Sophomore 400-meter runner wins second race of the season for loaded Jesuit program

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit sophomore Sam Baricevic won the 400 meters against Sunset to help the Crusaders beat the Apollos.

The Crusader boys track and field regime will never lose steam if it keeps reloading with young stars such as sophomore Sam Baricevic.

Baricevic, one of the many multisport athletes who dabble on the Crusader track team in the spring, is another example of how it'll require an army to take down Jesuit from atop the Metro League team podium When one star graduates, even the ones who feel irreplaceable, another emerges and the torch is passed. The continuous cycle keeps Jesuit competitive at the state's highest level as the Crusaders remain the envy of one of, if not the, premier districts in Class 6A.

Baricevic won his second 400-meter race (52.40) of the season on April 4, beating Sunset senior Ryan Olson with a finishing kick that helped the Crusaders beat the Apollos 92-53 at Cronin Field.

"It's great knowing you're a part of a community that's done really well in the past years," Baricevic said. "You want to do well for them and continue it."

Olson led for the first 200 meters of the heat and the two sprinters were tied down the homestretch before Baricevic pushed through.

"At the end, your legs feel like bricks, but you just have to lift them up and do your best," Baricevic said. "You look at the finish line and just keep saying to yourself 'Almost there, almost there.' Eventually, you'll get there."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Zach Jansky won the 110 and 300 meter hurdles against Sunset to help the Crusaders beat the Apollos.

Baricevic is a point guard in the Jesuit boys' basketball program, who prides himself on being a hooper first and a sprinter second. As a freshman, Baricevic tore his MCL during the basketball season and didn't run track, but he's making up for lost time with the second-best 400 time in the district.

Jesuit freshman Jack Bennett won the 3,000 and fellow freshman Michael Brittingham set a personal record in the high jump (5-08) to take first overall. Senior Danny O'Neil won the long jump. Bennett, Brittingham and Baricevic are the underclassmen reinforcing what's already a sound senior-heavy nucleus with Alex Wan, Zach Jansky and defending 3,000 state champion Josh Schumacher. Schumacher, who is signed with Stanford, didn't compete against Sunset but will again be the state favorite in the 3K and one of the front-runners in the 1,500.

Jesuit also received multiple wins from Wan in the 100 and 200, Jansky in the 110 and 300 hurdles and Matthew Eichten in the shot put and discus.

Sunset junior Ethan Reese won the 800 and 1,500 for the Apollos who also garnered top honors from Nick Cizik in the triple jump, Trey Marchesi in the pole vault and Nick Van Gordon in the javelin. Olson, Bo Nix, Michael Malone and Nicholas Rich won the 4x100 relay.

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset long distance runner Ethan Reese won the 1,500 and 800 against Jesuit last week.

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