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Mooseheart's Oumaru Abdulahi missed his final attempt at 6-11 in Class 1A competition in the IHSA State Finals. Abdulahi finished second in the event to Chester's Kyle Landon.
Mooseheart's Oumaru Abdulahi (center) poses with his second-place medal after competition in the IHSA Class 1A High Jump. At left is fourth-place finisher Justin Christiansen from Rockford Christian Life while at right is event winner Kyle Landon from Chester.
Mooseheart senior Noel Yarngo clears a hurdle en route to a fourth place finish in the 110-meter hurdles in the IHSA Class 1A State Track Meet.
Mooseheart's Noel Yarngo poses with his second-place medal after competition in the 300-meter hurdles
Noel Yarngo heads toward the finish line in the 300-meter hurdles. The Mooseheart senior finished second in the event.
CHARLESTON, IL, May 26, 2012 – On a day when Oumaru Abdulahi was again at his high jumping best, Mooseheart's most dramatic leap in the IHSA Class 1A boys track and field finals may have come from Noel Yarngo.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Yarngo came down the final meters in second place to eventual race winner Colin Carver from Casey-Westfield. But closing fast was Pleasant Plains' George Wayda. As Yarngo neared the finish, he leapt. Crossed .05 ahead of Wayda and came up with some of the blue from the O'Brien Stadium track on his white Mooseheart track shirt for a souvenir.
“It was intentional,” Yarngo said. “I felt like (Wayda) was creeping up on me. He was in my peripheral, so I had do dive.”
Yarngo's second-place finish in the 300 hurdles capped a spectacular day for the Ramblers, who finished tied for 10th in the team standings. Only twice before has Mooseheart cracked the Top 10 as a team in the state finals – in 1942, Mooseheart was one of five teams that tied for ninth. In 1958, the Ramblers were part of a six-way tie for 10th.
The Ramblers scored 22 points this year and tied Johnston City. Leo won the state title with 35 points, one point ahead of Newton.
“If I hadn't come to Mooseheart, I probably wouldn't have done track,” Yarngo said. “Soccer was the only thing I did. Once I came to Mooseheart, I started playing football, basketball and then track.”
Yarngo contributed 14 of those points, and the senior's finish line leap for second place kept the Ramblers in the Top 10.
“Last year, I got sixth, so my goal was to to get (personal record) today, which I think I did,” Yarngo said. “That's all that matters.”
Yarngo's 39.32 time was indeed a personal-best in his favorite event.
“I know the 110's takes a lot of technique,” Yarngo said. “I don't really have all the technique, but I have the speed. For the 300, I try to make up for not having the technique.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Yarngo finished fourth in the 110 hurdles, running 14.75, just .02 behind third-place finisher Joe Morrow from Hales Franciscan.
As Yarngo took off for his sprint, Abdulahi was just setting into the stadium bleachers to cheer on his teammate after finishing second in the high jump. The defending champion in the event, Abdulali tied his personal best when he cleared 6-10.
Both Abdulahi and event winner Kyle Landon from Chester missed all three attempts at 6-11. Landon won because he needed two jumps to clear 6-10 while Abdulahi needed all three.
“He deserved it, (Landon),” Abdulahi said. “He worked really hard for his place. Being second by a scratch, that's hard to take. But it's a game and I am hopefully going to work on it and come back next year and hopefully do better.”
A junior, Abdulahi is the first three-time medalist in Mooseheart track history. He was third in the high jump as a freshman before he won the event as a sophomore.
“It's great getting to meet all the people in any event and to watch the competition,” Abdulahi said. “I think that's pretty cool and I enjoy that every time I come up here.”
Four of the high jump medalists are juniors and Abdulahi enjoyed his one weekend reunion with friendly competitors. The camaraderie amongst rivals in the high jump portion of the infield was widespread. Especially friendly in that area were Landon, Abdulahi, Rockford Christian Life senior Justin Christiansen and Hinckley-Big Rock junior Bill Weissinger.
“We talk here and there on Facebook,” Abdulahi said. “But Justin, Bill and Kyle, I think they're good guys. They're always motivating me or we're motivating each other. You can't compete without enjoying seeing other people hit PR's.”
Abdulahi cleared 6-10 in his first meet of the 2012 season and cleared it again Saturday at the state finals. In 2011, the best he jumped was 6-8, which earned him the title while Landon finished second.
“I'm proud of myself, getting my PR and not going any lower than that,” Abdulahi said. “But here, I wasn't as mentally prepared. This is a hard fall, but I think it is a good one to motivate me to become a better high jumper.”
This summer. Abdulahi said he will be competing for an AAU track team to help him prepare for his senior season.
“I'm hoping to get the technique, get the runs and work on getting mentally prepared,” Abdulahi said.
Class 1A Boys Track and Field Results — 2011-12
1 Chicago (Leo) 35
2 Newton 34
3 Monticello 31
4 St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) 30
5 Villa Grove 28
5 Casey (C.-Westfield) [Coop] 28
7 Kewanee (H.S.) 27
8 Manlius (Bureau Valley) 26
9 Chester 24
10 Johnston City 22
10 Mooseheart 22
1 Kyle Landon (Jr.), Chester 6-10.00
2 Oumaru Abdulahi (Jr.), Mooseheart J6-10.00
3 Matt Mueller (Sr.), Mt. Olive 6-05.00
4 Justin Christiansen (Sr.), Rockford (Christian Life) J6-05.00
5 Matt McDonald (Jr.), Dupo 6-04.00
6 Kolten Postin (Sr.), Moweaqua (Central A & M) J6-04.00
7 Daniel Welling (So.), Monticello 6-03.00
8 Alex Blickhan (So.), Mendon (Unity) J6-03.00
9 Bill Weissinger (Jr.), Hinckley (H.-Big Rock) J6-03.00
10 Nathan Ingersoll (Sr.), Elmwood [Coop] J6-03.00
11 Bryan Heath (Fr.), Taylor Ridge (Rockridge) 6-01.00
11 Daniel Vatch (Sr.), Elmhurst (Immaculate Conception) 6-01.00
13 Travis Kidd (Jr.), Carterville J6-01.00
13 Matthew Brent (So.), Tremont J6-01.00
15 Blake Ebeling (Jr.), Newton J6-01.00
-- Dan Rentschler (Sr.), Niantic (Sangamon Valley) NH
110 Meter Hurdles
1 Colin Carver (Sr.), Casey (C.-Westfield) [Coop] 14.65
2 Marlon Britton (Jr.), Chicago (Leo) 14.69
3 Joe Morrow (Jr.), Chicago (Hales Franciscan) 14.73
4 Noel Yarngo (Sr.), Mooseheart 14.75
5 George Wayda (Sr.), Pleasant Plains 15.22
6 Quenten Austin (Sr.), Vandalia 15.38
7 Dominic Vahling (Sr.), Teutopolis 15.56
8 Payton Holmes (Jr.), Aledo (Mercer County) 24.09
-- Vinny Strack (Jr.), Monticello DQ
300 Meter Hurdles
1 Colin Carver (Sr.), Casey (C.-Westfield) [Coop] 38.71
2 Noel Yarngo (Sr.), Mooseheart 39.32
3 George Wayda (Sr.), Pleasant Plains 39.37
4 Jason Bliven (Jr.), Trenton (Wesclin) 40.26
5 Alex Arteaga (Sr.), St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) 40.64
6 Jacob Theising (Sr.), Breese (Mater Dei) 40.91
7 Logan Hoffert (Jr.), Manlius (Bureau Valley) 41.07
8 Braden Barton (Sr.), Oregon 41.17
9 Seth Brenton (Sr.), Lawrenceville 41.49