HP Wins 2 Relays at Valentine Relays Meet

Friday, February 17 2023 - Valentine's Day Relays

The Highland Park Boys Track & Field Team started off the season attending the Valentine Relays at Proviso West High School for the first time. The meet offered an opportunity for a few of our top relays to compete against some quality competition on a nice 200 meter track. The meet only offered the 4X200, 4X400, and 4X800 meter relays. 


In the 4X200 meter relay, HP got out well with junior Lukaas Nales starting things off with a :24.3 lead-off leg. He had a nice hand-off to senior Paul Eam. He ran a great leg to pass another runner and start to pull away from the field. There was a bit of miscommunication as Eam had to navigate around another runner to get the baton to junior newcomer Jack Monahan. Monahan got out well before struggling with a hamstring injury in not just one, but both hamstrings. He managed to still run a gutsy :26.7 and keep the team in decent position. Junior Doug Anderson got the baton and took off quickly as a runner from another school nearly cut him off from the outside lanes. Anderson had to protect his space to prevent himself from falling and keep the other runner to the outside.

Anderson’s :23.7 anchor leg helped the team finish in 6th place to earn medals. The final time was 1:39.65. This time is 4th on the HPHS all-time list for the indoor 4X200 meter relay.


Next up was the 4X800 meter relay. The Giants had two relays entered. Both teams ran well. Junior Barak Goldstein led off the A relay and sophomore Brian Hatoum led off the B team. Hatoum got out to the early lead with an aggressive start. Eventually, Goldstein took the lead before falling behind the runner from Dekalb. Goldstein split a 2:01.1 which is well ahead of his best indoor time from last year (2:05.44). Hatoum split a 2:09.8 which is also way ahead of his indoor personal best from last season (2:23.26).

Senior Noah Jackson moved up into the lead before falling back into second with a 2:10.5. Junior Robert Oboza ran a strong 2:12.6 split in his first track & field meet as a Giant. Junior Zach Coren had a great leg of the relay as he was able to regain the lead for HP and run a 2:07.6. His best indoor time from last year was 2:13.31.

Junior Yonatan Garfinkel also ran well as he split a 2:15.3. 2:29.8 was his best indoor time from last season. The anchor leg for the A relay was junior Nate Wehner. He got out very hard and held the lead with a 2:00.8 split.

Sophomore Usiel Rodriguez ran well with a 2:15.1 split.

The A team finished in 1st place running 8:20.21. This is the 5th fastest indoor 4X800 run by a team from HP (only 4 seconds from the number 2 spot). The B team finished in 9th place at 8:52.61. 


The final event was the 4X400 meter relay. Anderson led off with a fast :52.9 to give HP the lead.

Sophomore Quentin Kelley got out aggressively and despite fading a bit at the end, ran a :57.6 split.

The team was in second place as Wehner raced to a :55.6 split on the 3rd leg.

Host school Proviso West had a significant lead as Nales got the baton. He then started to close on the leader during the second lap. Down the final stretch, the PW runner left the inside open with enough space for Nales to get by for the victory. He split a :51.4 and the team ran 3:37.50. This time is just ahead of last year’s best time in the event and was about 2 seconds out of the all-time top 10 list.


This was a fun meet and the team had great success with 2 first place finishes and two HP all-time performances. More big things to come for this team in 2023!  

The nominations for Giant of the Meet included:

Lukaas Nales - Strong 4X200 lead-off leg and impressive 4X400 anchor split of :51.4 to help team earn come from behind victory.

Zach Coren - Gutsy 4X800 leg to get the team into the lead with a 2:07.6.

Nate Wehner - Anchored 4X800 to 1st place with 2:00.8 and 3rd leg on winning 4X400 with a :55.6.

Paul Eam - Great leg on the 4X200 to move the team into the lead on the second leg and navigated a challenging hand-off.

Jack Monahan - Battled tough in 4X200 despite 2 injured hamstrings and helped team earn medals for 6th place.

Brian Hatoum - Aggressive lead-off leg for the 4X800 with a PR of 2:09.8.

Giant of the Meet:

Jack Monahan