MOUNT ZION — Four Mount Zion athletes won individual sectional titles on Thursday as the Braves boys track and field team won the program’s first sectional championship at the Class 2A Tolono Unity Sectional.
Senior sprinter Christian Keyhea won gold in the 100 meters (10.82) and 200 (21.66) and ran the first leg of the 4×100 (Keyhea, Matthias Adams, Kemper Koslofski, Chiren Petty) and 4×200 (Keyhea, Chiren Petty, Koslofski, Adams) relay teams that also were sectional champions.
Joining Keyhea as individual champions for the Braves were Julian Baker in the 3,200 meters (9:41.46), Kyle Hensley in the pole vault (4.60m) and Brayden Trimble in the triple jump (12.96m).
Mount Zion’s Sam Atkinson advanced in the 400 (49.92) and 800 (1:55.34) meters with second-place finishes in both events. Thrower Ryne Buttz advanced in the shot put with a throw of 15.05m.
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In the team competition, Mount Zion finished first with a score of 122, ahead of Urbana (64), Lincoln (48), Mahomet-Seymour (44), and Rantoul (40).
Eisenhower’s Taylor wins gold
Eisenhower hurdler Jackson Taylor captured sectional championships in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles on Thursday at the Unity sectional. Taylor ran a meet-best 15.32 in the 110 and 41.11 in the 300 meters to advance to Charleston.
Taylor’s teammate Cale Smith also moved on to state with a time of 4:37.21 in the 1,600 meters, good for second place.
Smith and Taylor are the Panthers’ first state qualifiers since the 2016-17 season.
Other boys advancing to the Class 2A state meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston next week included Mattoon’s Sam Bradbury, who was sectional champion in the shot put with a throw to 15.55 meters.
Lincoln’s Brenden Heitzig was sectional champion in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:33.31. The Railers’ 4×800 relay team (Drake Rutledge, Jude Toft, Heitzig, Garrett Slack) also won gold with a time of 7:59.90. Garrett Slack advanced in the 800 meters.
Monticello’s Jacob Tackett will compete at state in the 100 meters, as well as a member of the Sages 4×100 (Tackett, Mick Wright, Heath Smith, Peyton Scott) and 4×200 (Tackett, Wright, Smith, Scott) relays.
Clinton teammates Isaac Webb and Justin Akeman moved on to state in the shot put and high jump, respectively.
Charleston’s Wyatt Strader was sectional champion in the long jump with a leap of 6.37 meters. Teammate Zach Stout also advanced in the pole vault.
At the Class 2A Troy Triad Sectional, Taylorville’s 4×800 relay team (Jack Chesser, Brenton Good, Evan Morgan, Owen Morgan) qualified for state with a second-place finish. Individually, pole vaulter Drake Howard moved on with a second-place finish (3.96m).
Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten