BY RUSS HODGES
CHARLESTON – The Rochelle Hubs boys track team qualified for the finals in three out of four events at the IHSA Boys Track & Field Class 2A State Championship on Friday. The Hubs’ 4x800-meter relay team, led by seniors Donivyn Harms, Julian Hernandez and Colfay Pointer and junior Matthew Drendel, placed second in the first heat and fourth overall with a school record time of 8:04.31. Rochelle's 4x400-meter relay team of Harms, Pointer, Drendel and senior Xavier Rincon finished first in heat three and seventh overall with a time of 3:23.43. Dobbs said the team raced well, but that baton passing proved troublesome down the stretch. Finally, Pointer qualified for the finals as an individual in the 400 meter dash with the second-best time of the prelims at 49.33. With two relay teams and one individual (Pointer) set to run in the finals on Saturday, Dobbs said he has high expectations for his Hubs to finish strong. “Our performances today gave us a good position to finish high on that medal stand,” he said. “It’s going to be very exciting to see how things shake out.” The Hubs’ 4x200-meter relay team of Harms, Rincon, senior Tyler Ryan and junior Lance Huftalin also raced in the prelims, but did not qualify for the finals. The team placed fourth in the first heat and 14th overall with a time of 1:30.99. While the team did not qualify, Dobbs said the exposure the team received is beneficial to his runners’ development. “They improved considerably this year,” he said. “They’ve been working really hard on their handoffs. From the start of the year to the end we dropped almost nine seconds. I couldn’t be happier with that performance.” The state finals will be run on Saturday.