image image image image
State Track Generic

State Track: A State Meet Record For Pekin

By Jason Van Arkel, May 18, 2017

For the Pekin boys track team, this weekend’s state track and field meet isn’t just about competing well. The Panthers believe they can win the Class 1A team title, and they took a record-breaking step in that direction Thursday morning.

The Pekin 4×800 relay team of Chandler Eckley, Sam Roth, Isaiah Wittrock and Ryan Millikin became the first Class 1A team to break the 8-minute mark in the event, winning the state title in a time of 7:58.63. The Panthers broke the previous 1A record by nearly five seconds. BCLUW had held the record, with a time of 8:03.06 that was set back in 2006.

Eckley and Roth both helped to set the early pace, as Pekin pulled ahead early and never lost its lead. Wittrock’s third leg expanded the lead well out of reach, leaving Millikin run chase history in the final 800. With the large Drake Stadium crowd cheering him on, Millikin sprinted down the final stretch, and the crowd roared when the time was posted on the video board.

It wasn’t the first time Millikin had come flying down the stretch in the morning session on Thursday. His late surge over the final 400 meters in the 1A boys 3,200-meter race allowed him to earn a third-place finish, adding to Pekin’s point total.  The Panther boys also earned a team point from Trever Northup, who finished eighth in the 1A boys shot put.

The Pekin boys finished day one of the state meet sitting in third place in the Class 1A standings, five points behind Lisbon and four points between AGWSR. The Panthers will compete in six events on Friday.