Boys track notes: East Aurora to showcase new stadium for 100th Kane County Meet

Saturday, May 5 2018 - Kane County Invitational (Boys)

Boys track notes: East Aurora to showcase new stadium for 100th Kane County Meet

Kevin McGavinThe Beacon-News

Former West Aurora boys track coach John Bell has plenty of good memories of the Kane County Meet.

“I won county 13 times,” said Bell, who coached the Blackhawks from 1972 to 1999. “After the state meet, it was the most important meet there was.”

This year’s Kane County Meet is significant for multiple reasons. It’s the event’s 100th edition, and it will be the first track meet at East Aurora’s newly renovated stadium.

“We haven’t even hosted a dual meet in the last eight years,” East Aurora coach Shane Gillespie said. “We are super excited to host. It will be very nice to host the entire Kane County community.”

“(County) will be very important to East Aurora,” said longtime East Aurora athletic director Cliff Pensyl.

Having a new showcase for the county’s signature track event has added to the buzz.

“I am so proud of East Aurora getting that beautiful new track,” Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said.

“It’s the 100th anniversary, I can’t wait,” Marmion distance runner Michael Ronzone said at the Waubonsie Valley Red Ribbon Classic last Saturday.

Nostalgia will be plentiful on Friday night.

East Aurora has plans to honor multiple former team champions.

“The Kane County meet was the best meet in the state,” Bell said. “We always said it was the start of the Triple Crown — county, conference and state.”

Gascon is one to watch: Neuqua Valley coaches were not exactly upfront with Myles Gascon last Saturday at the Red Ribbon Classic at Waubonsie Valley.

Myles had a showdown on the anchor leg of the 800-meter relay with Hoffman Estates’ Declan Rustay, an Illinois recruit who is the defending state champion in the 100 and 200.

“I am going to be completely honest with you, I did not know I was going against (Rustay),” Gascon said. “My coaches wanted me to relax and run the whole race.”

Rustay and Hoffman Estates edged out Gascon and Neuqua by 15-hundredths of a second, winning in 1 minute, 30.06 seconds. Gascon won the 100 in 11.22 and took second to Homewood-Flossmoor’s Grant Floyd in the 200 in a personal-best 22.61. Rustay did not compete in either event.

Neuqua beat runner-up Homewood-Flossmoor 135-105 for its fourth consecutive win at the Red Ribbon.

“Myles is a very important member of our team,” Neuqua Valley coach Mike Kennedy said. “He runs the 100 and 200 and both of our sprint relays.”

“It’s only the second time I have ever done it,” Gascon said of competing in four events at a major invitational last week.

Kane County legacy: Compared to the Auroras and Tri-Cities programs, South Elgin is a relatively newcomer. But Storm coach Anthony LaRue is glad for the chance to add to the Kane County Meet’s legacy.

“The Kane County meet is the best meet in the state,” LaRue said. “We have had three county champions in our program history. The fact that it’s 100 years old is amazing. We’re going to put our best team out there.”

Kevin McGavin is a freelance writer for the Beacon-News.