Boys Track: Injuries hamper Dons at Class 3A Loyola sectional
4/20/2012 Niles Notre Dame junior Mike Maligrand competes in the shot put event during the annual Notre Dame Dons Relays at Notre Dame High School on Friday, April 20, 2012. | michael jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 4, 2012 4:49PM
Knowing he has another year lessened the disappointment for Notre Dame junior Ryan Zoeller, who re-injured his strained hamstring and pulled up halfway through the 300-meter hurdles in the Class 3A Loyola sectional on May 17.
One of four scratches in the event, Zoeller never was able to recover fully after suffering the initial injury in the Carlinalley Invitational on May 5. He had to rest instead of pursue a third straight ESCC title the following week.
A healthy Zoeller gave Notre Dame a reasonable chance of producing a state qualifier. His 40.46 flirted with the automatic state-qualifying mark of 39.84.
“It felt good enough to try, but I knew it hadn’t healed all the way,” said Zoeller. “So it was disappointing, but not that surprising. This will just make me more determined for next year.”
Injuries and outstanding competition limited the Dons to six points and 14th place.
“It’s very tough in 3A and this sectional,” said Notre Dame head coach Mike Jankowski. “It was too bad about Ryan, but it just wasn’t looking good all week. We had other injuries, too. Overall, I was happy with our performances. Many of our guys did well, and we were able to mix in a lot of our younger kids and get them that experience.”
Junior Nick Bargione placed fourth with a discus toss of 147-feet-8 and tossed the shot put 42.5. Junior Mike Maligranda cleared 40-10.
The Dons’ other two points came from the fifth-place 400 relay. Clocking 44.39 were senior Tristan Humbles, sophomores Tim O’Hara and Chris James, and senior Josh Maloney. O’Hara remained hampered by a sore groin.
Humbles, currently a rock-solid 230 pounds, will go back up to 240 for football on a full scholarship at Western Illinois. He will move from defensive end to outside linebacker and could start as a freshman.
Senior Rocco Faggiano, Humbles, Maloney and James ran the ninth-fastest 800 relay in 1:33.95. James took ninth in the 100 dash at 11:48. O’Hara finished 12th in the 200 at 23.45.
Hurdles were further depleted without senior Thomas Bank (kidney stones). Sophomores Chris Damlos (17.09) and Dan Thorrens (17.34) placed 19th and 20th, respectively, in the 110. Thorrens (44.14) took 17th in the 300.
Junior Mike Gibson was 13th with 2:02.17 in the 800, followed by a personal-record 2:03.16 from classmate Matt Siemianowski. Each also ran the 1600.
Siemianowski combined with senior David Contreras, freshman Haad Hassan and junior Francis Ermino for 13th in the 1,600 relay at 3:46.56. Hassan and Contreras represented the Dons in the 400.
Jankowski got improved handoffs in the 3,200 relay from Ermino, senior Max O’Malley, junior Tom Frost and freshman Connor Widelka. They posted a 15th-place showing in 8:59.76. Freshman Saxon Kotowski (22nd, 10:53.62) got his feet wet in the 3,200 and was followed by junior Dan Curley.
Junior Rick Bobek and sophomore Dan Proano navigated the long and triple jumps.