Titans' boys track team looks to close gap in CSL South

By David Jaffe info@CSLinsider.com
April 9, 2010 08:07 PM

Glenbrook South Boys Track and Field Preview

COACH: Kurt Hassenstein (10th season)

2009 RESULTS: 4th in Central Suburban League South, 10th in Loyola Academy Sectional, 21st at IHSA State Meet

RETURNING STATE QUALIFIERS: Colin Hepburn ( 1st in 100-meter dash, 6th in 200-meter dash), Bobby Mette, Tommy Cowhey and Zak Avila (27th in 3,200-meter relay)

VARSITY RETURNEES: Seniors Hepburn (sprints), Matt Davis (hurdles), Peter Mann (throws), Ed Sesay (hurdles), Chris Kostrzewski (sprints), Robert Chuchro (sprints), Eric Hammond (sprints), Chris Ishida (pole vault), Zak Avila (distance), Tommy Cowhey (distance), Bobby Mette (distance), Charlie Reighard (distance), Tim Kreutzdeldt (distance), Turner Topping (sprints); juniors Kyle Kwasniewski (sprints/jumps), Eric Mrugala (hurdles/jumps), Max Pompilus (jumps/sprints), Rob Wegley (sprints/jumps), Mark Vear (distance), Dan Takaki (jumps) and Connor Freedman (sprints)

VARSITY NEWCOMERS: Juniors Will Ellis (jumps), John Strickland (sprints/jumps), Sebastian Fleiger (distance), Willy Soireise (jumps); sophomores Brad Berg (distance), Drew Reynolds (distance)

OUTLOOK: This looks to be a very strong Glenbrook South boys track and field team – based on its latest indoor season – that could continue to get stronger and possibly compete for the CSL South title this spring, according to Glenbrook South coach Kurt Hassenstein.

“We felt very good about where we are as a team when the indoor season closed,” Hassenstein said. “Having said that, although we placed second we still finished a ways behind first place. So our biggest goal going outdoors will be to close the gap in the conference.”

The Titans will place high hopes on Hepburn, the returning state champion in the 100-meter dash, according to Hassenstein. Hepburn also finished sixth at the state meet in the 200. The squad also will look to Davis in the hurdles for a good season. Davis just missed qualifying for state last season in two hurdles events.

“Colin always gets us a lot of points in the 100 and 200,” Hassenstein said, “And Matt is outstanding in the hurdles. I think he will be able to qualify for state this year.”

But the Titans also have very strong relay teams, returning three runners from their 3,200 meter relay team that qualified for state last year. Hassenstein acknowledged Avila was a “nice surprise” for the team during the indoor season.

“Zak is another guy to keep your eye on,” Hassenstein said. “He has already broken school records in the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run. He has stepped up even more than we expected him to.”

Hassenstein said he believes the Titans will be very strong in the sprints, relays and hurdles evens this spring. He admitted there is room for improvement in the field events.

“We hope to improve on our jumps,” Hassenstein said. “One of our jumpers, Widly Soiresie, has had some injury problems, but he should be back to training soon. We also need to improve in the pole vault and our discus throws.

Hassenstein said he also believes staying healthy will be big factor in the team’s success. He said he thinks that if the team can stay close to full strength for the better part of the season, it should be able to compete at or near the top of the conference.
If that happens, Hassenstein said the Titans could make a run at the defending back-to-back champions, Evanston.

“That was the one thing that disappointed us at the conference meet – how far behind Evanston we finished,” Hassenstein said. “If we can stay closer to them,  I feel we still have a good shot at winning conference.”

QUOTABLE: “Hopefully, in some of the field events we are not very strong in, we can squeak by with some points over the course of the season,” Hassenstein said. “We tend to be a little streaky in the field events, but to win conference, we’ll probably have to get a little more consistency in those events.”