A Race to State

By Iris Espana, Reporter

With sweat dripping down their foreheads and the intensity of the atmosphere, several athletes of Lane Boys Track and Field Team competed at the Varsity State Championship, which was held May 23-24 at Eastern Illinois University.

At this meet, all four relays competed and four athletes competed for individual events. The athletes who qualified for individual events were Nate Segura, Julian Higueros, Ik Odiase, and Noah Davis for the 100M Dash, 1600M Run, Long Jump, and Triple Jump respectively. The runners who were part of relays were Jack Burns, Frank Burke-Olson, Drew Donohue, Charlie Drohomyrecky, Julian Higueros, Juan Manaog, Kevin Moffit, Nate Segura and Nathan Polizzi.

According to IHSA, the cut-off times to qualify for some of the state events are as follows: 22-1 for the long jump, 44-7 for the triple jump, 8:03.03 for the 4×800 relay, 3:24.66 for the 4×400 relay, 1:29.92 for the 4×200 relay.

Before the State qualifying meet, which was held May 15 at Proviso East, head captain of the team, Daniel Reynolds, Div. 965, had no doubt that his teammates would qualify for State.

“We have really good relays and a lot of good individuals, so I know they will [qualify], and I’m really proud of that,” Reynolds said.

One of the four runners to qualify for individual events, Nate Segura, Div. 963, qualified for the State Championship meet with an 00:11.15 in the 100M dash and finished with a 00:10.99 in the preliminary round of the state meet. According to Lane’s daily emails, this moved Segura to 3rd All Time in Lane’s records.

Segura was also part of the 4×100 and the 4×200 relays, which also competed at the state meet. 

“I’m very privileged to be hitting these times, but I also feel like I worked for them as well, so it’s kind of nice to see the work has finally paid off,” Segura said.

When he found out he and his relay qualified, Segura was proud. However, he was not surprised.

“My thoughts were: it’s about time that we qualified because it has been a long time coming.  I told them all we’re gonna do something big, and we did,” Segura said.

He also says the coaches were not surprised when they first found out they qualified for the state meet.
“They reacted like coaches should. They expected nothing less. They expect the highest out of their athletes,” Segura said.

In addition, Ik Odiase, Div. 959, competed at the meet for the long jump event. According to IHSA, Odiase qualified with a 22-08.00 and finished with a 22-09.25 in the long jump, placing him in 9th overall in the state of Illinois.

“I felt energetic but also nervous at the same time because I didn’t know what to expect,” Odiase said.

He also admitted to feeling a bit disappointed in the results. However, he later realized his achievements.

“I know I could’ve done better, but then I realized that I held the school record and the first state medal Lane has had in 4 years,” Odiase said.

Segura said the boys have worked rigorously throughout the season, but he credits their success to the type of mindset they hold throughout the competitions. He said that keeping a steady mindset is essential in every race.

 “Fortune favors the bull. Every time you get on the blocks, you have to have that same mindset,” Segura said. “As soon as the gun goes off, I just let it all go, and I have to trust myself that I can make these times.”