field Complex, that means indoor season is officially over for the Rantoul Township High School boys track team.
It’s been quite the indoor season for the Eagles, that has consisted of breaking record after record each meet.
In the final indoor meet of the year, The Top Times Meet on March 23, Elijah Hall, Jerry Harper, Jonathan Gosset and Kayon Cunningham beat the indoor school record (8:39.27) for the 3,200 meters, finishing in 8:22.70 seconds.
In that same event, Hall finished the 800-meter run in 2:02.93, the second-fastest time in RTHS history.
During the Charleston Invite on March 16, one of the biggest wins came from Harper, who finished first in the 400-meter dash in 51.27 seconds.
Those are just a few records and accomplishments the Eagles team achieved during the indoor season.
“I think the indoor season went about as well as expected,” Mitch Wilson, Rantoul’s head coach. “I knew that coming into this year we had a lot of good athletes returning.”
The experience from the seniors and juniors has been a major role for their success. Hall and Cunningham are seniors. Gosset and Harper are juniors.
“You expect a lot out of your juniors and seniors,” Wilson said. “If you get a freshman or sophomore that surprises you, that’s great. Most of your points and most of your success have come from your juniors and seniors. They have spent three or four years in the program, and are invested.”
Other seniors on the team — Carl Burts, Nathan Lord and Juan Aguayo have also been contributing and are excited to compete in the outdoor season.
“Those guys are all excited about competing as a senior and kind of going out on a high note before they graduate here just in a couple of months,” Wilson said. “I have expected those guys to do well, and they have lived up to those expectations this indoor season.”
Wilson said another reason for the success during the season has been the coaching staff: Drew Sharick, the throws coach; Nick Cole, the distance and long sprints coach; and Jeremy Dixon, the jumps coach.
“We’ve got coaches in those positions that are willing to help kids and trying to make them better,” Wilson said. “The athletes do all of the performing and they get all of the recognition, but sometimes those assistant coaches kind of slide under the radar a little bit. I just want to give a big shout out to the assistant coaches, who put in a lot of hours with our guys and see that they are improving every day.”
Contact Ben Theobald at firstname.lastname@example.org