Boys Track: Filipczak makes good on second attempt in 800
In the intense heat, Maine South's Michal Filipczak stumbles to the finish in first place of the 800 meter. Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:30PM
For the second year in a row, Maine South’s Michal Filipczak collapsed after crossing the finish line of the 800-meter state finals.
On Saturday, however, it came after he won the state championship at the IHSA Class 3A state championships.
Filipczak, who finished second one year ago, dashed to the finish line in 1:52.01 seconds. Immediately after snapping the tape, Filipczak hit the blue track surface.
“It was sheer exhaustion,” said the Duke-bound athlete. “I loved leading the race from wire to wire. I think that it was to my liking physically. I also think it intimidated the other runners. The 800 was rough on Saturday though.
“After 300 meters, I felt a gust of wind and was a little shocking. At the end of the race, I was so tired and felt at times like I was jogging. I was starting to lose my balance.”
The extreme heat finally caught up Filipczak. After the first 200, Filipczak was leading after recording a split of :25.8.
“I wanted to break 1:50 on Friday or Saturday,” said Filipczak. “I went after the state record on both days. I was not prepared for that type of heat or humidity. Friday was hot, but Saturday was ridiculous. Given the conditions, I was happy with the time.”
He ran a faster time not only at the state prelims, but at the sectionals as well, both in 1:51.93. He won his preliminary heat by more than a second over St. Charles East’ Jake Mazanke, who finished third in the finals.
“He ran a little faster than he needed to run in the prelims,” said Maine South coach Scott Sutschek. “We knew that Saturday was going to be hot and if wanted to get the state record, Friday might be the day.”
Geneva’s Peter Archibald, who finished second in 1:52.60, was kicking but did not get to Filipczak before the finish line. Filipczak, who laid on the track momentarily after collapsing, had to be told he won the race.
Last year, Filipczak ran a different style. Instead of running aggressively and taking the lead from the beginning, he planned to come from behind and pick off as many fellow runners as possible.
“I liked running this way better,” said the Maine South senior. “There were times last year when I got boxed in. At times, I would get shoved to the back.”
The state big-school record is 1:49.71, set by Lincoln Way’s Jason Van Swol in 1998, when the IHSA was still under the two-class system.
Maine South junior 3,200-meter runner Jon Vaccaro took 24th in 9:39.71 and classmate Zach Eckhart came in 29th in 9:52.55.
In the 3,200-meter relay, the foursome of Sam Steinfels, Eckhart, Kevin Dolan and Andy Piecyk finished 7:59.70 in the prelims. The 1,600-meter relay team of Tom Fritz, Griffin Kasznia, Piecyk and Filipczak finished the prelims in 3:23.05.
“We thought the 3,200-meter relay team was a bit of a long shot to make the finals,” said Sutschek. “The time it took to make the finals was a bit beyond our capabilities. I thought our 1,600-meter relay team was a little flat. It was a bit disappointing. Two of the athletes had run races earlier in the day.”
Robert Taylor didn’t get out of the prelims in the 1,600, and pole vaulter Joey Yonkoff did not clear qualifying height for the finals.