Boys T&F takes third place

Personal record from Zaph, strong relay not enough to top Wildkits

New Trier’s Boys Track and Field team placed third in the conference meet on March 15, a mark they feel is just scratching the surface of what they can accomplish.

Third place was a successful day for New Trier, but arch-rival Evanston took home the top prize and the equally-hated Hawks of Maine South came in second.

The Trevians finished second in the 50 meter dash, second in the 200 meters, third in both high and low hurdles, and second in the four by four relay.

“The team performed well and it was a good midway check, but it only showed a fraction of our potential,” said captain Patrik Kaufman, who ran both hurdles and the four by four relay.

The 50 meters and the 200 meters were completed by Adam Kunny, who along with Kaufman was one of the highest scorers of the day for NT.

The second-place finish in the four by four relay was particularly hard to swallow, even though it was a more than respectable outcome. They lost by less than a second, keeping pace with Evanston nearly the entire time and finishing at a three-minute, 33.33-second clip.

“We are definitely very excited by the potential of the four by four and where we can go this year,” said Kaufman, who ran the relay with Jacob Steigman, Henry Plante, and Jesse Yang.

Other “standout performances,” as fellow captain Ryan Haggerty put it, on the track side participated in the long-distance portion of the competition. Ford Baker, a cross-country star who placed third in the mile, and Tyler Ackerman, who ran a “very strong” two minutes, seven seconds in the first leg of the four by 800 meter relay.

For the “field” part of track and field, two Trevians set their personal records. Gabe Klewin excelled in the triple jump, while Terry Zapf did the same in the shotput, finishing fifth in the competition.

The shotput is a bit of an outlier among track and field events. While most of them require great speed and/or agility, the shotput involves pure size and strength over all else. This makes Zaph, a 6’6”, 280 pound offensive tackle (who will play college football for the D-III Williams Ephs), a perfect fit.

Two of NT Track and Field’s more important athletes, Haggerty himself and Johnathan Taylor, were unable to participate, perhaps hindering the Trevians in their efforts to get by the Wildkits.

“We were missing our main point-scorers due to injuries, so we were not at full strength,” explained Kaufman.

Haggerty stated that he is recovering from a couple of lower body injuries, though he’ll be a key piece of the team when he comes back.

“I participate in the jumping events, mainly in the high jump,” he said. “When outdoor season starts, I will also focus on discus and the 400 meter race.”

Taylor, however, was more specific.

“During a race, I strained my hamstring,” he said. This is by far the most common injury in track, because of the strenuous workload that running demands of the lower body, especially the hamstrings.

New Trier will need both healthy if they want to take down the Wildkits, but as the season progresses into outdoor competitions, they feel confident about where their team is headed.

“I thought everyone competed well and showed that we could compete at a high level,” said Zaph. “I think the whole team is ready and excited to move to the outdoor season.”