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Red Wolves track wins big in first meet at new TF South facility – photos and other local scores

By Mike Clark, photos by Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 22, 2024) – Between the pandemic and a lengthy construction project, it’s been five years since TF South’s boys and girls played host to a major track meet.

The drought ended on Friday night, when the Red Wolves hosted an eight-team co-ed invitational at an almost entirely updated facility.

There’s a new eight-lane track. The horizontal jumps area, formerly wedged into a tight space in the southwest corner of the stadium, now boasts two new runways on the north side. There’s a new high-jump area past the north end zone. And back for the first time in decades is a pole-vault pit.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is the throws area out beyond the baseball stadium. And that’s expected to be upgraded and relocated closer to the rest of the track complex in the coming years.

South sprinter Janiya Lucas spoke for most, if not all, of her teammates when she said there’s no place like home.

“We’ve been so long without … a track,” she said. “So it feels good to be on our own track. … I’m grateful to be running on a track like this, especially for my senior year.”

Lucas swept the short sprints on Friday, winning the 100 meters in 12.76 and the 200 in 26.81. She also ran on the winning 800 relay (1:48.89).

Senior Karrel Harvest, who set the program records in the shot put and discus the week before, was just glad to be able to throw in familiar surroundings instead of jumping on a bus for yet another road meet.

“I’m excited because this is where I practice, I’m more comfortable here,” he said. “Now that I’m able to compete here I can actually show my best.”

It’s been a memorable season for Harvest, who is high up the national rankings in both events. He’s also been invited to compete in a showcase for the state’s premier throwers at Prospect, and he’s committed to continue his career at Indiana State.

“They (were) looking at me since my sophomore year,” Harvest said. “I’m excited, it’s the next step in my career,”

Battling some tricky winds, Harvest easily won his specialties on Friday with throws of 52-11.5 in the shot put and 156-1 in the discus.

Scroll down through the photos below to watch Harvest’s discus form in action (Or click on the first image and scroll side to side for a full-screen view):

Junior David Nkwogu also had a productive night for the Red Wolves with wins in the 110 hurdles (16.81), 300 hurdles (42.76), and triple jump (42-9.75). He also was runner-up in the high jump with a 5-10 clear.

He’s aiming for better times as the season goes on.

“I’m not mad at it because it’s cold out,” Nkwogu said. “I know when it gets warmer and we’re out here way more, I know it’s gonna get better.”

“He should qualify for state in three events,” Red Wolves co-coach Steve Nelson said. “He could qualify in all three jumps but it just does a number on his legs. So we’ve got to figure out which two jumps he’s going to be better at and then get him going in the 300 (hurdles).”

Co-coach Ellie Belli liked what she saw on the girls side.

“We have our sprinters, who are experienced, really coming into their own with a few new people (like) Jordyn Clark in the mix,” Belli said. “Our mid-distance finally jelled today. … Today was a good day, we finally hit our stride.”

South won the boys title 162-93 over Ag. Science and the girls 204-97 over Marian Catholic. The Spartans boys were fourth with 74 points.

Other winners for the Red Wolves were the boys 3,200 relay, Jamya White in the girls 400 (1:01.34), Yanitzia Luna in the girls 1,600 (6:28.47) and 3,200 ((13:58.59), Yashaya Batiyah-Smith in the girls triple jump (31-8.75) and Jazmin Thornton in the girls discus (94-2).

Marian had firsts from its boys 400 relay team, Marcellus Clifton (11.51, boys 100), Paul Frazier (20-3, boys long jump), Arredia Primar (17.6, girls 100 hurdles), Nkechi Okanu (32.6.25, girls shot put), Darhya Bailey-Gipson (4-10, girls high jump) and Autumn Price (16-4.25, girls long jump).

Photo gallery from track meet

Click on the photos to view full screen:

Baseball

The Red Wolves had their five-game winning streak snapped with a 5-0 loss to Crete-Monee on Saturday at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary.

Khanon Gresham had a double for South (10-7), which is second in the South Suburban Blue at 6-1. Oak Forest (16-4, 9-0) leads the conference.

South used a five-run fifth to break open a close game and beat Oak Lawn 7-1 on Thursday.

Tyler Earmsmuth was 2-for-3 with a triple, a run and an RBI for the Red Wolves. Ryan Marnell went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Drew Danehl pitched an eight-hitter for the win with four strikeouts and two walks.

South scored seven times in the top of the first and cruised past Tinley Park 13-2 in five innings on Tuesday.

Leading the offense were Jake Stachelski (2-for-3, walk, 2 runs, 3 RBI), Earmsmuth (2-for-4, 3 runs), Moises Mata (2-for-4, run, 2 RBI), and Abe Serna (2-for-3, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI).

Badminton

The Red Wolves beat Oak Lawn 14-1 on Thursday.

Earning singles wins were Glory Ike (No. 1), Samantha Vazquez (No. 2), Annika Biegel (No. 3), Emily Dominiak (No. 4), Azuri Akbar (No. 5), Deisy Salto (No. 6), Nathalia Castellanos (No. 7), Rereloluwa Sonoiki (No. 8), and Hannah Fowler (No. 10).

Picking up doubles victories were Biegel and Fowler at No. 1, Vazquez and Ike at No. 2, Salto and Akbar at No. 3, Gianna Murabito and Jessica Campuzano at No. 4, and Sonoiki and Kaylyn Imala at No. 5.

South defeated Reavis 12-3 on Tuesday.

Singles winners were Biegel (No. 3), Dominiak (No. 4), Akbar (No. 5), Castellanos (No. 7), Sonoiki (No. 8), Fowler (No. 9), and Murabito (No. 10).

Doubles winners were Biegel and Dominiak at No. 1, Vazquez and Ike at No. 2, Salto and Akbar at No. 3, Murabito and Campuzano at No. 4, and Sonoiki and Imala at No. 5.

TF United

Girls soccer

Karen Zepeda had five goals and four assists as United beat Richards 10-0 on Thursday. Teni Odutusin added three goals and two assists for United.

Zepeda had one goal and goalkeeper Angie Mendez had five saves in United’s 2-1 loss to Shepard on Tuesday.

Boys tennis

Alex Moreno and Aiden Kleidon won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, but United fell 4-1 to Richards.

Boys volleyball

Yahir Silvia had 15 assists and three aces for United in a 25-17, 25-21 loss to Homewood-Flossmoor on Wednesday.

Jordan Hurst added six kills and three solo blocks, while Anthony Peoples contributed six kills, four digs, and two solo blocks.

United lost 25-7, 25-20 to Reavis on Tuesday.

Tremaine Haynes had four kills and three solo blocks for United, while Luis Hernandez had three kills.

TF North

Baseball

Fernando Rios struck out 16 and pitched a three-hitter as the Meteors beat Noble Street 6-2 on Friday.

Carlos Roa scored twice for North (3-13).

The Meteors also lost 17-2 to Richards on Thursday and 20-0 to Evergreen Park on Tuesday.

Illiana Christian

Baseball

The Vikings swept Lowell 10-6 and 11-1 on Saturday to improve to 7-1.

Aaron Gouwens drove in three runs for Illiana in the opener, while Gavin Meyer and Tyler Balkema had two hits each. Tanner Post pitched 5 2/3 innings for the win, striking out nine, walking two and allowing five runs (four earned).

Isaac VanderWoude homered, doubled, and drove in four runs in the five-inning nightcap. Luke Smith, Spencer Bandstra and Balkema also had two hits each for the Vikings. Bandstra threw a three-hitter for the win with five strikeouts and four walks.

The Vikings suffered their first loss of the season on Friday, falling 13-5 to Hanover Central at U.S. Steel Yard in Gary. Meyer had three hits and drove in two runs for Illiana. Balkema added two hits and VanderWoude walked twice and scored two runs.

Illiana beat River Forest 9-1 on Tuesday as Armaan Sen and Jack McDonald combined on a one-hitter. McDonald fanned six over the last three innings of the six-inning game. Gouwens was 2-for-2 with two walks, while Meyer and Luke Smith each scored twice.

Marian Catholic

Recruiting

Seven more Spartans made their college decisions official on Wednesday.

They are Justin McGary (Missouri Baptist men’s volleyball), Carrington Smith (St. Xavier women’s volleyball), Nicole Paris (Rockford softball), Jalen Williams (Palm Beach Atlantic men’s soccer), Jaden Shillingford (Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s soccer), Jonah Weathers (John Logan baseball), and Michael Bailey (Roosevelt baseball).

Baseball

The Spartans were swept in an East Suburban Catholic series by Joliet Catholic, falling 11-4 on Thursday, 9-1 on Tuesday and 10-0 on April 15. Jonah Weathers was 3-for-4 with two steals in the middle game for Marian (6-13, 1-5 ESCC).

Boys volleyball

The Spartans lost their East Suburban Catholic opener 25-17, 25-17 to Marist on Thursday.
Justin McGary had five kills and three digs for Marian, which is 16-3 overall. James Bullock Jr. added five kills and Patrick Sullivam had four digs.

South Suburban College

Baseball

The Bulldogs dropped to 19-21 with a 12-0 loss to Kankakee on Saturday.

South Suburban beat Triton 4-1 on Thursday as Anthony Martinez pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts. Nathaniel MacNamara drove in two runs.

Martinez was 3-for-4 with an RBI, but the Bulldogs lost 6-2 to Heartland on Wednesday. Illiana Christian grad Adam Walters had the walk-off hit for SSC in a 4-3 win against the North Central junior varsity on April 15.

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Mike Clark
Mike Clarkhttps://muckrack.com/mike-clark
Mike Clark is a veteran journalist who has been covering sports in the Chicago area and beyond, from preps to pros, for more than four decades.

1 COMMENT

  1. A huge THANK YOU to Mike Clark for his wonderful coverage of all the region sports! As a long time Lansing resident and sports fan,
    I really enjoy reading his column.
    I love being able to read about all the Red Wolves teams. Congratulations to all our young athletes!

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