Brehm tears it up for PBL

Brehm tears it up for PBL

GIBSON CITY – Considering he had just won the 3,200-meter run at the Class 1A sectional to qualify for next week's state meet in Charleson, Paxton-Buckley-Loda senior Nick Brehm did not react with joy, but rather, disappointment. Even sadness.

Brehm won the race with a time of 10 minutes, 19.00 seconds and almost immediately sought out his dad, Mike, for encouraging words.

"I wanted to run near 10 (minutes) or sub-10 to get into the fast heat at state," Brehm said of his 'disappointing' run. "I didn't feel good, I didn't feel fresh. I haven't faced really top-notch competition so far this year; I think if I do (make the fastest heat at state) they could help carry me through to a better time.

"Hopefully, I can bust something out at state. This was not up to my potential. Not even close."

Brehm was not the only Panther to advance to state with a sectional title – long jumper Tom Rubarts won with a meet-record leap of 21 feet, 11 inches and sophomore Tom Pacey, who finished 13th in the state cross-country meet in the fall – took home the 1,600 crown in a meet-record 4:35.10.

All three qualified for the state meet last year.

Rubarts and Brehm will both compete in track and field next year as college freshmen, Rubarts at Olivet Nazarene and Brehm at North Central College.

"(Rubarts) is like a sophomore, experiencewise," coach John Overstreet said. "Olivet is excited to get him. He's still pretty raw."

Fifth-place Prairie Central also advanced three athletes: Mike Herrera (tied for the pole vault title, 11-feet), Tyler Popejoy (second in long jump, 21-6 1/2) and Brennen Krenz (second in high jump, 6-3).

"We were pretty excited to get three guys to state," assistant coach Joe Sieving said.

Sieving added that it is the first time the school will sent a pole vaulter to the state meet.

Also advancing were Watseka's Andy Wagner, who came in second in the shot put with a toss of 45-8 1/2, and Ridgeview's Ian Fryers, who finished second in the 3,200 in 10:19.50.

At Monticello. The host Sages rode double-winner Steve Regan (800, 1,600) to the team title. Cory Worthey (pole vault) and the 3,200 relay squad also were victorious.

Urbana Uni High's Frankie McFarland won the shot put (45-10 1/2) and the discus (133-3). Malcolm Taylor won the 400 for the sixth-place Illineks.

Other area winners included: Cerro Gordo's Austin Brandenburg (high jump), St. Thomas More's Dan Atchley (300 hurdles) and Fisher's 1,600 relay team.