HP Produces More All-Time Historic Performances at Illinois Meet of Champions

Sunday, February 25 2024 - Illinois Meet of Champions

Highland Park competed in a new meet at the Gately Track & Field Complex in Chicago called the Illinois Meet of Champions Invite. The Gately facility is an amazing 200 meter banked track. With this being a new meet, we were unaware how long of a day it would be. The meet included varsity and frosh-soph for both boys and girls! It was an extremely long day and the boys on the team did a great job staying focused, engaged, and ready to compete. The Giants had numerous personal best performances, all-time top performances, and school records. 


Field Event Highlights:


The throwers each produced a personal best or indoor personal best in the shot put. Senior Alex Knight led the way with a 37’6.75” throw. Junior Braxten Peterson had the next furthest throw with a personal best 36’4.25”. Sophomore Max Sukenik placed 6th on frosh-soph with a personal best 34’10.25”. Junior Devin Symonette had his best throw of 34’5.5”. Sophomore Constantine Soutsos threw an indoor personal best of 31’0”. 

In the triple jump, the Giants also had a great meet. All 5 HP jumpers got personal best marks. They were led by Russell Czerwinski’s huge personal best of 41’8.75” to take 4th place on varsity. This was only his second meet ever competing in the triple jump. Juniors Quentin Kelley and Eli Perkins jumped 38’7.5” and 37’9.25” for  personal best distances for each of them. Sophomores William Sheahen and Matthew Nielsen also had big personal best jumps. Sheahan got 29’6.5” while Nielsen jumped 27’6”. 

The long jump did not go as well overall, but HP still got some solid performances. Kelley got another personal best by jumping 17’10.25” while Perkins got an indoor personal best of 17’4.75”. Junior Lincoln Seidman had an off day as he tried to navigate some early season injury issues, but still jumped 17’0”. Freshmen Elliott Schraub and Preston Reed got to experience their first big high school track & field invite and jumped 14’3” and 13’2”. 


HP had only one pole vaulter competing at this meet. Junior Gavin Flory got a big indoor personal best of 11’4.25” to take 4th place on varsity.

Czerwinski had another over 6 foot performance in the high jump. He cleared a personal best 6’1.5”. This earned him 2nd place in the event and is #10 all-time indoors at HPHS. Senior Nolan Shot competed in his first meet of the season and cleared 5’5.75” and took 8th place. 

Track Event Highlights:


Both the frosh-soph and varsity 4X800 meter relay teams for HP raced well. The frosh-soph team was made up of all sophomores and they were led-off by Spencer Pedraza in 2:22.8. He was a sprinter last season, so this was a nice 800 split for him. David Miller was 3 seconds ahead of his indoor best splitting a 2:29.3. Joey Naftzger ran much faster than his 3:04 indoor best from 2023 by getting an 800 split of 2:32.2. Finally, Truman Evans went from a 2:18 personal best in his first meet of the season to a 2:14.9 to anchor the relay team to a 2nd place finish.The team ran 9:39.50. On varsity, senior Robert Oboza led off with a solid 2:07.1. Junior Dylan Dominguez improved from his 2:08 at the first meet to run a 2:06.1. Senior Luke Rhoads had a big personal best going from 2:14 to 2:09.4. Junior Usiel Rodriguez anchored the relay and went from 2:15 earlier this season to 2:11.3. HP took 2nd place just a few seconds ahead of Whitney Young HS and ran 8:34.21. 

Czerwinski also had success on the track with a 9.57 in the 60 meter high hurdle race. He took 11th place. Juniors Lachlan Knapp and Mateo Diaz ran 11.33 and an 11.93.


In the 60 meter dash, sophomore Shamar Wilson proved his incredible speed by taking 4th place out of 87 varsity sprinters. He ran a school record 7.17 (the 60 has been competed in since 2000). Senior Damian Zuno ran 7.62 for #4 all-time at HPHS. Freshman Mishkin Filstrup ran an impressive 7.86 for #7 all-time. Senior Owen Murphy ran an 8.02 and sophomore Hayden Tortora crossed the line in 8.18. 

HP had two freshmen runners entered in the frosh-soph 3200 meter run.  Abel Resse ran well with a personal best 11:13.36 to take 7th place. Joaquin Martinez broke the 13 minute barrier by finishing in 12:54.0. 


In the varsity 800 meter run, senior Barak Goldstein ran 1:59.84 to take 4th place. This is #10 all-time indoors at HPHS. Senior Zach Coren ran a 2:04.09 to place 7th. On frosh-soph, 3 sophomores raced for the Giants. Lucas Hoobler led the way with a 5th place finish in 2:14.98. Evans came back after the 4X800 to run a 2:15.80 for 8th place. Josh Brown was just behind him in 2:16.52 to take 9th. 

The frosh-soph 4X200 meter relay of Tortora, Filstrup, freshman Reyden Edeyaoch, and Schraub ran 1:48.17. The varsity squad had a great lead-off by Wilson who handed off to Zuno. Zuno ran well before giving the baton to the 3rd leg which was senior Tyler Rosenthal. Rosenthal ran a tremendous lap holding off a runner from another school the entire time. When he came to the exchange, the runner from the other team and Knapp were lined up in the wrong spots. They had to navigate an exchange of the baton by crossing over the other team to reach each other for the hand-off. The exchange was made and Knapp battled for a team time of 1:36.83 for 7th place overall. This is #2 all-time at HPHS (this event has been competed in since 2013). 

The 400 meter dash featured two of the top 400 runners in the state and they both are HP sprinters! Seniors Doug Anderson and Lukaas Nales put on a show as they took 1st and 2nd place. They both ran indoor personal best times of :49.75 and :50.05. These are the 2 fastest times ever run by an HP sprinter indoors! Usiel Rodriguez ran a personal best :56.62 as the other HP varsity runner in the event. Sophomore Ethan Glovsky raced the 400 for the first time and ran a 1:03.30. 

Rhoads came back from the 4X800 and ran another personal best in the 1600 meter run. He ran 4:52.76 which is over 7 seconds faster than what he ran at GBN. Hoobler followed up his 800 meter run race with a personal best in the 1600. He ran 4:56.2 to take 3rd on frosh-soph. This was an over 3 second personal best. Reese doubled well with teh 3200 by running a 5:26.44. Junior Luke Byrnes ran 5:29.50 after having an indoor personal best of 5:51 in 2023. 

Wilson finished up his day with his most impressive race of the young season. He ran the 200 meter dash in an incredible :22.96! This shatters the school sophomore indoor record (it was :24.34) and is #3 all-time indoors at HPHS! Wilson finished 3rd in the varsity competition. His time ranks him currently as one of the top sophomores in the state of Illinois! Filstrup ran a personal best :25.07 for 8th on frosh-soph. This is less than a second off the freshman 200 indoor school record (:24.84). Tortora and Edeyaoch each ran personal best times with a :26.24 and :29.16.

The frosh-soph 4X400 meter relay came in 2nd place running a 3:55.57. Tortora led off with a 1:00.3 followed by Brown in 1:00.9. Freshman Gabriel Jackson did not get to run the open 400 and made sure to make the most of his 4X400 opportunity. He ran an aggressive :57.3 split which is a big personal best. Evans anchored another relay with a :56.7. Quentin Kelley had a great lead-off for the varsity team. He split :54.6 as he handed off to Goldstein. He ran a :53.5 and gave the baton to Oboza. Oboza ran an indoor personal best spilt of :53.3. Coren anchored the relay as he battled a runner from York. He got passed just at the end but still split a :52.3. The team came in 2nd place and ran 3:34.00. This is #7 all-time indoors at HPHS! 

Overall, it was a great meet for the Giants. There were a lot of positives, but also many things the team needs to work on doing better. The team needs to stay focused on doing the little things each day to help make the big improvements to be ready in May. Team members that are injured also need to make sure they are doing what it takes to try and get healthy and ready to return later in the season.

Giant of the Meet Nominations:




Luke Rhoads - Strong 4X800 PR split 2:09.4 (from 2:14) and PR in 1600 of 4:52.76.


Russell Czerwinski - 3 events, 3 PRs. HJ 6’1.5” (#10 all-time at HP), TJ 41’8.75” from 38’8.5”, 60HH 9.57.


Shamar Wilson - 60m 7.17 4th place school record, 4X200 fast lead-off 1:36.83 #2 all-time, 200m 3rd place to crush sophomore record in :22.96 for #3 all-time.


Quentin Kelley - LJ PR 17’10.25”, TJ PR 38’7.5”, and 4X400 lead-off PR of :54.6 as team runs 3:34.00 for #7 all-time. 


Tyler Rosenthal - Fought hard in his 4X200 leg to not let another runner pass and kept him to the outside. Also, had to navigate a challenging hand-off due to runners lined up in the wrong order. 




Max Sukenik - PR in SP of 34’10.25” to take 6th place. Contagious positive attitude.


Mishkin Filstrup - 60m 7.86 #7 all-time, ran the 4X200, 200m PR :25.07 (less than 1 second off freshman indoor record).


Truman Evans - 4 second season PR in 4X800 anchor split (2:14.9) for 2nd place, 2:15.80 for 8th in the 800m, and anchored the 2nd place 4X400 with a :56.7 split. 


Giants of the Meet:

Varsity - Shamar Wilson

Frosh-Soph - Truman Evans