The Evanston Township High School boys’ track team is off and running. After a nineteenth place finish in the State meet last year, they hope for a similar, if not better performance at the end of this season.
But it is still early, and there is a lot of work to be done to get to that point. Head coach Don Michelin said, “We are working toward getting State ready, trying to harden ourselves [for the rest of the year].”
On March 12, the Wildkits participated in the annual Dan Phillips Relays in Evanston. Before that meet Coach Michelin said, “It’s a big meet for us. That’s our meet. We want to win. We’ve been fortunate to win it the last two years and we hope to do a three-peat.”
The Kits did just that, winning the 11-team meet, taking the top spot in the 1-mile relay and 4-lap relay. After the Dan Phillips Relays, senior sprinter and long/high jumper Devandrew Johnson said, “The meet was successful overall we had some really good and bad performances but in the end we pulled through and won the meet.”
Next up for the Kits is the Central Suburban League meet on March 19 in Evanston. “We hope to use these next two meets (Dan Phillips and the CSL meet) as a springboard toward getting State-ready,” said the Coach.
After that, the Kits visit Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., to participate in the Carthage College Invite on March 26 and the Kenosha Bradford Invite the next day. “The Carthage trip is another where we all have to perform [well],” said Johnson.
So far this season, Coach Michelin is content with how his team has performed. “It’s gone as we have planned.”
For the remainder of the season, the Kits have one goal. “We want to be able to call ourselves State champions at the end of the season,” added Johnson. “But in all, we have good athletes that are ranked high in State as prospective top finishers.”
One of those “prospective top finishers” is senior Tremaine Gordon. He finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash at State a year ago. The Kits hope he has a similar performance this year.
“He’s gone to State the last two years, so he’s our State guy,” said Coach Michelin. In addition to Gordon, the Coach says Johnson, senior sprinter Ray Gibson, senior thrower Jeffrey Shelton, senior thrower Jeffrey Brown, senior sprinter Antonio Sanders and senior sprinter/jumper Josh Perryman have performed well. If they are to make a run in State, all of them, along with the rest of the team, will have to keep it up.
“We are a good team and are capable of doing a lot of damage at meets as a whole and as individuals. Now we have to put it all together,” said Johnson.
Indeed, if they are able to build on their performance at the Dan Phillips Relays and keep giving those types of performances the rest of the season, there is no reason why they cannot bring home a State championship for the first time since 1978.