Cary-Grove junior Ricky Hurley showed his mettle in achieving one of his summer goals – winning a national track and field championship.
Hurley had to deal with the disappointment of missing the finals in the shot put Thursday at the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
By Friday though, Hurley channeled that frustration into the discus, which he won on his final attempt. Hurley landed a throw of 174 feet, 7 inches to beat Landon Young of Kentucky by 9 feet for the title.
“It was awesome,” Hurley said. “They had a laser marker measuring the distances and I kept looking for something over 50 meters. That one was 53.21.”
The conversion to 174-7 was slightly short of Hurley’s career-best, yet more than enough to send him home happy, something he was not after failing to qualify for the shot put finals.
“I didn’t have any explosion on my first two throws,” Hurley said. “On my last throw, I threw 54 feet but I scratched. I wasn’t the happiest camper.”
C-G coach Layne Holter worried about Hurley beating himself up too much psychologically after his shot put performance.
“I know he was really bummed out after that,” Holter said. “I’m so happy for him. His goal this summer was to be a national champion.”
Hurley had the lead heading into the finals, but Young threw 165-6 to pass him on his fourth attempt. Hurley had a solid throw on his fifth attempt, then delivered the winner on his last throw.
“I kept going through my technique and told myself to stay focused and I could win it,” Hurley said.
Hurley’s winning throw was the last of the competition. He placed fifth in the Class 3A discus and seventh in the shot put at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet in May.
Quick search at Johnsburg: Johnsburg principal Kevin Shelton will start interviewing candidates for his school’s vacant athletic director position next week. Former AD Trevor Leopold left this week for a similar position at West Seattle (Wash.) High School, close to some family members.
Shelton said he was contacting candidates Friday to set up interviews for next week. He hopes to have a new AD in place as soon as possible after the interview process is complete. Meanwhile, Leopold’s predecessor Bruce Harbecke has stepped in to lend a hand.
“Bruce has been a godsend,” Shelton said. “He said he will help us get things done to start the season.
We have some in-house people interested [in the position] and other people who have experience. I’m excited about who we have. We’ll look to move quickly.”
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.