Sunday, March 17 2024 - Highland Park vs Deerfield

The annual Deerfield Dual Meet brings out the best in both HP and DF. Each team puts together their best line-up to try and defeat their district rival. Despite having numerous injuries this season, the Giants looked for other team members to step up to keep the varsity trophy blue by securing another team victory. In a duel meet, the scoring is 5 points for 1st, 3 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd. The relays are just 5 points for 1st place.   


Field Event Highlights:


Since there is no pole vault available at HPHS, those places and points were awarded off of season best heights. On varsity, Gavin Flory (Jr.) won the event with a best of 11’4.25”. Yonatan Garfinkel (Sr.) only started the event several weeks ago and took 4th place with an 8’8” clearance. On frosh-soph, Will Redmond (So.) cleared 7’2” to take 2nd place. 


DF has a talented group of varsity throwers. Even though HP was not able to get a top 3 spot, they had several personal best performances. Devin Symonette (Jr.) led the Giants with a huge personal best. He is the first HP thrower to go over 40 feet this season. Symonette threw 40’1” to take 4th place and just missed a top 3 finish. Dmitry Derbedyenyev (Sr.) returned to the team for his first meet after finishing his wrestling season. He is a 2 time IHSA state qualifier in wrestling. At the meet, he threw 38’8.5”. Alex Knight (Sr.) had just over a 1 foot personal best with a toss of 38’7.75”. Max Sukenik (So.) was working on his rotational throws and got a 35’8” mark. Rodrigo Sanchez (Jr.) was near his personal best with a 33’2.5” throw. Alexandros Drosos (Jr.) was also an HP thrower working on rotational. He threw 31’2.75”. The frosh-soph throwers were dominant against DF. The Giants went 1-2-3-4-5 with 4 of the 5 getting PRs. Jacob Both (Fr.) led the way with an over 2 foot personal best of 35’10.75”. Ismael Vazquez (So.) also had a 2 foot best with a toss of 35’9.5”. Constantine Soutsos (So.) finished 3rd with a mark of 33’2.5”. Justin Lopez (Fr.) got over 30 feet for the first time. He got a mark of 30’3.5” which is nearly a 4 foot best. Henry Flory (Fr.) rounded out the top 5 with a new personal best of 28’1”. Zach Shapiro (So.) threw 24’7.25” while Leo Buss was just behind him in 23’11”. 

The HP long jumpers had a strong day with 10 personal best marks on varsity and frosh-soph combined. On varsity, Eli Perkins (Jr.) led the way with a personal best 18’3.25” jump. Tyler Rosenthal (Sr.) was the next HP jumper to get a PR with a 17’2.25” mark. Quentin Kelley (Jr.) jumped 17’1.5”. Knight had his best jump by almost 2 feet going 17’0.75”. Alejandro Jauregui (Jr.) also jumped a personal best of 14’4.75”. Unfortunately for the Giants, the top place finish was 6th. On frosh-soph, Preston Reed (Fr.) led the way with a big personal best and 2nd place finish. He jumped 15’7.5”. Gabriel Jackson (Fr.) also jumped in the 15’s with a 15’5” mark for a huge PR and 3rd place finish. Elliott Schraub (Fr.) was the next finisher taking 4th in 15’2.25”. William Sheahen (So.) also jumped a personal best with a jump of 14’9.25” to take 6th place. Vasco Leite (Fr.) got 13’4.25” for his best mark of the day. Matthew Nielsen (So.) got a PR of 13’2.25”. Josh Alberts (Fr.) was near his PR with a mark of 13’1.75”. Luca Ritchie (Fr.) jumped 12’1.75” for a personal best in the long jump.


Russell Czerwinski (Sr.) got 2nd place in the varsity triple jump. He jumped an impressive 40’8.5”. Rosenthal finished in 4th place going 36’0.75”. Sheahen had a great day in the triple jump with a personal best 31’9” to take 1st place! Jackson and Nielsen also got personal best marks. Jackson went 29’6.75” for 4th place while Nielsen got 27’11.5” for 5th place. Ritchie jumped 22’8.75” in the event.


Czerwinski got more field event points for the Giants by winning the varsity high jump in 6’0”. Debedyenyev high jumped to try to help the team get more points and cleared 5’4”. In the frosh-soph high jump competition, HP went 1-2. Jude White (Fr.) and Jayden Corchado (Fr.) cleared 5’2” and 4’10”. This was their first meet doing the high jump. 


The field events got some solid points for the Giants. The track is where the team looked to take the lead in points and try to win the meet on both levels. 


Track Event Highlights:


The 4X800 meter relay is a big momentum starter for the track events at the Deerfield Dual. Robert Oboza (Sr.) led off the HP team with a blazing 2:06.3. This gave the Giants a big lead that the team never relinquished. Dylan Dominguez (Jr.) ran 2:09.7 followed by Henry Gamson (So.) in a 2:14.7. Zach Coren (2:13.1) cruised to try and keep Deerfield’s anchor leg chasing him. The team ran a solid 8:43.7. The frosh-soph teams raced in the same heat and the Giants had the same result. Lucas Hoobler (So.) ran 2:20.1 to give HP the lead. Josh Brown (So.) had his foot rip out of his shoe so that he was basically racing with only one shoe. He raced tough despite the broken shoe and split a 2:23.8. Spencer Pedraza (So.) ran next and split a 2:24.5. The final leg was Truman Evans (So.) who split a 2:21.8 to cruise it in for the victory. The team ran a 9:30.6 for the frosh-soph victory. This was a great start on the track for the Giants! 

The hurdles were an event that the coaches were unsure how we would match up against DF. In the 50 meter high hurdles, HP came away with an incredible 1-2 finish. Czerwinski came in 1st running a 7.5 while Lachlan Knapp (Jr.) took 2nd in 7.68. Oliver Baterdene (Sr.) ran 8.0 and Mateo Diaz (Jr.) finished in 8.41. These were personal best times compared to last year in this event for all 4 guys. 


In the 50 meter dash, HP got another 1st place as Shamar Wilson (So.) continued showing his incredible speed by running a 5.8. This ties the school and fieldhouse record set by Andrew Sledd (he went on to take 3rd in the state in the 100 meter dash). Lukaas Nales (Sr.) had his blocks slip causing him to have a bad start and be behind the entire field. Despite the unfortunate block slippage, Nales fought his way back to the top DF sprinter and finished behind him by only .01 for 3rd place. This ties him for the 2nd fastest time run in this event by an HP sprinter. Damian Zuno (Sr.) ran 6.4 for 6th place. In the non-scoring heats, Asher Stern (Sr.) had the fastest time running a 6.1. Eddy Picazo (Sr.) sprinted to a 6.4. Tony Temple (Sr.), Ben Kerch (Sr.), Eric Rojas (Jr.), Connor Edelstein (Sr.), and Gavin Flory (Jr.) all ran 6.6. Alex Knight (Sr.) ran 6.7 and Alejandro Jauregui (Jr.) finished in 7.2. Most of the guys in the non-scoring heats were running the 50m dash for the first time this season. On frosh-soph, Mishkin Filstrup (Fr.) took 2nd place in a personal best 6.4. Jacob Both (Fr.) finished in 3rd with a personal best at 6.49. Jonathan Blidee came in 5th at 6.52. In the non-scoring heats, newcomer Jayden Corchado ran an impressive 6.3. This would have taken 2nd place in the scoring heat! Schraub ran a personal best 6.8. Leite also ran a PR going from 7.5 to 6.9. Reyden Edeyaoch tied his best time in 6.9.  Nityananda Amin (Fr.) also improved from 7.5 to run 7.0 at this meet. Reed and Sheahen both went from 7.5 to 7.1 to run PRs. Nielsen and Will Redmond ran personal best times of 7.3. Alberts also ran a personal best with a time of 7.9. 


Barak Goldstein (Sr.) dominated the 800 meter run to win in 2:04.8. Coren came back from the 4X800 just 3 events earlier and took 3rd in 2:10.7. Usiel Rodriguez (Jr.) made a strong move in the final lap of the race to pass a few runners and even had a tremendous final sprint to out lean a runner from DF for 4th place. Rodriguez ran 2:12.0. Luke Rhoads (Sr.) ran 2:15.3 and Yonatan Garfinkel (Sr.) finished in 2:19.8. In the frosh-soph race, Evans also came off anchoring the 4X800 and took 3rd place near his best time in 2:16.0. Daniel Doyle (So.) competed in his first race of the season and ran 2:23.0 to take 4th place. Lowell Redmond (So.), Logan Liu (So.), and David Miller (So.) raced near each other in 2:25.5, 2:27.0, and 2:28.7. Miller’s 2:28.7 was a 4 second PR. 

The 4X160 meter relay is always a close battle with the tight turns and quick handoffs. It is important to get the lead and Wilson did just that in the varsity race. He got a solid lead and handed the baton to Zuno for the 2nd leg. Zuno ran great before handing to Rosenthal who also held the lead for HP. Knapp was the anchor leg and he held off DF for the win in 1:19.4. The frosh-soph team had the same result. Filstrup got the team a solid lead before handing the baton off to Hayden Tortora (So.) who held that lead. Both was the next runner and he also held the team lead before handing off to Blidee on the anchor. Blidee kept the lead for the HP win in a frosh-soph season best 1:23.1. 

The varsity 400 line-up for HP had to be adjusted due to Nales feeling a hamstring issue after the 50m. Oboza led the way for HP in 2nd place with a :56.1. Quentin Kelley came up big with a lean at the end to take 3rd place in :58.2. Edelstein raced to a :59.5 for 5th place. In the frosh-soph heats, Jackson ran a :58.3 but was DQed due to cutting in slightly early at the break line. Due to the DQ, Gal Raviv (So.) took 1st place in 1:00.4. Ethan Glovsky (So.) has been working hard to improve his 400 time and took 3rd in 1:03.8. 

The second hurdle event of the meet was the 50 meter low hurdles. Once again, HP rose to the occasion and blazed the track to a 1-2 finish! Knapp took 1st in 7.19 and Czerwinski was 2nd with a 7.2. Baterdene took 5th in 7.5. Diaz ran a 7.9 while Temple crossed the line in 8.8. These were all personal best times for the 50m low hurdles. The HP frosh-soph hurdlers took 3rd and 4th. Schraub took 3rd in 8.0 while Reed ran 9.1 for 4th. After this event the Giants were up by 10 points on varsity and only ahead by 2 points on frosh-soph.  


In the varsity 1600 meter run, HP was hoping to have 2 in the top 3. Unfortunately, I had to pull Goldstein out of the race due to a hamstring issue. That left Nate Wehner (Sr.) at the front of the race battling for the win. After a not too fast start, Wehner took control of the race and started to build a lead. Wehner has been injured with a knee issue for about 2 months. To stay fit during this time he had been (and still is) working hard on the elliptical machine as well as swimming. His hard work showed as he pulled away for the victory in 4:37.9! Gamson ran 5:07.2 and Luke Byrnes (Jr.) came in at 5:31.5. In the frosh soph race, Hoobler ran a 5:04.0 to take 3rd place. Brown was just behind him in 4th pace running 5:05.1. Pedraza ran near his PR in 5:23.1. Abel Reese (Fr.) ran 5:31.4 while Liu raced to a 5:35.9. Joey Naftzger (So.) ran a personal best 5:46.1  while Joaquin Martinez (Fr.) was near his best time running 5:53.8. Maksar Oyurskiy (Fr.) ran a big PR with a 6:22.0. This race moved HP up by 11 on varsity and were now down by 5 points on frosh-soph!

Wilson finished off his day just a few 10ths off the fieldhouse record with a :23.6 victory in the 200 meter dash. Knapp came up big with a strong 3rd place finish in :24.7. Stern took 4th in :25.0. In the non-scoring heats, Kerch and Edelstein both ran :26.6. Picazo raced to a :26.7. Rojas finished in :27.8 while Temple ran :28.7. HP came up huge in the frosh-soph scoring heats with a 1-2 finish! Tortora got the victory in :26.1 with Filstrup right behind in :26.3. Blidee took 4th place with a :27.0. In the non-scoring heats, Glovsky ran a big PR of :27.0 (previous best was :29.3). Schraub, Reed, and W. Redmond all raced to personal best times of :28.0, :28.3, and :28.5. Nielsen and Sheahen raced the 200 for the first time that season and ran :28.7 and :29.8. Edeyaoch finished in :29.8 while Amin ran a PR of :30.0. Ritchie ran the 200 in a :33.3. That event put it away for varsity and ensured a team victory. On frosh-soph, it would come down to the 4X400!

The meet did have one non-scoring event. The throwers 4X160 meter relay. Deerfield did not have a team racing, but that did not matter to the Giants. The quartet of throwers wanted to compete! Knight, Vazquez, Soutsos, and Both gave it their all and crushed their season best time of 1:32.8 to finish in 1:29.8! 

The 4X400 meter relay is an event that ends every track & field meet and HP takes great pride in putting together a competitive squad. Both DF and HP lined their respective spaces on the track and got loud for the 4X400. HP had two relays entered at each level. Frosh-soph was up first with the meet on the line! The lead-off legs got out fast for HP and the team never looked back. Both teams beat DF’s squad. Evans (:58.8), Brown (1:03.7), Jackson (:59.3), and Raviv (1:00.8) took 1st in 4:02.8. Doyle (1:01.7), Miller (1:04.0), L. Redmond (1:07.8), and Tortora (1:02.1) finished in 2nd place with a time of 4:14.8. The 4X400 gave HP the team victory on frosh-soph 65 to 58! The varsity 4X400 for HP got the lead and never relinquished it. Oboza (:56.5), Rodriguez (:58.2), Dominguez (:59.3), and Coren (:58.9) never let DF get close. They won in 3:53.2. We were unable to get splits on the second HP squad, but they ran 4:12.2 (Gamson, Garfinkel, Byrnes, and Rhoads). HP won the varsity meet 71-52. 


What a meet for the Giants! This is the first time HP has won on both levels since 2014. Also, varsity has not won back to back like this since 2004 and 2005! This is truly a special team. They overcame adversity to come together as a TEAM and win this meet. The team has struggled with injuries and illness this season, but have never lost sight of what we are trying to accomplish. So many team members stepped up in big ways to help this team win. Guys were doing 3 and 4 events, individuals were placing better than expected in many areas, and HP athletes were fighting for every point and place with incredible finishes and performances. The coaching staff is so proud of how this team has come together. They are also extremely grateful for this senior class. What an incredible group of leaders and competitors. They have elevated the HP track & field program to a new level. The coaches know that we will only get better once everyone is healthy and competing this season. This meet is only a springboard for the remainder of indoor and the rest of the season. Go Giants!


Giant of the Meet Nominations:


William Sheahen - 1st TJ PR by over 1 foot 30’1.5” to 31’9”, PR LJ 14’2.5” to 14’9.25”.


Mishkin Filstrup - 3 events: 2nd in 50m 6.4, 2nd in 200 :26.3, 1st in 4X160m with strong lead-off leg to give the team the lead.


Jacob Both - 4 events: 1st SP PR of 35’10.75”, 3rd 50m 6.49, 1st 4X160m, also ran the weightman’s relay.


Lachlan Knapp - 4 events: 1st 50mLH PR 7.19, 2nd 50mHH PR 7.68, 1st 4X160m, 3rd 200m :24.7.


Devin Symonette - Huge PR in the SP of 40’1” taking 4th and just missing 3rd by .21 meters.


Robert Oboza - 3 great races: Led off the 4X800 in 2:06.3 for big lead and getting 1st, 2nd in the 400m :56.1, another big lead-off in the 4X400 :56.5 for another 1st place.


Nate Wehner - Comeback race! First race back after being injured for nearly two months. Won the 1600m in 4:37.9. 


Russell Czerwinski - 4 events: 1st HJ 6’0”, 1st 50mHH PR 7.5, 2nd 50mLH PR 7.2, 2nd TJ 40’8.5”.


Shamar Wilson - 3 events and 3 1st places: 1st in 50m to tie fieldhouse and school record 5.8, 4X160m lead-off to get the team the lead for 1st place, 1st in the 200m :23.6. 


Giants of the Meet:

Frosh-Soph: Mishkin Filstrup

Varsity: Lachlan Knapp and Robert Oboza