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Leaps and bounds
Times photo: Black Hawk junior Tyler Quinn goes over the bar in the high jump during Friday's Raider Invitational.
BELLEVILLE - With the championship season of track around the corner, many teams treated the Raider Invitational Friday as a tune-up for conference meets.

Sugar River outdistanced Deerfield, 139-117, to win the Raider Invitational for the first time since 2005.

"That's always the goal, to be peaking at the right time," Sugar River coach Dan Schettler said.

Sugar River senior Jeremy McDermott won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.8 seconds, but he hopes he hasn't hit his plateau. McDermott also won the 300 intermediate hurdles (:41.5), which was just ahead of teammate Brian Anderson (:42.1).

"I wanted to come in today and obviously win," Anderson said of the 110 hurdles. "I wanted to improve my time and get below 15 (seconds) and get ready hopefully for my road to state."

Sugar River senior Dennis Haak won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 51.8 seconds.

"There wasn't too much competition," Haak said. "I basically ran the race by myself. It's a good workout for me. It (conference) will be a little more intense."

Haak wasn't the only runner who looked to be in postseason form. Black Hawk's Tyler Whalen, who finished fifth at the Division 3 state meet last year in the 400, won the race (:52.3). Whalen finished second in the 200 (:23.2), just one-tenth of a second behind Deerfield's Brandon Shaw.

"My goal this year is to be a state champ," Whalen said. "I believe that's everyone's goal. That (the 400) is what my passion is for."

The Raiders' 3,200 relay team of Anderson, Beau York, Travis Beutler and Haak finished first with a time of 8:37.1.

Anderson, who has run the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 300 hurdles this season, remains a versatile athlete for the Raiders.

"He (Anderson) may be the missing link we need in the 3,200 relay," Schettler said.

Albany senior Jake Lincicum finished first in the 800 (2.04.4), but couldn't improve on his meet-record time of 2:02.9, which he set last year. Lincicum's time was about three seconds ahead of Beutler, who finished second (2:07.6).

Sugar River senior Matt Christen finished first in the triple jump with a jump of 39, feet, 7 inches and third in the high jump (5-10). Sugar River's Brendan Pittman finished second in the long jump (19-2).

The Raiders' 400 relay team of Kyle Roth, Kelvin Pryor, Collin Adams and Tory Boley took second with a time of :47.2.

Boley recovered from a pulled hamstring earlier this season.

"Tory Boley is finally back to running at full strength," Schettler said. "That has made a difference."

The Raiders' 1,600 relay team of Nick Davis, Haak, Anderson and Beutler took second with a time of 3:37.5, just ahead of Black Hawk. The Warriors' 1,600 team of Cody Foster, Jiri Benda, Hayden Schliem and Whalen took third with a time of 3:39.

Albany senior Nick Patchen won the discus with a throw of 134-0 and Reece Whitehead added a third-place finish in the 3,200 (10:47.3) for the Comets.

Both the Albany boys and girls track teams are looking to three-peat as Six Rivers Conference champions Monday at the conference meet at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

"Probably everyone else says we are the favorite since we won it the last two years," Albany coach Tony Brewer said. "If you ask me right now, we are after River Ridge."