Boys Track and Field Qualifies Four Events Down State

By Nate Schapmann

Boys Track: City MeetAt last year’s state meet, the Niles West Boys Track and Field team qualified the 4×100 meter and 4×200 meter relays.  Now, it’s the middle-distance runners chance, as the team qualified the 4×800 meter and 4×400 meter relays.

The 4×800 team of seniors Marc-Daniel Julien, Blake Helton, Neal Omar, and Junior Yandiel Cardenas demolished the previously held record of 8:00 minutes at Sectionals last Thursday, running a time of 7:47.  The 4×4 team of Julein, Omar, Senior Greg Aubain, and senior Ben Bard just barely broke the qualifying time of 3:23, with Omar willing the team to state with his last leg.  Senior Terrance Bramlett also qualified in the shotput and Discus, and Omar qualified individually in the 800 meter run.

Head Coach Chris Vivone has high hopes for his team at state, saying “I expect everyone to run their fastest time of the year and for everyone to make it to their event finals.  Obviously, our ultimate goal is to have a state champion in as many events as we can.  You don’t really go down to state wanting to get second.”

Omar, who qualified his sophomore and junior years in the 800, but hasn’t performed up to his abilities, is hoping to do well in his last year.

“This is the last chance I have, so I definitely mindset this time.  I’m under a lot of pressure to get All-State, but I feel like it’s so doable, so I’m not as worried as I was my sophomore and junior years.”

Like Vivone, Omar had high hopes for his team to do well, saying “I feel like we’ll be 4×8 champions, and I’m betting that I’ll get all-state in the 800.”

The State meet preliminaries are being held tomorrow at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.  State Finals are this Saturday in Charleston, as well.