The Nashville High School boys track team dominated Sectionals this past week, easily taking home the Sectional Championship. It is the first Sectional Championship for the Hornets since 2008. Nashville advanced to state in seven different events. Front Row: Graham Speedie, Alec Johns, Ethan Reid, Brandon Schnitker, Derryn Holmes, Caleb Zgonina, and Gavin Love. Middle Row: Gavyn Lietz, Daymeon Baugh, Tabor Kozuszek, Landon Davis, Chris Lamczyk, and Jackson Aulds. Back Row: Derek Kirgan, Issac Sexe, Jace Matecki, Justin Aulds, and Riley Bergman.
By: Brent Huelsmann
For the first time since the Hornets took home back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008, the Nashville Hornets boys track team, took home a Sectional Championship. Nashville outlasted 14 other teams to grab the sectional crown. The Hornets finished with 127 points, well ahead of second place Wesclin, who finished with 84 points. Chester took home third, followed by Mater Dei. The top five was rounded out by Althoff. Lebanon finished sixth, followed by Okawville in seventh, Sparta in eighth, Dupo in ninth, and Waterloo Gibault in tenth. New Athens finished eleventh, followed by East St. Louis (SIUE Charter), Red Bud, Christ Our Rock Lutheran, O’Fallon (First Baptist Academy), and Steeleville.
Overall the Hornets advanced to state in seven different events at Sectionals. The Hornets advanced in the 4X800M Relay, the long jump, the high jump, the 4X400M Relay, the 800M Run, the 400M Dash, and the 1600M run.
The Hornets ended up with five first place finishes in the meet. Junior Brandon Schnitker was a part of four of the five first place finishes, as Schnitker won the 1600M run with a time of 4:41.98, and the 800M run with a time of 2:02.32. Schnitker was also a part of both the 4X800M Relay team, and the 4X400M relay team, both of which finished in first. Schnitker was joined in the 4X800M Relay team by Derryn Holmes, Caleb Zgonina, and Gavin Love who finished with a time of 8:37.44, four seconds ahead of second place Wesclin. The 4X400M Relay team of Schnitker, Holmes, Ethan Reid, and Zgonina finished with a time of 3:29.92, eleven seconds ahead of Lebanon who finished in second place. Holmes also picked up a first place finish in the 400M dash to advance to the State track meet.
Nashville picked up three second place finishes at Sectionals, which came along with an automatic qualifier to the IHSA Class 1A State Track meet. Zgonina finished right behind Schnitker in the 800M run with a time of 2:06.32. Ethan Reid jumped 20-4 in the finals of the long Jump to bring home second place. The last second place finish of the meet came from Tabor Kozuszek in the high jump who cleared 5-9.
The Hornets finished with four third place finishes in the meet. Landon Davis took home third place in the 3200M Run with a time of 10:56.09, a new personal record for Davis. Gavyn Lietz finished third in both the Pole Vault, as he cleared 10-6, and in the 110M Hurdles as he finished with a time of 16.12. Daymeon Baugh finished third in the triple jump with a jump of 39-07
After the meet, Hornets coach Tom Taylor talked about winning Sectionals. “A lot of great times and jumps. We kept finding points that we were not expecting and it helped the total points tremendously. Now we get some good practice time before EIU on Thursday. The big stage is always fun and we have some amazing kids. We will see if we can get them on the podium. Thank you to everyone in the community that works so hard to make this happen. From our staff to all the volunteers at our meets, I appreciate all of you.”
The six athletes that qualified for state, will compete in the IHSA Class 1A State Prelims on Thursday May 25. The field events begin at 10 a.m. at O’Brien Stadium at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.