Morton boys stay on track to finish in upper half

Bryan Veginski
Breck Swinford, a Morton junior, sprints in the last leg of the 4x100 relay May 7 at the Mid-Illini Conference boys track and field meet at EastSide Centre. The Potters took second place in the event in a time of :44.45 and fourth overall as a team.

Morton matched its Mid-Illini Conference boys track and field standing from a year ago.

With a trio of second-place finishes May 7, the Potters compiled 54 points to secure fourth in the eight-team meet at EastSide Centre.

"A lot of guys ran personal bests this year at that meet," said MHS head coach Jason Thiry. "Some guys had some good individual performances."

Morton earned 48 points on the track. Most of those came in the sprint races.

In the 4x100 relay, Breck Swinford, Jeff Abney, Chase Taphorn and Seth Wilkerson were second in a time of 44.45 seconds.

The Potter quartet of Swinford, Wilkerson, Taphorn and Drew Taphorn also were the runner-up in the 4x200 in 1:32.22.

They trailed the winning teams by less than one second in both relay competitions after delivering their fastest times of the season.

Wilkerson was second as well in the 200 dash in :23.14, 0.41 seconds behind Pekin's Cole Henderson, a four-event winner.

The Morton 4x400, made up of Swinford, Matt Lyons, Hayden Brown and Drew Taphorn, placed third.

Also in that position was Brady Carius in the 3200 run.

The only Potter field points came from Cody Hilliard, who was third in the high jump.

The 4x800 of Brown, Luke Riffle, Nick Erickson and Lyons wound up fourth.

Also fourth was 800 contestant Lyons.

Morton had double scoring in the 100 as Swinford tied for fourth and Wilkerson collected sixth.

Dunlap was the champion for the first time since 2002 by one-point, 139-138, over Metamora.

Pekin was a close third in the team standings with 131 points.

Those three schools combined to win 16 of the 18 events.

Frosh/soph: Morton was eighth in the underclass meet with 36 points.

Sam Rodegherio (long jump) and Jeff Abney (100) placed second for the Potters, as did the 4x200 relay.

Metamora was the frosh/soph champion with 142 points.

Postseason: Morton is part of the 15-team Class 2A Macomb Sectional, which is set for Thursday.

There are Potters taking part in the first postseason stop who are state veterans and others who have no experience at the high levels of the sport.

"It's our job as coaches to get them mentally prepared," Thiry said. "We plan on representing Morton High School at state."

First- and second-place winners, plus anyone meeting the qualifying standard, in all sectional events will advance to the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state final May 24-25 in Charleston.