By Mark Gregory
Coming into the 2017 IHSA finals, Plainfield North had only two individual state track and field medals.
That number was doubled over the weekend and it was done so by 14-year-old freshman Marcellus Moore.
Moore placed second in the Class 3A 100-meter dash in a time of 10.65 seconds and fourth in the 200 dash in 21.85 at last weekend’s state finals at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
“This was a very exciting learning experience being here,” Moore said. “I feel like I accomplished a lot as a freshman. I am not going to hang my hang my head on this. I saw everyone’s best here and everyone really brought their game.”
By seeing everyone’s best, Moore knows what he has to do over the next three years.
“There is always room from more improvement,” he said. “This is going to set me up for the next three years knowing I can go out and compete with the best in the state. I didn’t expect to be able to compete with them this year.”
Moore also joined senior Jordan Gumila, junior Brian Registe and senior Carlos Baggett to place fourth in the 4×100 relay with a time of 42.05.
The third medal of the weekend ties Moore with Marquis Flowers and Quest Young as the only Tigers to claim three medals in the same state meet.
Young,unfortunately, was struck by a car and killed May 18 in New Jersey.
Gumila was the recipient of the inaugural Quest Young Award – presented to a 4-year letterman, outstanding teammate and a warrior in the 4×400.
Also placing for North was senior Ari Ekowa, who threw the discus 167-feet, 4-inches.
It marked the first time that four Plainfield North events had ever medaled in the same meet.
In the high jump, Plainfield East sophomore Alex Babbington advanced to the finals, but did not medal, finishing 18th by clearing 6-03.
Other District 202 athletes also competed in the meet, but did not advance to the finals.
Plainfield East junior Bryan Keubeng jumped 21-feet, 6-inches in the long jump and cleared 6-01 in the high jump.
In the shot put, South senior Kyle Thornton posted a put of 49-09, while Gumila posted a triple jump of 44-05.50.
South senior Ben Thoms posted a time of 14.85 in the 100 high hurdles, while East senior Robert Ogbuli posted a 10.75 in the 100 dash and East senior Mitchell Kiska ran a 22.87 in the 200.
In the relays, East’s 4×100 team of Ogbuli, Kiska, senior Jake Schramm and junior Blake Coughlin ran a 42.87 in the 4×100.
That same quartet also posted a time of 1:29.07 in the 4×200. North’s team of Baggett, Moore, senior Tim Donnahue and sophomore Anthony Capezio ran a time of 1:29.07.