Eric Robinson (l) and Levi Cole hope to qualify for the IHSA State Track meet at the sectional meet on Friday in Erie.
Field Events Are Panthers' Power10:42 AM May 15, 2018
Track meets are best remembered by races that are won by a split second or as an athlete breaks a long standing record and receives a standing ovation as they head for the finish line. In this year's version of the EP panther boys' track team you are not going to see too many Panthers winning races or setting records on the oval, but if you look past the track to the field events, that is where you will find Panthers winning and setting records.
At last week's TRAC Meet the Panthers took fourth as a team in a very tightly contested meet in Princeton. Newman was crowned conference champs as they racked up 90 points, but the Panthers were close behind with 78. Sherrard and Princeton took 2nd and 3rd with 85.5 and 82 points respectively. The interesting twist is that the Panthers did not win a single race. In fact they scored just 30 points in the 12 running events, but totaled 48 in 6 field events.
Junior pole vaulter Kyle Kruthoff is where the Panthers start with their dominance in the jumping events. The two-time state finals medal winner set a new Panther record earlier in the season when he cleared 14' 9.5". He also set a new conference record last week going 14' 4". Quickly gaining ground on the record holder is sophomore Cameron Abell who took second at the TRAC meet clearing 12' 6".
The high jump is where you will also see two Panthers jumping until the very end of the event. Sophomores Eric Robinson and Levi Cole have both been jumping well over the 6 foot mark, but have both been slowed by injuries during the spring. Robinson took the conference title clearing 6'2" with Cole taking third with a leap of 6'.
Cole also uses his natural springs in the triple jump where he took 4th in Princeton with a leap of 39' 2"
The Panthers have a highly regarded thrower with Zach Greer in the discus. Greer claimed bronze at the conference meet with a toss of 129' 2".
Not to be left out, the distance runners for the Panthers have also been contributing to the team success all season. Junior Ben DeNeve and Sophomore Chris Link pack a good 1-2 punch in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs. DeNeve took 2nd at conference in 10:47. He also managed a 3rd place finish in the 1,600 with sophomore teammate Chris Link right behind in 5:01 good for 4th place.
Many of these athletes have an excellent chance of qualifying for the state meet during the IHSA Sectional meet, which will held in Erie on Friday starting with field events at 4:00.