Each experience at state was different for the three Litchfield High School athletes who competed at the IHSA Class 1A State Track Meet on Thursday, June 17, in Charleston.
For Cameron Crow, it was a chance to add his name to the Litchfield record books. For Will Carlile, it was a swan song and an opportunity to put himself in the conversation as one of the school’s greatest male athletes. For Camden Quarton, it was a harbinger of things to come, a glimpse of the present and the future of Panther track all at once.
And for the Litchfield track team as a whole, it added three more medals to an already impressive count and some inspiration to those who will wear the purple and black in the future.
Two of those medals came from Crow as he joined Anthony Robinson and Jay Stewart as the only Panthers to medal twice in one year. Robinson was seventh in the 400 and sixth as part of the 4x100 relay in 2008, while Stewart was eighth in the 300 hurdles and third in the 4x400 relay in 1995.
While Robinson and Stewart both had relays in their medal haul, both of Crow’s came in individual events. The LHS junior set personal records in both the 400 and high jump as he ran a 50.33 in the 400 to take third and cleared 1.93 meters (6’4”) to place fifth in the high jump.
Crow’s third place finish in the 400 was Litchfield’s best individual finish since Ben Bishop finished second in the 400 in 1982. One of Litchfield’s two state championships in boys track also came in the 400, with David Hessel taking the top spot in 1980 (the other title came in 1914-15 in the 50-yard dash by Harold Shindler).
Carlile’s seventh place finish in the pole vault was the Litchfield senior’s third state medal, but first in track. Carlile, who finished fourth in state in wrestling in 2019 and first in 2020, added to his trophy case with a mark of 3.94 meters, slightly below the 4.32 meters he cleared in sectionals, despite breaking his pole.
Carlile has the opportunity to solidify his spot on Litchfield’s Mount Rushmore for male athletes this week as he qualified for his fourth state wrestling tournament two days after his trip to the state track tournament.
Despite the heat and the pressure of being on the big stage for the first time, Quarton was solid in his state debut. He set a personal record in the 3200 with a time of 10:17, good enough for a 19th place finish, then ran a solid 4:57.48 in the 1600 under what Coach Dan Newkirk characterized as “tough conditions.”
While Carlile’s pole vaulting career is complete, both Crow and Quarton have time to add to their legacies at LHS. Even if they don’t earn further state medals, the accomplishments of this year’s team in a complex and challenging COVID-complicated year should inspire the Panthers of the future.
June 17 at Charleston
Class 1A State Finals
Litchfield Boys Results
Cameron Crow: 3rd in 400 meters - 50.33; 5th in high jump - 1.93 meters.
Will Carlile: 7th in pole vault - 3.94 meters.
Camden Quarton: 19th in 3200 meters 10:17.61; 29th in 1600 meters 4:57.48