Keelan tunes up for sectionals with CCL meet record in 3200

Wilmette, Ill --- It’s just five days before the Boys sectional meet competition begins throughout Ilinois. All Jack Keelan (St. Ignatius, Chicago Ill) wanted to do Saturday at the Chicago Catholic League Championships at Loyola was to tune up for the state series.

“All I wanted to do today is get a little work in and not do too much,” Keelan said. “We have five days to go. All I wanted to do was get ready for sectionals.”

Talk about a tune-up.

Keelan was to run the 3200 Meter Run last week at the Carlin Nalley Invitational, but a bout of food poisoning sidelined the St. Ignatius star from that race.

It looked like there was no lasting effects with his little illness. He made it look easy as the junior moved away from William Hague (Loyola Academy, Wilmette Ill) just after the mile in the 3200 Meter Run. His final time of 9:10.50 broke a 25 year old meet record set by former St. Martin de Porres and all state runner Tony Daniel in 1987.

“This was the first 3200 that I have run since Arcadia, so I wanted to get one in before sectionals,” he said. “ I also wanted to run negative splits, which I did.” Keelan went by the first mile in 4:40.5, and then progressively quickened the pace from there. On the sixth lap, he finally pulled away from Hague. Keelan’s final 1600 was 4:30.0.

Keelan’s splits: 68.6, 2:18.6, 3:30.4, 4:40.5, 5:48.7, 6:55.7, 8:04.3, 9:10.5

Providence Catholic dominated the team scoring capturing the Catholic League title for the first time since 2007. The Celtics scored 131 to best host Loyola by nineteen points. Providence was lead by six events wins headed by the strong sprint double by Troy Sheppard. In the 100 Meter Dash final, Sheppard outleaned Theodore Hopkins (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) running 10.95 to Hopkins’ 10.97. Keith Harris Jr. (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) ran 11.03 to place third.

In the 200 Meter final, the weather conditions were getting worse with rain starting to pelt the track. It did not bother Sheppard as he ran 22.90 to edge Treston Forbes (St. Rita, Chicago Ill) by seven hundredths of a second.

Kevin Ward completed the sprint triple for his team, winning the 400 Meter Dash in 51.02. Andrew Helmin improved his 2A best time in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles by running 38.15 and winning over Conor Dunham (St. Ignatius, Chicago Ill) by more than two seconds.

Providence had two field event wins. Michael Monroe won the High Jump with a clearance of 6-4. Chad Weaver put in an impressive performance in the Pole Vault. As the conditions deteriorated, Weaver made the best of the rainy conditions clearing 15-0 to win the event.

The meet’s only other individual double winner was turned in by Todd Ford (Loyola Academy, Wilmette Ill). The Williams College bound runner won the 800 moving away from Nick Beller (Providence Catholic, New Lenox Ill) with 300 meters to go to win by four seconds (1:57.15). Ford came back 45 minutes later to win the 1600 (4:28.24).

Leo Catholic showed that they will be a force in the 1A state meet headlined by two wins in the 4 x 1 (42.48) and the 4 x 2 (1:31.60).