2024 Season Off to a Fast Start at Valentine Relays

Monday, February 19 2024 - Valentine's Day Relays

The 2024 boys track & field season got off to a great start with several all time best performances at the Proviso West Valentine Relays. This year teams were allowed to enter 2 relays per event…the 4X200, 4X800, and 4X400. HP took full advantage of these entries as the athletes made the most of their opportunities to compete.

In the 4X200 meter relay, HP’s first team to compete ran extremely well. Junior Lachlan Knapp had a strong lead-off leg to give the team a lead. Seniors Tyler Rosenthal, Eddy Picazo, and Owen Murphy got the stick around the track with solid handoffs to keep the lead and win their heat. The team ran a solid 1:42.36. The other HP relay team was in the second fastest heat. They were led off with an impressive start by sophomore newcomer Shamar Wilson. He gave the team the lead. Senior Damian Zuno, also new to the team, battled tough to keep the team near the front of the race despite New Trier’s second leg running extremely well to give them a solid lead. Zuno was a last minute switch and he stepped in with great confidence and ran well. The next two legs were seniors Lukaas Nales and Doug Anderson. They were the only two sprinters in the 4X200 to split sub 23s, but it was not quite enough to catch New Trier. The Giants ended up running 1:34.49 for 2nd place overall by .05. The HP time was a new indoor school record and the second HP relay squad’s time was #10 all-time indoors at HPHS. 

The next event up was the 4X800 meter relay. Both HP teams were in the same heat. The Giants were without their top two distance runners, so they were hoping to still have a competitive team near the front of the race. Senior Barak Goldstein ran well on leadoff in 2:00.1 to put the team up near the leaders. Junior Dylan Dominguez raced in his first 800 ever and ran an impressive 2:08.2. Senior Robert Oboza ran an indoor personal best as he split 2:05.3 before handing off to fellow senior Zach Coren. Coren ran extremely well as he split an all-time personal best of 2:03.8. The team finished in 3rd place with a time of 8:17.26. This ranks 3rd all-time indoors at HPHS. The other 4X800 was led-off by sophomore Henry Gamson in a personal best 2:11.9. He handed off to senior Yonatan Garfinkel who just returned from illness. He battled tough and ran a solid 2:17.4. Junior Usiel Rodriguez was next and he ran a 2:15.0. Finally, senior Luke Rhoads raced his first 800 and split a solid 2:14.8. The team finished with an 8:58.96.

The final event was the 4X400 meter relay. The first heat that HP had a team in was led-off by sophomore Truman Evans. He ran :59.0 after having a 1:06 for his indoor personal best last year. Dominguez came back and ran a solid :56.2 for the second leg. Rodriguez also was in his second race and split ahead of his last year indoor personal best by .9 as he split a :57.0. The anchor was a last minute switch as junior Quentin Kelley. He ran a fantastic leg going out aggressively and staying strong throughout as he passed a team to move HP into 1st for their heat. The team ran 3:46.72. The final heat of the 4X400 had HPs other squad. They were led off by Anderson who split a :51.9 to give HP the lead. Coren was switched into this relay and rose to the occasion to keep HP at the front of the race. He split an outstanding :53.9 compared to his indoor personal best from last year of :57.3. He handed off to Oboza for the 3rd leg. Oboza raced smart and took the lead late and got the baton to Nales for the anchor with a :54.3. This was also a personal best compared to last year’s indoor best of :56.2. Nales put the hammer down and increased the lead by splitting a :50.3! The team ran 3:30.55 to win the event and run the #2 fastest indoor 4X400 in HPHS history. This is 7 seconds ahead of where they were last year at this meet. 

It was an exciting start to the season, but much more work needs to be done to get the team ready to compete at their best in May. It will be a history making journey with bumps along the way. This team has shown it is ready for the challenge.

The Nominations for Giant of the Meet included:

Quentin Kelley - Tenacious anchor leg of :54.6 to help his relay win their heat of the 4X400.

Lukaas Nales - Great relay legs on 4X200 and 4X400. Sub 23 on 4X200 to help earn school record  of 1:34.49 and :50.3 to anchor 4X400 to run #2 4X400 all-time at HP in 3:30.55.

Zach Coren - Impressive 4X800 PR split of 2:03.8 to help team run 8:17.26 for #3 all-time at HP. Also, stepped in for another runner to run another great relay leg of :53.9 to help team run #2 4X400 all-time at HP.

Robert Oboza - Two great relay legs in 4X800 (2:05.3) and 4X400 (:54.3). 4X800 ran 8:17.26 for #3 all-time at HP.  Also 3:30.55 4X400, #2 all-time at HP.

Damian Zuno - Stepped up to run in the 4X200 last minute and run 2nd leg to help team earn school record 1:34.49. This is his first high school track & field meet. 

Shamar Wilson - As a sophomore ran an incredible lead-off leg for the school record setting 4X200 meter relay of 1:34.49. This is his first high school track & field meet. 

Giant of the Meet: Zach Coren