West Coast Trip a Success, Final Stretch of Regular Season Underway

Saturday, April 20 2019 - Arcadia Invitational - Anthony Maida

Making the trip to California as a 4x1600m relay team for the third year in a row, the Eagles once again posted a successful outing at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, finishing seventh out of twenty-five teams in the seeded section and twentieth out of forty-nine teams overall in the elite field.  

The quartet of Ryan DeSantis, A.J. Fundator, Anthony Maida and Michael Villa also combined to record the second fastest time in school history in the event, finishing in 18:14.92, behind a team leading split of 4:28 by Maida in the anchor position.  

Back in Illinois, the rest of the Eagles traveled to York High School in Elmhurst, Ill. for a triangular with the host school and Palatine High School.  Leading the way in the Midwest were breakout races from a duo of newcomers, as junior Justin Chen recorded a massive personal best in the 400m dash clocking in at :54.7, while freshman Sam McCain broke the 2:20 barrier for the first time with a 'PR' of 2:18.5.  

Jones also fielded numerous season and personal best performances in the 3200m run, led by sophomore Aaron Hou's 'top-ten' sophomore mark of 10:05.5 and junior Baito Sarkiss' personal best run of 10:18.9.  Other highlights included season best performances from Jeremy Yakes, Andy Niser and Eddie DeKoven, who made his premiere in the event, while numerous Eaglets also made their debut in the event, with impressive performances by freshmen Alan Menninger, Ethan Sterling, and Alexander Papadopoulos.  

Sophomores Luke Benes and Drew Blackledge were the top Jones finishers in the 1600m run recording personal bests of 4:49.1 and 4:52.1, respectively, in addition to a big day from Antony Rizk, whose performance in the event followed up a 'Sub-11' offering in the 3200m and preceded a career best in the 1600m relay, making it 'three-for-three' for the junior in 'PR's' on the day.  

Continuing the momentum the next week for a Thursday night appearance at Lane Stadium, the Eagles posted an impressive outing across the board in the 800m run, as Maida and DeSantis picked up where they left off out west, recording personal best performances in 2:00.17 and 2:02.19.  Sophomores Hou and Blackledge also put their names on the top-ten list for sophomores in the event, in 2:02.33 and 2:07.43, respectively, while classmates Benes and Michael Sommese also ran to individual bests.

Highlighting the night however were two new additions to the 'Sub-5 Club' in Rizk and Papadopoulos, making it twenty-two Jones runners below the barrier this season.  

To cap off a busy stretch of four meets in seven days, the Eagles traveled to Joliet, Ill. for the #SmithStrong Invitational at Joliet Memorial Stadium.  Led on the varsity level by Maida, the junior continued leaving his mark on the all-time best lists at Jones, finishing second in the 3200m run with the seventh best time in school history, 9:35.31, before doubling back to score in the 1600m run with a sixth place finish.  Joining him on the sophomore level, Sommese also left his mark in Jones annals with a personal best run of 10:13.35.  

Sarkiss also grabbed the final scoring spot in the 800m run, while Hou contributed to scoring in the sophomore 1600m run and the team of Papadopoulos, McCain, Owen Charles and Michael Rizk picked up points in the sophomore 3200m relay.