CHARLESTON (WCIA) — Salt Fork’s Tate Johnson was determined to finish his last race with a win. At the 1A IHSA State Track & Field Finals, the lone senior on the Storm’s top-seeded relay team was behind when he got the baton on the final leg of the 4×200.
He made the most of the home stretch to take the title by one-100th of a second over Maroa-Forsyth. It made up for a runner-up finish earlier in the day in the 4×100. The Storm won the fast heat but were topped by Chicago Hope Academy, who posted the top time out of the third heat.
“I got the baton, I saw there were people in front of me and I told myself on that 100 I was going to catch them and I ended up catching them in the end,” said Johnson.
Salt Fork made a run at the team title but ended up second. They led for most of the day, in large part thanks to Garrett Taylor. He bested St. Joseph-Ogden’s Hayden Knott, who had the top sectional mark in the shot put and discus, but finished runner-up to the Storm sophomore, who won the discus.
“It felt really good in the end but it was hard to watch the last few throwers go while I was waiting to see where I would go but it ended up turning out good for me,” said Taylor.
Bismarck-Henning-Roseville-Alvin Eli Mojonnier was seeded 14th in the 800 but won the state title out of the second heat, even surprising himself. He also medaled in the mile.
“A shocker. I had talked about doing it but I didn’t really think it was possible. I was just telling myself that I could,” said Mojonnier.
Watseka senior Jameson Cluver lived up to the billing in the 400, besting his top sectional time to win gold.
“This means a lot for my school because I don’t think Watseka has ever had somebody who’s ranked first in their class and it’s been a long journey, especially for me.”
After finishing 16th in the 110 high hurdles, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley’s Isaiah Chatman more than made up for it winning the 300 hurdles.
“Just to be able to bring home something for the school, for the team, means a lot,” said Chatman.
That’s a wrap from day one, the fun continues Friday with the Class 2A state championships where the biggest factor will be the heat with temperatures expected to soar into the mid-to-upper 90s.