Season Preview: Boys track & field

Courtesy of Boys Track & Field

James McGrew, Sports Team

The Minooka track and field team last year had a good run in their outdoor season. Minooka hopes to do even better this year with some familiar faces and even some new ones.

Last season the boys as a team finished second in sectionals and second in the Southwest Prairie Conference championship.

“I always have very high expectations for our team,” said head coach Nick Lundin. “The biggest is winning the Southwest Prairie Conference meet. In order to accomplish that goal, we need to continue to show up each day, work hard, and have fun. If we do those three things, we will find success.”

The boys team lost last year’s state-qualifiers Dominic Ruettiger, Matt Schofield, Jack Malloy, Nolan Loughran, Brandon Adams, and Antonio Hayden to graduation.

However, returning state-qualifiers from the 4×800-meter relay include Jason Hoffman, Hector Ramos, and Jordan Freese. They hope to return to the state finals again and place. Ramos has said he hopes to wants his whole team qualify for state.

“As a team, I hope to qualify all our relays down to state,” said Ramos. “I wish to make 1:58 my new time in the 800 meters.”

Freese hopes to make his way down to state again this year and do big things for his team and himself as well.

“My goals this year are to qualify for state in the mile, and then I also really wish to qualify in the 4×800-meter relay,” said Freese. “As a team runner, our relay goals are pretty high, but also looking to win conference as a team and score as many points as we can as a whole, as a group, and as a unit.”

Last season the boys won the Norm Armstrong Bekjlleville West Invitational, the Prospect Warner-Knight Invitational, and the Conant Ron Gummerson Cougar Classic.

“I’m not concerned about winning invitationals,” Lundin said. “My main concern is continuing to get better as the season progresses. We should be at top form by the time we reach the conference meet and be able to sustain that level for the sectional and state meets.”

The IHSA State Finals in Charleston is still 14 weeks away.

“The coaching staff and I will work hard to put our athletes in the best situation to succeed. We will monitor their injuries, strengths and weaknesses to determine how to do this,” Lundin said.

The boys have their next indoor meet Saturday, Feb. 16, at Homewood-Floosmoor.