By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (June 4, 2021) — The TF South boys track team has once again raised the South Suburban Conference Championship trophy after a dominant performance at Thursday’s conference meet. The team’s fourth consecutive conference championship comes about a week after the TF South girls track team earned its conference championship.
TF South’s win on Thursday was decisive, as the squad finished 70 points ahead of the second place school, according to coach Steve Nelson. For reference, the TF South girls team won their conference tournament by a margin of seven points.
“I was really impressed,” Nelson said. “They stepped up. We scored twice in every event that we had two runners in.”
Nelson singled out seniors Tylar Mack and Joe Ogunbode as crucial to Thursday’s win and this year’s season.
Mack broke the TF South record for the 200 meter race Thursday, improving on his time from an earlier meet this year, which set the school record at the time. Mack’s 200 meter finish sets him in the top handful of runners in the 3A Division in the state.
Mack also raced a stellar 100 meter race on Thursday, notching him second in the state for that race in the division.
Ogunbode’s specialty is the triple jump, an event for which he is currently ranked fifth in the state in Division 3A. The senior was just four inches short of matching the TF South record for the event, which is 46 feet and 4 inches.
Coach Nelson also singled out the 4×100 relay team, which is currently ranked sixth in the state. The team comprises Mack, Joe Turner, Derek Smith, and Ryan Coleman.
Although the pandemic kept the TF South boys track team from completing its season last year, the year-long hiatus doesn’t seem to have stunted the team’s success as this year marks its fourth consecutive conference title. Prior to the 2017 championship, TF South had not won a championship in boys track.
Nelson started coaching at TF South six years ago, and his current coaching platoon has been intact for five years.
“We have a great coaching staff,” Nelson said, “We all work together — so the girls and boys programs work together … Just having that community and both programs being successful in such a short amount of time, it’s really rewarding. And we’ve had such great kids. We hear that everywhere we go: ‘Your kids are amazing.'”
The TF South girls track team competed in its sectional on Wednesday and placed ninth.
The sectional meet will take place this Wednesday, June 9, at Homewood-Flossmoor High School (999 Kedzie Avenue, Flossmoor, IL). The meet is open to the public and starts at noon. Nelson anticipates tough competition at the sectional level but is optimistic that some TF South athletes will move on to the state competition.
TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue, Lansing, IL.
- TF South girls track wins conference championship, advances to sectionals (May 27, 2021)
- TF South football ends season with loss to Lemont (April 24, 2021)
- TF South Badminton wins sectional, moves on to state (March 26, 2021)