HERRIN — Mt. Vernon's boys track and field team qualified athletes for state in six different events at Thursday's 2A Herrin sectional.
Mt. Vernon tied for second with Carbondale in the team title race with 60 points. Cahokia claimed the sectional title with 152.5 points.
Four individuals along with two relay teams will be making next week's trek to Charleston and the state final.
“Any time you get any event out, you've done something,” Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said.
Joseph McDanel finished second in the pole vault with a leap of 13 feet, six inches. Brykell Patton was fourth in the 300 meter hurdles, but he bested the state qualifying time of 40.44 seconds with his mark of 40.21 seconds. David Modert finished second in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:22.97.
“They were all packed up literally for about 1,550 meters,” Turner said. “It just became a sprint home. There's always a lot of contact and tight running.”
Robert Grider advanced with a second-place finish in the 200 meters. His time was 22 seconds.
The Rams 800 meter relay team of Grider, Demontez Miller-Grey, Korvea Meredith and Gilwan Nelson finished second with a time of 1:30.94. The 1,600 meter team of Ethan Badger, Montell Cotton, Chris Weil and Grider placed fifth but bettered the qualifying time of 3:27.44 with a mark of 3:27.25.
“We were confident with our (800 meter relay team),” Turner said. “They ran well, ran our fastest time of the year, and what we see as the second fastest time in school history.”
The Rams had a couple of individuals who just missed advancing to state as well.
Logan Kulinski was third in the pole vault. His best leap was 13 feet, a half foot from qualifying. Nic Meyer was 10 inches from the state qualifying standard with a throw of 148 feet, 2 inches in the discus. The 400 meter relay team was about a third of a second off the standard. Jordan Wilemon was third in the 3,200 meter and less than a second from the state cut time. Ethan Badger placed fourth in the 800 meters and was above the state standard by about a quarter of a second.
“I feel really bad because we had a few events that were just really, really close,” Turner said.
Other top 10 finishers for the Rams were: Luke Wilson ninth in triple jump (42 feet, 2 inches); the 400 meter relay team sixth (43.83 seconds).