Memory Lane: Tuscola Premier Track and Field Meet
EACH WEEK, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK BACK AT A MEMORABLE MOMENT IN PREPS HISTORY, THANKS TO THE WORDS OF THE NEWS-GAZETTE
This week: The IHSA state track and field meets are approaching, but there are still several big meets left on the schedule. A look back at what was one of the area's biggest:
Date: May 9, 1999
Headline: McCarthy, Hogue deliver
TUSCOLA — Some athletes seem to thrive in pressure situations. Arthur-Lovington junior Matt McCarthy and Tuscola sophomore Kenny Hogue are prime examples, the two shining at Saturday's Tuscola Premier Track and Field Meet.
McCarthy threw a personal-best 56 feet in the shot put and a season-best 168-8 in the discus to avenge early-season losses to Meridian's Joe South. Hogue rallied to win the long and triple jumps.
"South beating me (at Arthur) definitely gave me some incentive for today," said McCarthy, the defending IHSA Class A state discus champion. "The shot was my best ever. The discus was close to the 170-8 (personal best) I threw in the state meet.
"I got off to a rough beginning this year, but things are falling into place."
McCarthy said Saturday's competition brought out the best in him.
"I'm trying not to put any pressure on myself," McCarthy said. "That was my problem earlier. I'm just trying to go out and have fun at it.
"I do enjoy throwing against people line (SJ-O's) Kevin Bewley and South. They are among the best in the state."
Hogue was pleased with the way he responded after losing the lead in both jumps. His best long jump (21-2) came after Prairie Central's Russell Taylor had taken the lead. In the triple jump, Hogue delivered a personal-best mark of 43-5— after (Villa Grove's Matt) Broady went 41-10.
"I guess I prefer to be in pressure situations," Hogue said. "Things like today have happened a couple of times before, and I've always responded well.
"It's not that I change anything. I just try to analyze my last jump and get input from Coach (Steve) Spears and my father."
Manteno's Allie Williams and a youthful Fisher sprint corps were the top performers in the girls' division of the meet featuring the best of Class A in central Illinois.
Williams won the 400 after setting a meet record of 2 minutes, 19.97 seconds in the 800. The Fisher foursome of juniors Erica Gaesser and Sarah Wood and freshmen Casey Wantland and Carissa Zehr won the 400 relay in 52.19 and the 800 relay in 1:50.03.
"We're very, very happy," Gaesser said after also finishing third in the open 100 and fourth in the 200. "We set a school record in the 800 and ran one of our best times ever in the 400.
"The thing that makes it even more impressive is that (Casey) Wantland and I play softball. We've run in only six meets this season, both indoors and outdoors. We never practice with the (track) team."