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Mooseheart's Joe Feemolu takes off at the start of the 800-meter relay at the 2013 Northeastern Athletic Conference track meet. Feemolu set the Ramblers into the lead and the team won the event.
Mooseheart's Madison Hart runs the first lap of the 800 meters during the Northeastern Athletic Conference track meet. Hart finished fifth in the event.
Mooseheart's Wal Khat (white shirt) runs in traffic during the 2013 NAC track meet. Khat eventually broke free from the pack and won the race, one of four winning events in which he participated in the meet.
Sahr Mahoney cruises to victory with the anchor leg of Mooseheart's 800-meter relay during the 2013 NAC track meet. Mahoney participated in three winning events for the Ramblers in the meet.
ROCKFORD, April 26 – It's back-to-back in the NAC for Mooseheart's boys track and field team.
The Ramblers were confirmed as winners for the second consecutive year in the Northeastern Athletic Conference meet, held Friday at Rockford Christian Life. Mooseheart scored 173 points, outdistancing the host Eagles, who scored 138 points and were second in the eight-team competition.
"It's a good meet," Mooseheart boys track coach Curt Schlinkmann said. "It was nice that the weather was a little more cooperative. I think the times are starting to show the warm weather. The kids have been working hard. It's starting to pay off."
Mooseheart had a series of strong performances in the meet. Senior Sahr Mahoney won the 200 meters, was second in the 100 meters and was part of a pair of winning relays – the 400-meter relay and the 800-meter relay.
"Those are my main events," Mahoney said. "I worked really hard on those. The dude (Alden-Hebron's Donald Johnson) got me in the 100 because I had a bad start. The relays, that was pretty much the whole team. The other three people did most of the work. I didn't have to do much of anything."
Wal Khat also had a strong meet. The junior won the 800 meters, 1600 meters, 3200 meters and ran a leg of the Ramblers' winning 1600-meter relay.
"All our relays were pretty good today," Schlinkmann said.
Joe Feemolu ran four events, Schlinkann said, where he normally competes in two. He won the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles and competed on relays, opening the 800-meter relay strongly.
"We had a lot of highlights," Schlinkmann said. "Everybody should be proud of how they did. It's a team thing – we had a number of relays and individuals have their best time of the year."
With the annual Mooseheart Relays coming on May 4, the Ramblers are entering the final stages of the regular season.
Meanwhile Mooseheart's girls team finished sixth in Friday's NAC meet – run concurrently with the boys meet. The Ramblers, who competed with just three athletes in 2012, have 18 on the roster this year, meaning they competed in relays, had multiple athletes in finals races and generally continued to show the improvement that has been taking place through the season.
"All the relay teams had their personal best times today," Mooseheart girls track coach Dave Klussendorf. "We're trying to get to the point now where we're going to finalize it. They're working hard. We had a lot of personal bests in field events tonight too."
Mooseheart's best results came in relays – the 400-meter, 800-meter and 3200-meter relays each placed second – and the Ramblers held onto the baton in all relays tonight, erasing recent issues with botched baton exchanges.
In individual events, Mooseheart's best finish came from Erin Stryker, who was third in the 100-meter hurdles.
Like the boys team, the Ramblers girls team competes in the Mooseheart Relays on May 4. From there, the season moves quickly, with the team traveling to Lisle for the IHSA Sectional on May 10.
"As we told the girls, this is the third part of the season," Klussendorf said. "The first part is the training part, with the indoor season, where we work their legs really hard. Then we sort of work with moving people around, trying to see where they're good at. So many of the girls this year are new to the program or we had them last year, but their body or attitude has changed. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, and we came pretty close with it tonight."