Hornets junior Brandon Schnitker edged Rockford Christian’s Riley Wells in the IHSA Class 1A State 800M Run Prelims on Thursday afternoon. Wells would come back to edge Schnitker in the finals of the 800M Run on Saturday May 27.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Hornets had a great showing at the IHSA Class 1A State Track Meet. Nashville advanced to the finals in three events. The Hornets best finish came from Brandon Schnitker who took home second place in the finals of the 800M run. Overall the Hornets sent six competitors to compete at Eastern Illinois University. Ethan Reid qualified in the long jump, and as a part of the 4X400M relay, Schnitker qualified in the 800M run, the 1600M run, and as a part of the 4X800M and 4X400M relays. Derryn Holmes qualified in the 400M run and as a part of the 4X800M and 4X400M relays. Tabor Kozuszek qualified in the high jump, Gavin Love qualified as a part of the 4X800M relay, and Caleb Zgonina qualified in the 800M run, and as a part of the 4X800M run, and 4X400M run.
In prelims, the Hornets qualified for finals in three different events. Schnitker finished with the top overall time in prelims in the 800M run to move on to Saturday. The 4X800M relay team of Schnitker, Love, Zgonina, and Holmes qualified on time with a time of 8:27.14. The 4X400M relay team qualified by winning their heat. The 4X400M relay team of Reid, Schnitker, Zgonina, and Holmes finished with a time of 3:28.83. Originally the Hornets were second in their heat, but the first place team Litchfield, was disqualified for taking too many steps in the wrong lane on the opening leg of the race.
In the field events, Reid saved his best jump of the season, for his last. Reid jumped 20”4’ but did not qualify for the finals. In high jump, Kozuszek did not clear the opening height. Also in prelims, three Nashville runners were scratched from events. Schnitker was scratched in the 1600M run, Holmes was scratched in the 400M run, and Zgonina was scratched in the 800M run.
In finals, Schnitker led the way as he took home second place in the 800M run, breaking a school record in the process. Schnitker finished just behind Rockford Christian’s Riley Wells with a time of 1:53.53 breaking the school record set by Charlie Hatch in 2005. Schnitker said of beating his personal best time by almost four seconds. “Four seconds, it was crazy. I went out, I was amped up. I went out a lot faster than I normally do, ran my first lap in about 55 seconds, I was still feeling good. A guy from Illini West pushed me in the backstretch and that really helped me out. There at the end, the guy from Rockford Christian, Riley Wells, just outkicked me, and it is what it is. I ran the best race of my life, and had an awesome time.”
Schnitker went on to say about breaking the record, “It feels amazing. I would have never have thought I would get that record. I looked at it all year, and knew it was coming. I was just hoping I could get it and it just came, best feeling ever.”
In the 4X400M relay race, Schnitker was joined by Zgonina, Holmes, and Reid and finished with a 3:28.66 in seventh place.
In the 4X800M relay race, Schnitker was replaced by Landon Davis. The team of Davis, Zgonina, Holmes, and Love finished with a time of 8:54.89.