With the track season stalled in the starting blocks by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a sad time for prep athletes who judge their success by a stopwatch or a tape measure.
It’s rough on their fans, too. The Stateline Area has always been a hotbed for exceptional track and field.
With currently no meets to attend, at least we can amuse ourselves by considering who would be on the roster of an All-Time All-Area boys track team, regardless of divisions. So here goes, with the help of statistics and, you guessed it, a strong dose of subjectivity.
• 100 METERS: This one is too close to call. It would be a heck of a runoff between Beloit Memorial’s Michael Lewis, Hononegah’s Bryce Davis and Clinton’s Jordan Jones.
Lewis, who won the WIAA Division 1 400 in 1996 (49.12) and went to Kansas on a football scholarship, set his school’s record in the 100 at 10.6 seconds in 1995. Davis ran exactly the same time in 2003 to set the Indians’ record. Clinton’s Jones matched it in 2017.
Special mention: Turner’s record-holder, Zach Sherrod, turned in a time of 10.61 in 2012. Brodhead’s best are Jared Arn (10.7, 1995), Matt Henze (10.8, 2003) and Josh Restivo (10.9, 2004). Todd Phalin of Parkview held the BDN Invitational record for years at 10.9 (1980), barely nosing out South Beloit’s Glenn Buggs.
• 200: Lewis, who won five Big Eight titles, deserves the nod again after blazing to a 21.86 in 1995.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Vito Guerrero posted a 22.0 clocking in 2016 and Brodhead’s Restivo, who went 22.0 in 2004. Turner’s Sherrod ran 22.10 in 2012. Henze went 22.15 in 2003.
• 400: Beloit Memorial’s Logans, James and Harvey, rank 1-2. James “Pee Wee” Logan owns Beloit’s school record at 48.41 in 1984. In the Big Eight Meet that season, he won the 100, 200, 400 and high jump. Harvey Logan ran 48.69 four years later to win the WIAA Division 1 title. That year, Harvey was Big Eight champion in the 200, 400 and long jump.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Jarad Plummer, a UW recruit, has his school’s record of 49.03 in 2003. Brodhead’s Dan Purdue ran 49.2 in 1985. Anthony Talton, who won the WIAA Division 2 title in 1988, has Turner’s record at 49.50.
• 800: Hononegah’s Jared Christiansen turned in the fastest time in the area in 2015 when he ran a 1:54.28.
Special mention: Nobody is close. Clinton’s Jeremy Hodges ran 1:56.0 in 1992 and Guy Swinconas of BMHS ran 1:56.60 back in 1964.
• 1600: Again Hononegah’s Christiansen is No. 1 with a 4:13.41 clocking in 2015.
Special mention: Clinton’s Paul Voss is a distant No. 2 at 4:18.0 in 1980. Dom Meyer of BMHS ran 4:20.10 in 2004. Jerry Danner owns Turner’s mark of 4:22.56 in 1986.
• 3200: Ryan Jacobs of Hononegah has the fastest time of 9:10.50 in 2007.
Special mention: Clinton’s Voss, the 1980 Class B champion in both the 1600 and 3200, ran 9:16.0. Joe Molteni won the WIAA D-1 3200 in 1998 in 9:29.28 as a junior.
• 110 HIGH HURDLES: Beloit Memorial had a terrific 1-2 combination in 1991 of Terry Davis and Chris Pearson, who powered the Knights to the WIAA Division 1 state title. Davis still holds the school mark of 14.09. Sorry Chris, fellow Purple Knight Raven Cepeda moved up to No. 2 with a 14.10 clocking in 2004.
Cepeda went on to become an All-American decathlete at the University of Northern Iowa.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Restivo went 14.4 in 2004. Hononegah’s Angel Hernandez (1995) and Nic Haab (2008) both turned in 14.5. Clinton’s Brad Schut ran 14.5 in 1994. Turner’s Ty Talton, who won three gold medals at the 1994 WIAA State Meet, ran 14.53. Beloit Memorial’s Erick Collins won the D-1 110 highs in 1995 at 14.52.
• 300 INTERMEDIATE HURDLES: Davis ran 37.10 in 1991 while Pearson was just 0.10 behind him.
Special mention: Nic Haab of Hononegah ran 38.35 in 2008. Ty Talton had a 38.60 in 1994.
• 4X100 RELAY: The quartet of Ryan Anderson, Ken Smith, Duane Jenkins and Keith Smith rank No. 1 with a time of 42.30 in 1989. They captured the WIAA D-1 title (42.46). Sadly, both Jenkins and Keith Smith have already passed away, Smith just a few months ago.
Special mention: Hononegah’s Gary Gentry, Pedro Santana, Jared Plummer and Bryce Davis ran 42.50 in 2003. Turner’s Adam Oakes, Nick Pezoldt, Dennis Spencer and Delshae Vance turned in 43.5 in 1999.
• 4X200 RELAY: The Purple Knights again had the top foursome. Rodney Miller, Tha Trinh, Anthony Leavy and Keith Ingram ran 1:29.43 in 2009.
Special mention: We’d love to see a meet with these three teams added to the mix: Brodhead’s Clint Bevars, Josh Restivo, Andrew Watkins and Matt Henze ran 1:29.71 in setting a D-2 state record for the 2003 WIAA state champs. Hononegah’s Gary Gentry, Drew Follensbee, Pedro Santana and Bryce Davis ran 1:29.80 in 2003 and Turner’s Paul Sorenson, Zach Sherrod, Tim Laursen and Quay Grace ran 1:29.83 in 2011.
• 4X400 RELAY: Beloit Memorial’s 1991 team strikes again. The quartet of Vincent Conley, Johnnie McGahee, Terry Davis and Chris Pearson (those two again) ran 3:20.50.
Special mention: Clinton’s Jackson Nelson, Bryce Enright, Tyler Stauss and Zach Krause ran 3:22.0 in 2018. Turner’s Tim Laursen, Joe Pickett, Paul Sorenson and Ben Sagone ran 3:24.01 in 2011. Hononegah’s Kurt Chambers, Sam Balsley, Marcus McGough and P.J. DiCaro ran 3:24.1 in 1993.
• 4X800 RELAY: Jarod Christiansen turns up again, leading off a relay with Sam Collins, Jesse Harp and Josh Harp that turned in 7:56.76 in 2013.
Special mention: Beloit’s 1978 quartet of Tim Urbonya, Rick Nelson, Dan Summers and Jim Oldfield ran 8:07.00.
• LONG JUMP: Josh Kimberly of Hononegah soared 24-feet in 2008.
Special mention: Beloit Memorial’s Paul Morrow jumped 22-11 ½ back in 1969. Mike Borgerding led Beloit Catholic to the 1973 WISAA Class B state title, jumping 22-10 ½. Brodhead’s Todd Malcook went 22-5 in 1994. Another Purple Knight, Tavien Payton, leaped 22-4 ½ last spring.
• TRIPLE JUMP: Springy James Carter of Beloit Memorial leaped 47-7 ¾ in 1992. That year he won three Big Eight titles: triple jump, long jump and 110 high hurdles.
Special mention: Two jumpers may have had a shot at that No. 1 spot this spring. Turner’s Jo’Vontae Coleman jumped 46-7 last season. Beloit Memorial’s Shelvin Garrett II had a best of 45-11 1/2 last year. Josh Branch of Hononegah jumped 45-05 in 2004.
• HIGH JUMP: Just a quarter of an inch separates the top effort from No.2. Beloit Memorial’s Kevin Smith crossed the bar at 6-10 ¼ in 1989. Hononegah’s Charley Kurklinkus reached 6-10 in 2002.
Special mention: Turner’s Zach McCollum, who jumped at UW, posted 6-9 in 2001. Jimmy Owens of Beloit Catholic won a WISAA state title and Beloit Memorial’s David Erickson won the 1980 WIAA title, both jumping 6-8. Brodhead’s Brekan Day went 67.5 in 2017.
• POLE VAULT: Raven Cepeda, who was an outstanding decathlete at the University of Northern Iowa, cleared 14-6 as a Beloit Memorial senior in 2004. Hononegah also had a terrific vaulter that year. Brett Palmer went 14-3 that season.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Elias Klar (2008), Gavin King (1992) and Justin Wolfe (2000) and Clinton’s Austin Beaumont (2018) all cleared 14-0.
• SHOT PUT: Brodhead’s A.J. Curtis was one of the top prep weight men in the country as a senior in 2005 when he threw the shot put 63-11 1/4.
Special mention: Jim Lewis, who was a powerful lineman for the 1980 Big Eight champion football team, tossed the shot put 57-9.5 in 1981. Hononegah’s John Terry had an effort of 55-6 in 2017. Brodhead’s Logan Maurer had a toss of 55.35 in 2014.
• DISCUS: Curtis was just as good in the discus, putting up a 190-2 in 2005. Second-best in the area goes to fellow Cardinal Logan Maurer with 171-2 in 2015.
Special mention: Brodhead’s Steve Elam tossed 165-2 in 2000. Luke Clausen of Hononegah tossed 164-5 in 2006. Lewis had a toss of 162-6 in 1981 and Turner’s Thor Hanson winged it 160-2 in 1994.
• UTILITY: Every team needs a versatile guy who can fill in in a pinch just about anywhere. We’ll go with Turner’s Seth Pelock, who became an outstanding decathlete at UW. Pelock was a WIAA state champion in the 110 highs, could run any of the sprints, high jump and proved in college he could even do some throwing and vaulting. You won’t find a better all-around athlete.