It’s a good bet that most of the of the competing athletes came to Charleston thinking about hot the weather would be. But after the morning session, it’s a good hypothesis they left thinking about Shamier Little (Jr., Chicago Lindbloom).
It has been well publicized that Little was going to run four events: 100H, 400, 300H, and 200- all in a day’s work. To a sprinter, it's like competing in an ultra-marathon.
Wow, did she compete.
Little’s day did not start out with peaches and cream. She spent the majority of the morning icing a sore knee that she banged on a hurdle during a drill earlier in the week.
Little showed no ill effects of any leg pain as she got out of the blocks well and smooth over the first hurdle. The result was a meet record 14.16 ran into a -2.1 head wind. Little quickly ushered herself off of the track and back to solace.
The next event of the day would be the first real test. The 400 seems to be a race that Little delights her fancy in. The question would be how would she go out and run it? It was just as many track jurists in the stands had predicted. Little got out reserved through the first curve and floated the backstretch; she didn’t pick up the stagger until the last 150 in the race. However, it was at that moment that she would begin to turn on the jets and pull away to a comfortable victory in 56.27.
As good as Little is in the short hurdles and flat events, she could perhaps be one of the best to ever run the 300H if she would take it more serious. But long hurdle race has been in decline in recent years and so goes the fanfare for that event. Still, it hasn’t stopped Little from clocking the US#2 mark of 57.83 for the 400 variety from last summer.
After just fifteen minutes, Little was back on the blocks and ready to go. If you blink, the race was over. Little won in a breeze and in record time too- 43.06. Her mark would be faster than girl in the mighty 3A would produce. It was simply amazing.
The final event of the day was just as thrilling as the first. Little was lined up in lonely lane nine and struck the competition like a rattle snake when she lit the home straightaway. It was then lights out all the way through the finish line in 24.57.
Little now heads into Saturday’s final with a realistic goal of winning four medals. If she can do that, she would most certainly win a team trophy all by herself. It would also mean she would take home memories of producing one of the best performances ever, girl or boy, in Charleston.
Springfield Southeast is ready to defend
While the fans eyes were on Little, the Springfield Southeast track team was quietly going about the business of defending their state championship for a third year in a row.
The results were solid enough to keep them in the picture but the Spartans are going to have to work for every point on Saturday.
The team’s workhorse junior Charday Crawford leads the 100 (12.13) and 200 (24.53) fields. In addition, she will anchor two strong relays (4x1 and 4x2) that have an opportunity to earn gold medals.
The supporting cast held its own as well. Junior Brion Portis leads the triple jump going into the final with a season best mark of 38-1. Although she is seated seventh in the long jump, her teammate senior Shawnise Stelvian has the fourth best mark in the long jump (17-9.5).
If every point counts, then the Spartans better hope that discus thrower sophomore Shaniera Wilson can move up from her 10th place seed from the prelims.