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Forreston-Polo takes third at Gebhardt-Worley

Mennen second in pole vault

In a preview of the BNC track and field meet, it was Dixon beating Rockford Christian 141.5 to 117.5 at the 42nd Annual Gebhardt-Worley Invitational.

“We use this meet to see where we’re at,” Dixon coach Ryan Deets said. “It’s fantastic competition compared to what we’ve had. Brayden (Forrest) and Collin (Grady) were pushed. It was solid performance with no letdowns other than the 800 relay being disqualified.”

In one the highlights of the meet, it was Forrest and Jaden Johnson of Freeport going at it in the hurdles. Johnson came is as a fifth-place finisher in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles at last year’s 2A state meet.

He lived up to the billing in the 110s, with a clocking of 14.54. Forreston was second at 15.17.

“I knew what to expect from him,” Forrest said. “I need to clean up my race and that didn’t happen.”

It was Forrest beating Johnson out of the blocks in the 300 and leading all the way in a 40.61-41.18 win. Forrest did have to survive a stumble at the end, though.

“It’s the same thing every time in the 300. I need to work on finishing,” said Forrest, who leaped 21 feet to take second in the long jump to Brady Webb of Forreston-Polo.

Coming in as the top pole vaulter (16-4) in all of 1A, 2A and 3A, Erie-Prophetstown’s Kyle Kruthoff did not disappoint the large contingent of fans gather around the Landers-Loomis vaulting pit.

The 3-time state placer entered the competition at 14-0, with only Jake Mennen of Oregon remaining.

Mennen went out at a school-record attempt of 14-8 and Kruthoff used a favorable tail wind to quickly move past 15 feet. After clearing the same height (15-6) he made in winning 1A last year, Kruthoff attempted 16-0, the highest Oregon’s standards would go up to.

He had two bailouts and one good attempt, before settling for the final mark of 15-6.

“It’s a humbling experience to compete against someone that good,” Mennen said. “I’m excited to keep vaulting with him and see what we can do downstate. The top vaulters are usually from the central and southern parts of Illinois and Kyle has made a name for this part of state.”

Forreston-Polo, who edged Freeport 92-86 for third, got wins from Webb in the long jump (21-3) and Jace Coffey in the discus at 151-2.

Webb hyperextended his knee at the long jump pit and wasn’t able to run the 100 and 200, where he was favored.

“He tells me he plans on running next week,” F-P coach Bob Wagner said. “We’ll see about that.”

Coffey continued where he left off at last year’s state meet, where he came home with a medal. It was his second meet this season that he has been over 150 feet.

“What I like about that is when someone gets consistent at a certain length, they are due for another jump-up,” F-P throwing coach Steve Christensen said.

Without Webb, F-P still ran a respectable 44.71 in taking third behind RC and Freeport. Evan Kelsey, Cailean Davids, Jordan Neuschwander and Dom Christiansen of F-P ran 1:33 to edge RC by .12 in the 800 relay.

“Jordan had a great leg for us. He’s gotten stronger from his freshman to sophomore years,” Wagner said.

Kelsey took second in the 100 (11.50) and 200 (23.63). Ethan Phillips was second in the triple jump at 40-8 and fourth in the long jump.

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