High School Track and Field: Lockport’s boys, girls learn together
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media April 18, 2012 8:18PM
Lockport's Megan O'Brien. | File photo
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:36AM
The Lockport track and field program can claim its share of glory over the years, and part of the reason could be the cooperative nature that exists between the girls and boys teams.
While it’s obviously not the main factor for Lockport’s success, working out together around the track — including pole vaulters needling each other while boys coach Tom Razo supervised at a recent practice — can build camaraderie and strengthen passion for the sport.
“Sometimes kids don’t realize until they’ve been around it, there’s artistic stuff that goes on,” Razo said. “With the pole vault; if you ever watch the flight of the discus. The relays are always exciting. You appreciate what other kids are doing, whether it’s your school or another school.”
Razo’s school has certainly done well, including winning last week’s Homewood-Flossmoor Invitational. Individual champions were Pat Fisch in the pole vault (13 feet, 9 inches) and C.J. Monroe in the shot put (53-6).
Distance runner Tom Razo, the coach’s son, and hurdler Johnathon Goins, a state qualifier last year, also will be key to the Porters.
“It makes it easier when you have your coaching staff intact year in and year out,” Razo said of Brett Hespell, Brent Graham, Don McKillip and Robert Beach. “A lot of these guys have been with me for a number of years. They know what I want. I tell the kids every assistant coach is a head coach in their own field.”
Girls coach Joe Kravitz can count on distance runners Megan O’Brien and Stefanie Sanders, and pole vaulter Krista Nauseda, all with state meet experience. But there are other athletes waiting to make names for themselves.
“Our freshman class is awesome,” Kravitz said. “They’re raw. They’re still learning how to do their events.”
Kravitz said freshman sprinter Lane Kadlec is tops on the team in the shot put and discus (106 feet). Freshmen high jumpers Jessi Wernsman and Allie Johnson already have cleared 5 feet.
“We always have a good core of distance runners,” Kravitz said of the group guided by girls cross country coach Evon Marie-Schlotter. “We’re a very balanced team. We have a lot more depth than we’ve had the last year or two.”
Part of that depth comes from other promising individuals, including distance runner Haley Beaumont and sprinters Deasia Jackson and Madison Izzo.
On the calendar
Here’s a look at girls sectional assignments:
In Class 3A, seven area schools will compete at the May 10 Joliet West Sectional. Joliet Central, Joliet West, Minooka, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield North and Plainfield South will be in the 16-team field.
Also in 3A, Bolingbrook, Lemont, Lockport and Romeoville will be at the Downers Grove North Sectional, while Lincoln-Way East — with elite sprinter Aaliyah Brown — and Lincoln-Way Central will be in the Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional, both on May 10.
In Class 2A, Joliet Catholic, Lincoln-Way West, Providence and Peotone will be in a 17-team sectional still to be determined by the IHSA. Morris and Coal City will be at the Mendota Sectional on May 11.
In Class 1A, Seneca will host a sectional May 11 that includes Reed-Custer, Wilmington, Dwight co-op and Mount Assisi.