Boys track transitions outdoor, finishing indoor season strong

Following an early end to the 2020 season, the Kits haven’t had a full indoor track season in nearly three years, but, through the team’s collective efforts, these first months have shaped out to be some of the most successful yet. 

On Feb. 21, the varsity squad made its official debut at the Rockin’ Relays meet— finishing first out of the 12 teams competing. That day, individual first-place finishes were made by senior Matt Cless in the high jump, senior Jalen James in the triple jump, and Kamau Ransom, Dylan Eyler, Skyler Lee, and Boaz Lieberman in the sprint medley relay. Other impressive performances were made by senior Tim Russel, finishing second out of 44 in the shot put, and senior Julian Webber, finishing second out of 22 in the 60m hurdles. 

“I was really happy with our performance. We won the meet and beat [Glenbrook South], who won conference and our sectional last year,” head captain Cless reflects. “Everyone really stepped up for it, being the first big meet of the year, and did what they had to do to help get the job done. We need to build off the momentum and keep pushing. Indoor conference is coming up, and we want to have the same result we had against GBS.”

Five days later, at the Olivet Nazarene Invitational on Feb. 26, the Kits continued to dominate in first place. Cless finished first out of 61 in the 60m dash preliminary round, and, for the finals, remained in first out of the ten remaining competitors. Additional first-place finishes were made by Russel in the shot put, Cless again in the high jump, and Vorn Eliss, Cless, Lee, and Chase Cubia in the 200m relay. 

Then, at the Homewood-Flossmoor Invitational on March 4, the Varsity A team came in second out of 11— an end to their winning streak. Cless maintained his lead, finishing first for the 200m and high jump, with Ellis also finishing first for the 400m. 

Cless reflects on the dedication that has allowed him to perform so successfully.

“I’ve just stayed on my grind. I give it my all in practice every day, and I push myself to be the best athlete I can be,” Cless says. “I have goals of winning state titles in multiple events, and I use those goals to keep pushing me. At the end of the year, I want to be bringing home hardware, and I use that as motivation to work hard and do well in the meets that are going on right now.”

However, there’s always room for the Kits to continue growing.

“I think we just need to keep building. Everyone needs to continue to give it their all every day at practice, and push towards being their best version of themselves,” Cless elaborates. “I think for myself, I just need to stay hungry because none of these wins mean anything to me unless it’s conference, sectional, and state. I feel like all of us have that mindset.”

Going into the remainder of the season, Evanston has plans for state-rankings, an impressive outdoor season, and, most importantly, opportunities for the team to grow even closer together.

“The best part is just spending time with my teammates. I’m cherishing every moment of time with my best friends out there, because this is our last year together,” Cless elaborates. “I just don’t want to take anything for granted because, when it’s over, that’s it.”