Boys track athletes make push for state

Robbie Fraser, Sports Editor

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Senior Nicholas Duelfer competes at the Spartan Relays on April 28. Duelfer placed third in the pole vault competition at the meet with a high vault of 12-6. Photo by Robbie Fraser

Senior Daniel Milgram executes the triple jump at the Spartan Relays on April 28. Milgram’s top jump of the day equalled a distance of 42-8, which earned Milgram third place at the competition. Photo by Catherine Zhang

Kyle Foley:

Junior Kyle Foley, the boys track and field team’s holder of the fastest 400-meter and 800-meter times this season, lived across the globe in Shanghai, China just four months ago.

According to Foley, he attended a “secluded” school, and the track team was unable to go outside of the gates that surrounded the school. As a result, Foley was forced to run lap after lap on the school’s track during practice, a much more boring and limited workout than the Glenbrook North track team’s runs throughout Northbrook.

“There’s definitely a lot more [training] here because, in China, … we’d run three miles on the track everyday, and that would be our practice,” Foley said.

Foley, who lived in Shanghai for four years, moved to Northbrook and started attending GBN this January. Since last season, Foley has improved his 400-meter time by nearly 1.5 seconds when he ran a 50.87 on April 15 at the Bartlett Flyin’ Hawk Invitational. He has also maintained a sub-2-minute 800-meter time.

According to Scott Lasky, boys track and field head coach, “[Gaining Foley] was a big pickup for us because … he’s one of the top guys in the 400, one of the top guys in the 800, fits right … in our 4×400 and 4×800 relays, and he has a shot to go down state in multiple [events].”

At the Spartan Relays on April 28, Foley anchored GBN to victories in the 4×400-meter and 4×800-meter relays, and at the CSL North Conference meet on May 12, Foley won the 800-meter run with a season record of 1:59.42.

Foley said, despite his success on the track, his biggest accomplishment is meeting a lot of new friends on the team.

“You have to find [friends] first, and then you can find the comfort, and then you can compete very well,” Foley said.

Nicholas Duelfer:

With a team-high pole vault of 13 feet, senior Nicholas Duelfer said he has aspirations of qualifying for the state meet this year. However, when Duelfer joined track as a freshman, he never considered trying to pole vault.

According to Duelfer, the track coaches were struggling to find pole vaulters, so they approached him because they felt he had the upper body strength of successful pole vaulters.

“No one wanted to pole vault, so I pole vaulted a week before freshman conference, and then I won freshman conference, so I stuck with it,” Duelfer said.

Three years later, Duelfer has increased his highest vault by four feet, and Lasky said he has noticed Duelfer’s immense improvement.

“He’s our top pole vaulter, … and he’s just getting better,” said Lasky. “I think hitting that 13-foot mark was the biggest accomplishment for him so far, but he wants to go to state.”

According to Duelfer, his improvement has not come without a few falls. One of these incidents happened in this year’s preseason when Duelfer used a new pole that was thicker than his arm. Instead of shooting up and swinging over the bar, he shot out and landed outside of the pit, twisting his ankle.

Duelfer said the fall actually built his confidence because he got a better feel for the pole and knew that if he bent it the proper way, he could “tame” the pole and successfully use it the next time he vaulted.

His confidence was key to propelling him to success this year, according to Duelfer, which includes a third place finish at the CSL conference meet where he cleared 12-7.

“I think I had a pretty good season overall,” said Duelfer. “[I faced] a lot of injuries and obstacles, but I think I did all I could to the best of my ability.”

Daniel Milgram, TJ Weinzimmer:

On April 15 at the Bartlett Flyin’ Hawk Invitational, senior TJ Weinzimmer achieved what was then a personal record of 43-6 1/2 in the triple jump, but the way he obtained the record was what stood out most in his mind.

“Me and [senior Daniel] Milgram were both triple jumping, and he went,” said Weinzimmer. “He P.R.’d, and then I went, P.R.’d and beat him by half an inch, and it drove him insane, and I loved it.”

According to Weinzimmer, both jumpers’ competitive drives to beat the other has helped both improve.

“I’m much better when I have someone next to me competing with me,” Weinzimmer said.

As of May 16, Weinzimmer has the Spartans’ top high jump this year of 5-10, second-furthest long jump of 20-9, fastest 100-meter sprint time of 11.59 and fastest 200-meter sprint time of 23.58. Milgram has reclaimed his spot as the top Spartan triple jumper with a distance of 44-4 1/2 and also has a team-best 21-1 long jump.

Both Weinzimmer and Milgram have state qualification ambitions, according to Lasky, and Milgram has seen great improvement this year.

“[Milgram] was triple jumping indoor, and he was going 38 feet,” said Lasky. “Now he’s going 44 feet, and that’s a big difference.”

Lasky said that even though Weinzimmer, who committed to play division 1 football at Valparaiso University next fall, is the team’s top sprinter, he jumps more than he sprints because he is such a naturally talented jumper.

“He’s just a pure athlete,” Lasky said.

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Boys track athletes make push for state