After having great regular seasons and qualifying for the IHSA Class 1A State Track and Field Meet, four Chester High School athletes had disappointing performances in Charleston.
Aiden Jany qualified in two events out of the Chester Sectional -- the 100- and the 400-meter runs. Jacob Cowell and Lannin Caron qualified in the pole vault, and Gabriel Steele qualified in the high jump.
Jany, a sprinter, had great potential to do well at what would be the final meet of his high school career. At the prelims Thursday, May 26, Jany pulled a hamstring muscle early in his race and had to more or less jog to the finish line, ending up 34th with a time of 12.27.
Jany has struggled with this same injury several times throughout his high school career and was devastated to have it jump up and haunt him at the state meet his senior year, forcing him to withdraw from the 400 as well.
Pole vaulter Cowell had one of his worst jumps of his senior year in the preliminary round with a height of 3.20 meters. He ended up 24th out of 26 jumpers and did not advance to the finals.
Freshman Caron and sophomore Steele also did not make it out of the preliminary rounds in their events.
"We just had a bad day at state. All of our athletes had much better performances during the regular season," said Head Coach Chris Kern. "I think the hoopla and the spectacle of the stage at state just got to them and they had difficulty performing.
"I really feel bad for both Jacob and Aiden since they are seniors and had high hopes of advancing to the state finals. Both had the potential, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. Cowell will join the United States Marines and Jany has signed to run at McKendree University next year. I wish them the best in all that they do in their future endeavors!"
Kern is looking forward to seeing more from Caron and Steele next year. "Lannin and Gabriel will back next season and will undoubtedly pick up where they left off this year," Kern said. "I hope this disappointment doesn't stick with them for too long."