Senior leaders lead Crusader boys track and field team to another Metro League title

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Alex Wan won the 100, 200 and anchored a triumphant Crusader 4x100 relay at the Metro district meet.

Alex Wan was done taking second place.

In the short relay, the 100- and 200-meter dash, the Jesuit senior sprinter wouldn't accept another second-place medal. As the Crusader boys track and field unofficial mantle carrier and breadwinner, Wan accepted the burden placed on his shoulders. As an underclassman, the dynamo suffered his share of gut-punch second places, falling victim to greats like Anthony Albright.

But the Metro League district championship was his shot in the spotlight, one Wan didn't bungle.

The speedster killed it, winning the 100 (10.83), 200 (21.98) and anchoring Jesuit's 4x100 relay (43.23) to not only exorcise a personal demon or two but to ensure the Crusaders' reign atop Metro would endure with 193 team points.

For Wan, who for years was painstakingly close to capturing a Metro crown, only to come up just shy against legends like Albright, his last district showing was a testament to the process.

"It's really disheartening when you're working so hard and your times feel like they're stagnating," Wan said. "You're not getting anywhere. You're not getting under 11 (seconds). You're not getting under 22 (seconds). So, for it to finally culminate after a season of hard morning practices, afternoon practices and getting in extra work on the weekends, it's just a great feeling. It's still surreal to see your hard work be fruitful."

Westview took second with 92 points, Sunset was third with 80, Southridge finished sixth with 59, Beaverton was eighth with 37. Aloha took ninth with 18 points and Mountainside was 10th with seven.

Wan said he has no plans to run at the collegiate level. The district meet was his shot to get his just due and spread the wealth with his teammates. Wan was the only senior on the short relay that included Philip Abraham, Michael Schwan and Ted Atkinson. Wan, Atkinson, Schwan and Sam Baricevic took second in the 4x400 relay.

"To go out with a bang like this with a few medals, get on the podium and especially share that with my teammates and friends is how I wanted to end my season," Wan said.

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Grant Summers won the 1,500 and 3,000 for the Crusader boys track and field team.

It's going to take a small military-outfit-sized squadron to ever knock Jesuit from its Metro crest. Senior Grant Summers swept the 1,500 and 3,000 and senior Matthew Eichten won the shot put and discus.

"We're a solid team that hopefully wins a state championship," Summers said. "There's no rivalry at all between us, we're just all trying to get together and accomplish this singular goal. A lot of guys are stepping up all over the place."

Plus, the Crusaders received surprise first places from Danny O'Neill in the long jump and Emile Yumvirabasavyi in the triple jump. Couple those golds with runner-up finishes from Will Sheaffer in the 800 and 1,500, Shaw Powell in the 3,000 and it's easy to ascertain why Jesuit stays winning. The Crusaders can cover all and any ground.

"It's a privilege to run at Jesuit," Wan said. "In middle school, you're always looking up to the program and saying, 'I want to run for Jesuit High School, I want to compete for them.' I still feel like a young kid coming to practice, looking up to the people who pushed me at practice. To give that gift to the younger kids and pass the torch is indescribable."

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