Three athletes. Five wins. One date with the best of Class 1A in Charleston on Thursday, June 17.
That’s the story of Litchfield’s trip to the IHSA Class 1A boys track sectional in Gillespie on Friday, June 11, as three members of the LHS boys track team earned sectional championships and tickets to the state track meet, which will be at O’Brien Field on the campus of Eastern Illinois University this coming Thursday.
Senior Will Carlile, junior Cameron Crow and freshman Camden Quarton will all be making the trip, with Crow and Quarton each qualifying for two events.
While his teammates will be doubling up on their efforts in Charleston, Carlile’s path to state may be the more unique. Last year’s wrestling state champion at 132 pounds, Carlile has been pulling double duty, both wrestling and pole vaulting for the Panthers in the COVID fractured 2021 campaign.
While the strain has forced Carlile to rest more than he might be used to, it has made the already mentally tough senior even more ready for the rigors that have nothing to do with technique and skill.
The meet in Gillespie was a perfect example of this as Carlile’s pole snapped during one of his attempts, he then proceeded to dust himself off and clear a personal best of 4.32 meters (14’2”) and win the sectional over Carlinville’s Dustin Roberts (4.17 meters) and Jeffrey Sharp (3.70 meters).
If that wasn’t enough, two days later, Carlile won his bracket at the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association wrestling regional in Springfield. This means that he will be spending June 17 in Charleston and June 19 in Lawrenceville, at the IWCOA wrestling sectional.
While Crow and Quarton didn’t have to deal with the excitement of a broken pole vault, their accomplishments were no less impressive.
Crow has been atop the leader board for Litchfield in the high jump and 400 meters and the sectional was the rule rather than the exception. The junior jumper cleared 1.90 meters to beat out Brayden Colwell of South County for the top spot, with Colwell going 1.85 meters on his best jump.
He would be just as good in the 400, running a time of 50.41 seconds to beat Pleasant Plains’ Jack Pearce by .59 seconds for first. If that wasn’t enough, Crow nearly qualified for the 200 as well, running a 23.28 to finish third, three tenths of a second out of the final state qualifying spot and .38 seconds away from a third sectional championship.
Like Crow, Quarton has been first more often than not this season. Friday was no exception as the latest member of the Quarton running legacy won both the 1600 and 3200.
The longer of the two races came first and Quarton bided his time before passing Jake Gutzman of South County and beating the Viper junior by 7.64 seconds with a time of 10:39.64.
After a much needed cool down, Quarton was back on the track for the 1600, where he held off a charge by Carlinville’s Will Meyer and finished in a time of 4:41.42 for another state berth.
Not only are the three going to state, but they have a chance of doing some damage in Charleston as well. Carlile is seeded second in the pole vault, while Crow is second in the 400 and seventh in the high jump. Quarton is slightly further back, seeded 24th in the 3200 and 19th in the 1600, but could sneak his way onto the podium as well.
If any of the three can make the podium, it will be Litchfield’s first medal since 2014, when Tom Reents finished eighth in the long jump. The last time the Panthers brought home multiple medals was 2008, when Jeremy Patillo was seventh in the pole vault, Anthony Robinson was seventh in the 400 and the team of Robinson, Nick Thull, Michael Whitfield and Chris Wolff were sixth in the 4x100 meter relay.
June 11 at Gillespie
Boys Team Results:
Litchfield Boys Results
100: 21. Keenan Powell 12.60; 26. Hunter Hancock 12.98
200: 3. Cameron Crow 23.28; 17. Zach Leitschuh 27.02
400: 1. Cameron Crow 50.41; 10. Hunter Hancock 59.35
800: 9. Kevin Pollard 2:18.44; 13. Alex DeLaCruz 2:41.23
1600: 1. Camden Quarton 4:41.42; 10. Sam Horn 5:41.36
3200: 1. Camden Quarton 10:39.64; 6. Sam Horn 12:35.71
4x400: 6. Cameron Crow/Keenan Powell/Brandon Malloy/Camden Quarton 3:56.49
4x800: 5. Alex DeLaCruz/Brandon Malloy/Allen Schneider/Kevin Pollard 9:45.99.
Shot Put: 14. Owen Baugher 10.27m; 17. Tug Schwab 9.78m
Discus: 8. Owen Baugher 34.44m; 15. Mannix Hancock 28.07m
High Jump: 1. Cameron Crow 1.90m; 5. Keenan Powell 1.70m
Pole Vault: 1. Will Carlile 4.32m
Long Jump: 15.Brandon Malloy 4.88m; 18. Zach Leitschuh 4.65m