It was easy to figure out why the Pekin boys track and field team tied for second place Friday in the 32nd annual Dragon Invitational at Memorial Stadium.
“Our distance crew carried us and Sebastian Hill did great in the jumps. That’s how we scored the majority of our points,” said Pekin coach Eric McCann.
The distance crew included Brody Blackwell, the only Dragon to win an event.
Trailing leader Mark Skaggs of East Peoria by 20 meters with 300 meters to go in the 3200, Blackwell roared from behind to win the race in 10:05.78, his season-best time by 19 seconds.
Skaggs was second in 10:06.73.
“Brody has been getting outkicked in the races he’s lost this season, even by his teammates, so it was great to see him do that,” McCann said.
Pekin’s Kolton Dunkelbarger was third in the 3200 (10:10.96), also earning points for the Dragons. The top six finishers in each event scored points.
The Dragons’ Seth Kasinger was second (2:05.40) and Andrew Wolfe was fifth (2:10.57) in the 800, and Dunkelbarger was third in the 1600 (4:40.31.)
Hill was second in triple jump (38 feet, 0 inches) and fourth in long jump (19-2.5).
Geneseo won the 12-team invitational with 109.5 points. Pekin and Normal West tied for second with 81.
Peoria Notre Dame and Peoria Richwoods tied for fourth with 68 followed by Springfield Lanphier (54), Washington (43), Morton (23.5), Peoria Manual (15), East Peoria (14), Limestone (0) and Macomb (0).
Several other athletes scored for the Dragons in individual events.
Pekin’s Drake Hawkins was third in pole vault (10-9), Ethan Hall was fourth in the 100 (:11.60), Devin Tovrea was fourth in the 400 (personal-record :51.72), Jacob Donath was fifth in high jump (5-9) and Dawson Vest was sixth in the 300 hurdles (:45.76).
The Dragons’ best relay was the 4x200. Christian Hall, Dylan Christopherson, Ryan Albright and Ethan Hall were second in a season-best 1:32.06.
Kasinger, Jayden Tabb, Wolfe and Isaac Lollar were third in the 4x800 (season-best 8:34.99); Christian Hall, Tovrea, Christopherson and Ethan Hall were fourth in the 4x100 (:44.34); and Tovrea, Donath, Kasinger and Branden Langenbahn were fifth in the 4x400 (3:44.84).
Pekin came close to scoring in three events, finishing seventh.
Christopherson in the 200 (:23.71), Langenbahm in the 400 (:53.18) and Ethan Trumpy in shot put (44-5.5) were seventh.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.