Hornets Win Jared Morris Invitational

The Nashville Hornets took home the Jared Morris Invitational crown by defeating Pinckneyville by just three points. Front Row: Brandon Schnitker, Ethan Reid, Derryn Holmes, and Gavyn Lietz. Middle Row: Daymeon Baugh, Tabor Kozuszek, Caleb Zgonina, Derek Kirgan, and Chris Lamczyk. Back Row: Jace Matecki, Landon Davis, Gavin Love, Graham Speedie, Jackson Aulds, and Justin Aulds. Not Pictured for Nashville was Arturo Garcia, Alec Johns, Issac Sexe, and Royce Plumlee.
By Brent Huelsmann
For the first time since the 2009 season, the Nashville Hornets won the Jared Morris Invitational. Coming off of the heals of a third place finish at the SIRR Conference Meet on May 11, the Hornets capped off the regular season with a win. The Hornets will begin the postseason in the Sparta Sectional, which is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m.
Just like on the girls side, DuQuoin took home the top spot in the Southern Illinois River to River Mississippi
Division track meet. DuQuoin finished with 151 points, well ahead of second place Pinckneyville. Pinckneyville finished with 124 points just edging the Hornets who finished with 123 points. Carterville finished fourth, followed by Anna-Jonesboro and Sparta.
The Hornets crossed the line first in three different events at the meet. Brandon Schnitker finished the 800m run in 2:00 flat to take home first place. The 4X800m relay team of Caleb Zgonina, Gavin Love, Derryn Holmes and Brandon Schnitker finished first with a time of 8:42.84, and the 4X400 relay team of Ethan Reid, Tabor Kozuszek, Holmes and Schnitker finished first with a time of 3:32.11.
Nashville finished in the runner-up position six times at the meet, four of which came in the field events. Tabor Kozuszek cleared 6’ to finish second in the high jump, while Gavyn Lietz cleared 11’6” in the pole vault to finish second. In the long jump Reid jumped 19’ 6.5”, while in the triple jump Daymeon Baugh jumped 40’. In the running events, Schnitker finished second in the 1600m run with a time of 4:34.29, and Landon Davis finished second in the 3200m run with a time of 11:03.5.
The Hornets finished with four third place finishes at the meet. Lietz took home third place in the 100m high hurdles with a time of 17.02, while the 4X200m relay team of Baugh, Alec Johns, Kozuszek, and Mason Niedbalski finished in a time of 1:39.63 which was good enough for third. The 4X200 Freshmen relay team of Jackson Aulds, Justin Aulds, Jace Matecki, and Gavin Love took home third with a time of 1:47.21, and Derek Kirgan threw the discus 130’ for a third place finish.
The Hornets capped off the regular season with a bang, as they took the title at the Jared Morris Invitational for the first time since 2009. The Hornets just edged Central and Pinckneyville as the top three teams were separated by just four points. Freeburg finished fourth, and Madison rounded out the top five.
The Hornets finished with just one first place finish in the meet, but Nashville was still able to come away with the victory overall. The lone first place finish came from Schnitker in the 800m run. Schnitker finished with a time of 1:58.42, almost five seconds ahead of second place.
The Hornets finished with three second place finishes in the meet. Tabor Kozuszek finished the 400m dash in 53.78 to cross the line in second. Landon Davis finished second in the 3200m run with a time of 10:58.24 and the 4X800m relay team of Holmes, Kozuszek, Schnitker, and Love, finished in a time of 8:46.27, just ahead of third-place Pinckneyville.
THe Hornets got four third place finishes, Johns finished third in the 400, Holmes brought home third place in the 800, Reid jumped his way to third in the long jump, and the 4X400m relay team of Reid, Kozuszek, Holmes, and Schnitker finished third in the final event of the evening.
After the meet, Hornets coach Tom Taylor talked about what the meet win meant. “I think it’s just a testament to how hard this team has been working. There are still some things we can work on going into Sectionals, but I am happy seeing the entire team effort tonight. We won one event out of 18 and ended up winning the most prestigious meet of the year. It was extra special tonight. Mr. Terry Morris, the father of Jared Morris was here rooting for us. This is a nice springboard for us heading into Sectionals and State and our boys are peaking at the right time.”