First place finishes in three relay races and an individual win by long jumper Maalik Todd powered the Evanston boys track team to its seventh straight team title Friday night at the Dan Phillips Relays held at the ETHS fieldhouse.
Evanston racked up 84 points to 60 for runnerup New Trier in the 10-team field. Also competing were Thornton (47), Morgan Park (32), Zion-Benton (24), Loyola Academy (24), Leo (12), Lane Tech (11), Lake Forest (9) and Waukegan (2).
Todd captured top honors in the long jump with a best effort of 21 feet, 4 inches, edging out second place finisher Connor Adams of Lake Forest by three-quarters of an inch. Todd also contributed a fourth in the triple jump at 42-5.
Evanston won both the frosh-soph and varsity 800-meter relay races. The younger unit of Miles Hampton, Babajide Bamgbose, Roland Amarteifio and Brad Garron won the underclass race in 1:40.5, and the varsity foursome of Malachi Adams, Ramon Hayes, Todd and Josh Hopson breezed to that title in 1:35.58. Hayes turned in the fastest split at 23.26 on a night when also placed second in the 55-meter low hurdles (7.74) and 55-meter high hurdles (7.62).
The Wildkits capped their championship effort with a triumph in the 1600-meter relay, where Hayes, Aremon Alagheband, Hopson and Carl Klamm combined for a winning time of 3:34.40. Hopson, a senior who is a first-year runner in the program, kept the Kits within striking distance of leader New Trier with a leg of 52.51 to set up a closing burst of 52.12 by anchor man Klamm.
Evanston earned 2nd place in the sprint medley relay with a time of 3:38.75. Also contributing to the ETHS point total were Maliq Banks, 2nd in the high jump at 5-10; Adams, 2nd in the 55 dash in 6.70; Breton Lowry, 2nd in the 1600 in a person best 4:37.59; Hopson, 3rd in the high jump at 5-10; and the third place 3200 relay team in 8:47.99.
Brendan Miller added a 4th in the shot put (45-2), Bamgbose took 5th in the low hurdles in 7.96, and Elliott Grant took 6th in the high hurdles in 8.69.
Evanston head coach Don Michelin has grown used to seeing his runners and jumper rise to the occasion at a meet that they always point to at this stage of the indoor season. The invitational also serves as the perfect tuneup for next week’s Central Suburban League South division indoor championship meet, which will be held on Friday at Niles West.
“What I liked most about tonight is that it was a total team effort,” Michelin said. “The kids just don’t want to lose this meet, that’s what it’s grown into over the years. They want to protect their home track.”