Boys Track: Loyola’s Ford filled with confidence after defeating Later
Loyola's Todd Ford on his way to winning the 1600 meter run at the IHSA 3A Boys Track Championships at Loyola on Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Wilmette. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:15AM
Todd Ford accomplished something no one else in the state has been able to do this season.
The Loyola senior beat New Trier’s Leland Later in the 1,600-meter run last week at the Loyola sectional. Ford sprinted ahead during the third lap and held off Later’s charge down the stretch to win in 4:14.89.
“It was a little slower than I expected,” said Ford, who will run at Williams College (Mass.) next season. “When I decided to take the lead, I pushed as fast as I could. I just went with my gut. This gives me a bunch of confidence going into (state). I know now I can run with the top guys, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ford was the Ramblers’ lone winner at the sectional, though the Trevians advanced four entries to the state meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium, in Charleston.
The highlight of the sectional was the 3,200 relay. All eight entries in the final heat of the race qualified.
The Ramblers’ quartet — Jaquan Grier, Jack Ball, Logan Podbielski and Kevin Donohue — earned the eighth spot by finishing in 7:57.65, under the state cut of 8:00.04.
Ford gives Loyola its best chance to score points at state. His sectional time in the 1,600 was second only to Glenbard West’s Mike Lederhouse (4:13.56). Later (4:16.56) is seeded fifth.
“This is one of the best sectionals in the state, and what I did here gives me a ton of confidence,” Ford said.
William Hague also will have an opportunity to place at the state meet. The Duke-bound senior ran a personal-best 9:18.87 in the 3,200 to take second behind Prospect’s Quentin Shaffer. Hague’s time is ranked 12th.
“I definitely think I can go faster,” said Hague, who’s chasing a top-nine finish to earn all-state honors. “With better competition, I will run faster. The sectionals was not a complete showing of my fitness. I can improve.”
Senior Martin Hunter finished second in the 200 (22.37) to earn his trip Downstate.