High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: 2A

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Teams Preview

February, 3, 2012
2A Sprint/Hurdles | 2A Distance | 2A Field Events | 2A Relays

After all was said and done, perhaps Class 2A was the one out of all of the 3 boys classes that may have been affected the most. There were some schools that were moved up to 3A. Some schools that moved up to 2A. The dynamics have changed dramatically the most in this class.

But saying all of that, one thing remains constant: Cahokia remains the favorite for the team title going into the 2012 season. There are some schools that will challenge the Commaches, but do they have the depth that this Southern Illinois school has?

Here is a look at the top teams in Class 2A heading into this season:

2011 Finish: 1st

Top Returnees: Trey Story SR (Sprints), Marlin Brady SO (Sprints), Darren Payton JR (400-800), Antonio Pierce JR (HJ, Sprints),
Gary Hickman SO (Hurdles), Chriss Moore JR (Hurdles, Jumps), Daniel McCall SO (Jumps), Kenny Ball SR (400-800),
Jalon Monigan SO (Mid Distances), Michael Monigan SO (Mid Distances).

Outlook: Vernon Carter and Laderrick Ward were the two leaders of last year’s squad that dominated the Class 2A state meet. They accounted individually for 42 out of the Comanches 62 points with Ward a member of their winning 4 x 400 meter relay. Still, this school will not spend a year rebuilding. They will be reloading.

Coach Leroy Millsap has a squad that is young and talented. He is also deep which will free him up to do different things with athletes this season. Last year, Cahokia did not get to the finals in the 4x1 and the 4x2. With the depth he has this year, count on them being in the mix. They return the core of their winning 4x4 relay and could possibly go for a time in the low 3:16’s. Chris Moore has been jumping well so far this winter in both the Long and Triple Jumps. He could be in the mix in both of those events in May. Trey Story could score points in either of the dashes. Look for big things from either Marlon Brady or Darren Payton also in the 400.

Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
2011 Finish: 3rd

Top Returnees: Wesley Sanders SR (Sprints), John Wold SO (Distances), Joe Singleton SO (Distances), Elven Walker SR (Sprints/Hurdles), Nick Boesso SR (Weights), Tim Maggit SO (Sprints).

Outlook: In Andy Preuss’ last campaign as the Raiders head coach, this team will look to improve on last year’s 3rd place finish. John Wold has emerged as one of the elite runners in Class 2A and could score points in either the 800 or 1600 or perhaps both. Fellow distance runner Joe Singleton had a good fall campaign in cross country and will look to build off of that this spring. Nick Boesso will among the top athletes in both the Shot Put and the Discus.

Sprinter Wesley Sanders has been sprinting in the shadows of graduated Garrett Payne. Watch for him in both the 100 and 200. Sanders will also be a plus in both of South's sprint relays.

Decatur MacArthur
2011 Finish: 19th

Top Returnees: Michael Clevenger SR (Distances), Jonathan Boey JR (Sprints), Nathan Allyn JR (Distances), Carlos Harris SR (Jumps), Aquintis Williams JR (Sprints), Jeff Auton SR (Weights), Tony Harris SR (Distances).

Outlook: This school could surprise in 2A in Charleston. Michael Clevenger is the defending champion in the 3200 and will look to defend that this year. He will also be one of the favorites in the 1600. Coach Micah Sheppard has a good sprint squad led by Juniors Jonathan Boey and Aquintis Williams. Both of these sprinters could score in either of the short races as well as the 4x1 and 4x2 relays. Nathan Allyn made the 800 finals last year as a sophomore. Look for him to challenge for the top spot this season. Carlos Harris returns as one of the top Triple Jumpers in 2A and could score in both or the horizontal jumps

Mt. Vernon
2011 Finish: 10th

Top Returnees: Anthony Moore SR (Sprints), Spencer Allen SR (Hurdles), Karson Hahn JR (Distances), David Modert SO (Distances), Trace Turner SR (Pole Vault), Diamond Hodge JR (Triple Jump).

Outlook: Another school that could be in the top 5 in Charleston. Anthony Moore leads the way as being one of the top runners in the 400. Look for Spencer Allen to score points for the Rams in both hurdle races. Trace Turner will also provide points in the Pole Vault along with David Modert in the 1600.

2011 Finish: 2nd

Top Returnees: Joey Giovanelli SR (Sprints), Marc Maton JR (Distances), Luke Perko JR (Hurdles), Whitt Kinley SR (Distances), Tyler Brinkman JR (Sprints), Michael Giovanelli SO (Sprints).

Outlook: Can the Titans repeat their second place finish of last season? Coach Len Onken did lose some runners to graduation in the sprints. Joey Giovanelli however returns. The senior is forecasted to be one of the top sprinters in the state and could score points in the sprint races along with helping out in the relays. Marc Maton did not have a great state meet in Cross Country. Look for him to rebound this spring in both the 1600 and the 3200.

Midlothian Bremen
2011 Finish: 14th

Top Returnees: Dion Starnes SR (Sprints, Hurdles), Torian Parks JR (Sprints, Hurdles, Long Jump), Charles Jideonwo SR (Sprints), Demetrius Shelton JR (Sprints), Robert Fielding SR (Sprints).

Outlook: There are teams that revolve around one superior athlete. This is the case with the Braves. Senior Dion Starnes will be one of the favorites in the High Hurdles and the 200 along with being a force on a good 4x2 relay. So goes Starnes, so goes this team. They do have good speed with Torian Parks in the sprints and hurdles. Also watch for points from Charles Jideonwo in the 400 Meter Dash.

2011 Finish: 16th

Top Returnees: Marshall Graham SR (Sprints), Eli Johnson SR (Distances), Lucas Prather SR (Distances), Jonathan Schaap JR (Distances), Matthew Schaap SR (Hurdles), Austin Armetta SR (Pole Vault), Garrett Risley SR (Pole Vault), Derek Bunch SR (Weights), Luke Roush SR (Weights).

Outlook: Coach Keith Pogue continues to build a great tradition at this school. This is another team that could surprise and be in the top 5 in Charleston. You can expect big points from Derek Bunch and Luke Roush in the weight events. Bunch will be among the elite as will Roush in the Discus.The distance squad had a great fall in Cross Country and will look to build off of that in 2012. They will have a good 4x8 led by Eli Johnson and Lucas Prather and Jonathan Schaap could score points in the distance races. The Bulldogs will have a good sprint squad led by Marshall Graham. Watch also for points in the Pole Vault from either Austin Armetta or Garrett Risley.

Normal University
2011 Finish: 14th

Top Returnees: Brent Emmerson SR (Sprints), Wesley Ward JR (Distances), Brendan Hoskins JR (Distances), Ivan Sykes SR (Jumps), Kyle Morris SR (Jumps), Chiko Zimtambila SR (Jumps), Carson Schumacher JR (Weights).

Outlook: This school could be in the hunt for a top 5 finish this spring. Coach Lester Hampton traditionally has a strong distance squad and 2012 will be no exception. Juniors Wesley Ward and Brendan Hoskins lead a group that could score points here and in the 4 x 8 relay. The horizontal jumps could be strong with Kyle Morris, Ivan Sykes, and Chiko Zimtambila all with the capability of scoring points at the state level.

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Field Events Preview

February, 3, 2012
Here is a glimpse of what to look for in the 2A field events this season:

Long Jump
22-11.50 Travon Diggins JR Galesburg 6th - AA
22-5.50 Pierre House SR Murphysboro 7th - A
22-3 Lonnie Washington JR Chicago Perspectives Charter
22-2.50 Bradley Wright SR Champaign Central
21-6.75 Adonis Hill SR Centralia
21-6.25 Ian Ferguson SR Rock Island Alleman
21-5 Glynn Chatmon SR Melrose Park Walther Lutheran 4th - A
21-5 Carlos Harris SR Decatur MacArthur
21-4 Jon Worley JR Dixon
21-4 Terrall Rank SR Peoria Central
21-3..50 Cornell Hartz JR Sterling
21-2.50 Mitch Kimble JR Jerseyville Jersey
21-0.25 Brent Brown JR Washington
21-0 Mike Beckman SR Lake Villa Lakes
20-11.25 Caleb Harris SR Springfield Southeast
20-11 Dion Starnes SR Midlothian Bremen
20-11 Rashad White SR Rantoul
20-11 Scott Goad SR Dixon
20-10.75 Josh Williams SR Chicago Northside Prep

Maybe out of all the field events, this may be the most wide open of the 6. Junior Travon Diggins of Galesburg HS has the longest jump out of all the returnees and the only all state jumper from 2A with a 6th place finish. Pierre House of Murphysboro HS and Glynn Chatmon of Melrose Park (Walther Lutheran HS) placed in the 1A meet and will be a factor in this event.

Other jumpers to keep a close eye on include Chris Moore of Cahokia HS, Lonnie Washington of Chicago (Perspectives Charter HS), Bradley Wright of Champaign (Central HS), Adonis Hill of Centralia HS, Ian Ferguson of Rock Island (Alleman HS), and Carlos Harris of Decatur (MacArthur HS).

Triple Jump
45-5.50 Cody Leach SR Chicago St. Rita 5th - AAA
45-4.50 Aaron Perry SR Mt. Zion 7th - AA
44-6 Carlos Harris SR Decatur MacArthur
44-5.25 Donald Kellum JR Murphysboro 4th - A
43-10.75 Darmond Lee SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest
43-7.25 Donte Arnold SR Woodstock
43-3 Chiko Zintambila SR Normal University
43-2.25 Terrall Rank SR Peoria Central
43-1 Travon Diggins JR Galesburg
42-10 Victor Baker SR Evergreen Park
42-4.50 Ivan Sykes SR Normal University
42-1.75 Austin Burrows SR Princeton 9th - A
42-1 Mike Beckman SR Lake Villa Lakes
41-10.50 Tavion Neal JR Springfield Lanphier
41-10 Daniel McCall SO Cahokia
41-10 Sean Fitzgerald SR New Lenox Providence
41-9.50 Darmond Lee SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest
41-9 Jeff Walker SR Champaign Centennial
41-9 Chris Williams SR Rochelle
41-7.50 Jeff Walker SR Melrose Park Walther Lutheran

This event is could be similar to the Long Jump. Cody Leach of Chicago (St. Rita HS) a year ago finished 5th place in 3A. He would have been one of the favorites on the higher class this season. The same can be said in this class. The one returning all state jumper in this event in 2A is Aaron Perry of Mt. Zion HS who finished 7th last year. Both Leach and Perry’s personal bests are separated by only one inch making the battle this spring very intriguing. Junior Chris Moore of Cahokia HS was not even on the radar in this event last year. This winter he has already jumped 45’ 5 ¾”. He will be in the mix to keep the crown in this event in Cahokia. Vernon Carter has won this event the last 2 years.

There are 2 all state jumpers from 1A that are moving up. Donald Kellum of Murphysboro HS finished 4th, Austin Burrows of Princeton HS finished 9th. Both will be in the mix this spring.

Other athletes to watch in this include Carlos Harris of Decatur (MacArthur HS), Darmond Lee of Country Club Hills (Hillcrest HS), Donte Arnold of Woodstock HS, Chiko Zintambila of Normal (University HS), and Terrall Rank of Peoria HS.

High Jump
6-6 Eddie Grogg SR Woodstock NH - AA
6-5 Austen Stewart JR Princeton 4th - A
6-5 Justin Kretchmer JR Waterloo 4th - AA
6-5 Ian Briscoe JR Fairbury Prairie Central
6-4 Antonio Crossland SR Salem
6-4 Bobbie Mannie SR Herrin
6-4 Alex King SO Metropolis Massac County
6-4 Conner Stroud SR Manteno 11th - A
6-4 Justin Maskrey SR Dunlap
6-3 Paul Quick JR Rantoul
6-3 Chris Williams SR Rochelle 11th - AA
6-3 Logan Zeman SO LaSalle-Peru
6-3 Dwight Snowden SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest 10th - AA
6-2 Joseph Jones SR Plano
6-2 Andrew Schulte SR Breese Central
6-2 Darmond Lee SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest

Could be an interesting event. The favorite would have been Marmion Academy’s Peter Stefanski, who finished 2nd in 2A last year. With Marmion moving up, there is no clear favorite in this event. Eddie Grogg of Woodstock HS has the highest clearance of 6’ 6”. He did make the finals last year, but no heighted. Look for big things from him this year. There are two all state jumpers that return. Justin Kretchmer of Waterloo HS finished 4th last year in 2A and Austen Stewart of Princeton HS finished 4th in 1A.

Talent is pretty equal in this event which makes it interesting. With that said, keep an eye also for these jumpers in 2012: Ian Briscoe of Fairbury (Prairie Central HS), Antonio Crossland of Salem HS, Bobbie Mannie of Herrin HS, Alex King of Metropolis (Massac County HS), and Justin Maskrey of Dunlap HS.

Pole Vault
15-0 Tyler Ginger JR Stanford Olympia 2nd - A
14-6 Brandon Carrel SR Urbana 1st - AA
14-3 Austin Armetta SR Mahomet-Seymour
14-3 Trace Turner SR Mt. Vernon 3rd - AA
14-1 Brock McGee SR Herrin
14-0 Blake Pasley JR Rochester 11th - A
14-0 Charles Fenner SR Metamora
13-9 Chad Weaver JR New Lenox Providence
13-9 Pat Barrett SR Lombard Montini 5th - AA
13-9 Mark Panno SR Pontiac 6th - AA
13-6 Garrett Risley SR Mahomet-Seymour
13-6 Tyler Jourdan SO Salem 9th - AA
13-3 Kory Harner JR Maple Park Kaneland
13-3 Mike Schneiderbauer SR Sterling
13-0 Chase Black SO Charleston
13-0 Alex Staton SR Rochester

If I could only watch one event in 2A, this could be the one. There are 6 vaulters that return that attained all-state honors last spring. Branden Carrel of Urbana HS won this title last spring with a clearance of 14’ 6”. He will have company to push him this spring. Tyler Ginger of Stanford (Olympia HS) finished 2nd in 1A last year. His best vault last year was 15’ 0”. We could see a great battle here with both of these athletes pushing each other towards 16’.

The 4 other all state vaulters that deserve mention and will be in the hunt for the state championship include Trace Turner of Mt. Vernon HS, Pat Barrett of Lombard (Montini Catholic HS), Mark Panno of Pontiac HS, and Tyler Jourdan of Salem HS.

Also, watch for these vaulters to also make a difference in this event: Austin Armetta of Mahomet (Seymour HS), Brock McGee of Herrin HS, Blake Pasley of Rochester HS, and Charles Fenner of Metamora HS.

Shot Put
58-7 Josh Augusta JR Peoria Central 2nd - AA
55-4 Joel Valdivia SR Grayslake Central 4th - AA
55-2.75 Derek Bunch SR Mahomet-Seymour 5th - AA
54-1.50 Nick Boesso SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South 7th - AA
52-9.50 Joe Huffman SR Geneseo 6th - AA
52-9 Luke Roush SR Mahomet-Seymour 10th - AA
50-8 Kaid Koester SR Carbondale
50-7.50 Jack Friedrich JR Metamora
50-5 Carson Schumacher JR Normal University
50-4 Tyler Roche SR Troy Triad
50-0.25 Brendan Duncan JR Waterloo
49-4 Mark Bortoli SR Rockford Boylan
49-3 Jon Shippert SR Dixon 12th - AA
49-1 Nate Boggs SR Effingham
49-1 Alan Gomez SR Lake Villa Lakes

At the beginning of last year, it looked like Springfield Lanphier’s Kevin Farley would be the dominant force in this event. Well, he did win his 2nd straight state championship and he did set a record in 2A. But he did have company at the state final that pushed him to the record. Joshua Augusta of Peoria HS set the record early in the final only to be trumped right after that by Farley.

I think it will be fascinating to watch Augusta in the Shot this year. He pushed the state champ last year and the fun thing is he was only a sophomore! Only a novice in this event, this young man once he realizes what he can do could go after Farley’s record and possibly the overall state record.

This is a packed event with 4 other weightmen pushing Augusta. The two that could be the main challengers to Augusta would be Joel Valdivia of Grayslake (Central HS) who finished 4th last year, and Derek Bunch of Mahomet (Seymour HS) who finished 5th.

Joe Huffman of Geneseo HS and Nick Boesso of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS) also were all-state last year. Do not discount them.

Other athletes to watch include Luke Roush of Mahomet (Seymour HS), Kaid Koester of Carbondale HS, and Jon Shippert of Dixon HS.

170-9 Brendan Duncan JR Waterloo 1st - AA
168-10 Jacob Armbrust SR Metamora 3rd - AA
157-2 Nick Arnold SR Rockford Boylan
157-0 Luke Vaughn JR Champaign Centennial 7th - AA
155-5 Darius Tumminello SR Lake Villa Lakes
151-0 Joe Huffman SR Geneseo 9th - AA
150-10 Nick Boesso SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South 11th - AA
150-2.50 Kaid Koester SR Carbondale
149-5.50 Michael Jean JR Mattoon 12th - AA
148-3.50 Luke Roush SR Mahomet-Seymour
147-4 Zach Fienhold JR Fairbury Prairie Central
146-0.50 Derek Bunch SR Mahomet-Seymour
145-7 Terrance Allen SR Lisle

I think this could be just as interesting as the Shot Put. Brendan Duncan of Waterloo HS just won last year’s title by 1 inch over Springfield Lanphier’s Kevin Farley. Duncan’s prelim throw held off an oncharging Farley on that championship Saturday.

Duncan will have company again this year. Jacob Armbrust of Metamora HS placed 3rd last year and is only 2 feet behind Duncan. Should be a spirited final with Duncan’s record that he set last year most likely will be surpassed.

Two other all-state throwers return from 2011. Luke Vaughn of Champaign (Centennial HS) and Joe Huffman of Geneseo HS should be both in the mix to challenge the above mentioned two.

Other throwers to watch include Nick Arnold of Rockford (Boylan HS), Darius Tumminello of Lake Villa (Lakes HS), Nick Boesso of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS), and Michael Jean of Mattoon HS.

Comments/Questions: contact Michael Newman : newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Relays Preview

February, 3, 2012
Perhaps the toughest thing to forecast at the beginning of February is how a school’s relay will look at in the end of May. Truth is, I doubt there is one coach that knows exactly looks like right now. There is months of tinkering that still needs to be done. So let’s give you an idea of which school’s have the right parts that could contest and see where it takes us.

4 x 800m Relay
7:54.25 Riverside-Brookfield (3rd - AA)
Travis Trevizo SR, John Kingzette SR, Dan Curtin SO, Chris Dziagwa SR, John Keen JR, Spencer Purcell SO.
7:57.83 Normal University (4th - AA)
Brett Emmerson SR, Alex Chavez SR, Brendan Hoskins JR
7:57.99 Galesburg (7th - AA)
Beau Salsman SR, Andrew Smith SR, Shay Hostens SR, Josh Link SR, Steve Quinn SR, Andrew Welch SR.
7:58.67 Chatham-Glenwood (6th - AA)
Whitt Kinley SR, Tyler Brinkman JR, Marc Maton JR.
8:00.79 Rockford Christian (3rd - AA)
Ethan Anderson JR, Tyler Menge SR
8:01.78 Cahokia (8th - AA)
Marlin Brady SO, Darren Payton JR, Jalon Monigan SO, Leon Gillespie SR, Mike Monigan SO, Demeko Stringfellow SO.
8:03.37 Rock Island Alleman (6th - A)
Liam Otto JR, Ethan Adifinger JR, Axel Box JR, Will Graham JR.
8:03.73 Mahomet-Seymour (9th - AA)
Elijah Johnson SR, Cale McCormick SR, Chris Carlton SO, Lucas Prather SR, Leighton Shallenberger JR, Forest Smoes SO.
8:05.20 Sterling (17th - AA prelims)
Aaron Brenner SR, Alejandro Rivera SR, Dylan Harkness SR, Jacob Landis SR, Alex Rodriguez SR.
8:06.72 Burlington Central
Clint Kliem SR, Mike Gulik SR.
8:06.90 Rochelle (18th - AA prelims)
Tyler Rivera JR, Trey Lodico SR, Frank Huftalin SR, Kevin Smith SR, Zech Van Vickle SO.
8:08.37 Maple Park Kaneland (15th - AA prelims)
Mickey Marin SR, Luis Acosta SO, Clayton Brundige SR, Kyle Carter JR, Conor Johnson JR, Kaleb Schuppner SO, Chad Swieca JR.
8:09.32 Aurora Central Catholic (14th - AA prelims)
Matt Meyers JR, Matt Marter SR, Alex Duncan SR, Daniel Aguilera JR, Adrian Alviar JR, Javier Montelongo SO.
8:09.82 Lansing Illiana Christian (12th - AA)
Matt Hall SR, Tony Wondaal SO, Jordan Dekker jR, Mylo Dixon SR, Nathan Rarick SR, Kevin Vreogh SO.
8:09.91 Morton (10th - AA)
Austin Bradford SR, Nick Steffen SR, Fernandez Bjork SR, Matt Lyons JR, Joe Scherer SR.
8:11.34 Sycamore (16th - AA prelims)
John Mathey SR, Zach Aase SR, David Emmert JR, John Guss JR, Riley Powers SR.
8:11.99 Pontiac (13th - AA prelims)
Zac Justus SO, Shawn Milhauser JR, Charles Hodges SR, Brendan Decker JR, Ryan Ingram JR, Josh McCoy SO, Becardy Taylor SR.
8:14.04 Peoria Notre Dame (20th - AA prelims)
Ben Coyer SR, Chris Fortin SO, Ryan Frow SO, Grant Inskeep JR, Michael Kouri SR.

We should see some new blood in this event. The last two champions, Springfield HS and Belvidere (North HS) have moved up to 3A. Last year’s second place team, Yorkville, has moved up as well. New faces should be abound in this event.

Keep an eye on Riverside (Riverside-Brookfield HS). Over the last few years, this school has been moving up in this relay. Last year, they finished 3rd. They have 2 runners from last year’s relay led by Travis Trevizo and John Kingzette.

The one school that could take the big prize is Mahomet (Seymour HS). The Bullldogs had a successful cross country campaign in the fall. You could see this school build off of that this spring. Cale McCormick and Elijah Johnson should be 2 of the top runners of this squad.

Could this be the year for Cahokia HS? It seems like every year that they hammer down a fast time early in the year and then cannot match that at the state meet. Some of it has to do with the runners that are on that squad are in multiple events as well. Marlin Brady and Darren Payton are 2 key members of that squad, but you could see them in other events. Whomever Coach Leroy Milsap decides on, it will be a talented squad that will contest for the championship.

Also keep an eye on the following schools as well: Chatham (Glenwood HS), Galesburg HS, Normal (University HS), Rock Island (Alleman HS), Sterling HS, Maple Park (Kaneland HS), Lansing (Illiana Christian HS), and Aurora (Central Catholic HS).

4 x 100m Relay
41.60 Country Club Hills Hillcrest (7th - AA)
Moshood Adeyemo JR, Anthony McCaskill JR, Shaquille Thompson JR, Joshua Vaughn SR, LaRon Williams SO.
42.00 Centralia (5th - AA)
Adonis Hill SR, Andrew Panega SR, Brandon Engelkins JR, Travondis Lee JR, Stefonta Moore SR.
42.30 Midlothian Bremen (4th - AA)
Torian Parks JR, Demetrius Shelton JR, Dion Starnes SR, Charles Jideonwo SR, James Ruffin JR, David Smith SR.
42.36 Glen Ellyn Glenbard South (2nd - AA)
Tim Magitt SO, Wesley Sanders SR, Jarius Shannon JR, Elven Walker SR.
42.39 Chatham-Glenwood (3rd - AA)
Joey Giovannelli SR, Donovyn Hammonds JR, Quamir McNair JR, Rocky Morse SO, Greg Roberts JR.
42.53 Peoria Central (12th - AA prelims)
Martez Cox JR, Terrall Rankings-Shields SR.
42.56 Peoria Manual
42.60 Richton Park Rich South (12th - AA prelims)
Kristopher Burge SR, Jayshun Clark SR, Parish Voss JR, Brian Mays JR, Sean Arowolaju SR, Christopher Chapman SR, Neil Morenos SR, David Oke SR.
42.66 Maple Park Kaneland (6th - AA)
Jesse Balluff SO, Brandon Cottier JR, Brandon Bishop SO, Sean Carter SR, Dylan Pennington JR.
42.70 Cahokia (16th - AA)
Marlin Brady SO, Trey Story SR, Keenan Hogan SO, Quinntarius Hill SR, Kenny Ball SR, Deandre Irving JR, Chris Moore JR.
42.94 Springfield Lanphier (21st - AA prelims)
Richard Davis SR, Dakota Follis SO, Jameal Hall SR, Dominick Pickens JR.
42.96 Oak Lawn HL Richards
42.98 Melrose Park Walther Lutheran (5th - A)
Cole Evans SR,Glynn Chatmon SR, Justin McGrady SR, Jeff Walker SR.
43.00 Champaign Centennial (10th - AA prelims)
Jasin Garth SR, Joah Peoples JR,David Briscoe SR, Kameron McCurry JR, Curtis Rainey SO.
43.08 Sterling (9th - AA)
Alex Rodriguez SR, Cornell Hartz JR, Dale Mikan SO, Tyler Peugh SR, Alejandro Rivera SR.
43.08 Jacksonville (18th - AA prelims)
Terez Courtney SO, James Jackson JR, Reggie Bratton JR, DeVanTe Clark SO
43.13 Grayslake Central (19th - AA prelims)
Devon Osborn SR, Joel Valdivia SR.
43.15 Burlington Central (21st - AA prelims)
Parker DeMoss SR, Alex Johnson JR, Jimmy Painter SR, Travis Panariello SO.
43.17 Mahomet-Seymour (11th - AA prelims)
Marshall Graham SR, Ryan Pavesic SR, Jordan Rock JR, Matthew Schaap SR.
43.30 Chicago St. Rita

The defending champs Rock Island (HS) have moved to 3A thus giving us a new champ in this event in 2012.

The quartet that I would keep an eye on is Midlothian (Bremen HS). They have two studs in the relay in Dion Starnes and Torian Parks. This school has a good group of sprinters returning. Plus, they get good competition during the season in the south suburbs. They will be tuned up and ready to go when Charleston rolls around.

Cahokia HS did not make the finals last year in this race. They are usually there so last year’s performance was not the norm. The Comanches have a good group to choose from led by Trey Story and Kenny Ball.

Also watch for Chatham (Glenwood HS). Even though they did surprise some with their state meet performance, this school has built up a good sprint squad. Look for a good relay this year led by Joey Giovanelli.

Other schools to watch in this relay include Country Club Hills (Hillcrest HS), Centralia HS, Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS), Maple Park (Kaneland HS), Richton Park (Rich South HS), Melrose Park (Walther Lutheran HS), and Springfield (Lanphier HS).

4 x 200m Relay
1:27.29 Chatham-Glenwood (1st - AA)
Joey Giovannelli SR, Michael Giovannelli SO, Donovyn Hammonds JR, Quamair McNair JR, Rocky Morse SO.
1:27.61 Midlothian Bremen (2nd - AA)
Torian Parks JR, Demetrius Shelton JR, Dion Starnes SR, Robert Fielding SR, Charles Jideonwo SR, David Smith SR.
1:27.95 Centralia (3rd - AA)
Adonis Hill SR, Andrew Panega SR, Brandon Engelkins JR, Travondis Lee JR, Stephonta Moore SR.
1:28.12 Melrose Park Walther Lutheran (1st - A)
Cole Evans SR, Glynn Chatmon SR, Justin McGrady SR, Jeff Walker SR.
1:28.20 Country Club Hills Hillcrest (5th - AA0
Moshood Adeyemo JR, Joshua Vaughn SR, Dequan Doyle SR, Anthony McCaskill JR, Shaquille Thompson JR.
1:29.10 Cahokia (14th - AA prelims)
Kenny Ball SR, Chris Moore JR, Trey Story SR, Marlin Brady SO, Quinntarius Hill SR, Darren Payton JR.
1:29.14 Peoria Central (6th - AA)
Terrall Rankings-Shields SR, Martez Cox JR, Shaquille Johnson SR.
1:29.15 Grayslake Central (7th - AA)
Devon Osborn SR, Tyler Smith SR.
1:29.60 Galesburg (16th - AA prelims)
Travon Diggins JR, Deandre Law SR, Derek Armstrong SR, Grant Boydstun SR, Beau Salsman SR.
1:29.64 Herrin (4th - A)
Demarlo Harris SR, Brock McGee SR, Austin Butler JR, Connor Butler SR, Nathan Lukens SR, Chris Nalley SR.
1:29.68 Springfield Lanphier (13th - AA prelims)
Richard Davis SR, Jameal Hall SR, Joel Thomas SO.
1:29.99 Glen Ellyn Glenbard South (8th - AA)
Jarius Shannon JR, Wesley Sanders SR, Tim Magitt SO.
1:30.12 Peoria Manual
1:30.20 Richton Park Rich South (12th - AA prelims)
Kristopher Burge SR, Jayshun Clark JR, Christopher Chapman SR, Brian Mays JR, Neil Morenos SR, David Oke SR, Parish Voss SR.
1:30.34 LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy (10th - AA prelims)
Joey DeSimone SR, Rudy Romagnano JR, John McLachlan SR, Nick Murphy JR.
1:30.51 Dixon (19th - AA prelims)
John Worley JR, Zach Henkel SR, Scott Goad SR, Alex LaMendola SO.
1:30.54 Chicago Robeson (11th - AA prelims)
Willie Maddox SO, Dejaire Gunn SO, Devon Sanders JR, Jarvis Wright SR.
1:30.60 Freeport (15th - AA prelims)
Jaylen Robinson JR, Antonio Shorter SO.
1:30.64 Kankakee McNamara (7th - A)
Delano Samuels SR, Pete Sinise SR, Korey Decker SR, Dalton Major JR, Jack Malpasuto SR, Matt Marcotte JR, Robbie Odeneal SO.
1:30.72 Jacksonville
Terez Courtney SO, James Jackson JR, Reggie Bratton JR, DeVanTe Clark SO

We could see the same scenario as in the 4 x 1 relay. Midlothian (Bremen HS) has 3 of their 4 runners back from a squad that placed 2nd last year. Even though last year’s champion Chatham (Glenwood HS) lost 3 of their 4 runners due to graduation, their quartet will still make a difference in this event.

The 1A champs Melrose Park (Walther Lutheran HS) could challenge for the championship. The duo of Cole Evans and Glynn Chatmon should lead this team to a high finish.

Again, Cahokia did not make the final in this event last year. Expect them in the mix for the top prize in May. Other schools to keep an eye on in this event include Centralia HS, Country Club Hills (Hillcrest HS), Herrin HS, and Galesburg HS.

4 x 400m Relay
3:18.20 Cahokia (1st - AA)
Kenny Ball SR, Darren Payton JR, Marlin Brady SO, Jalon Monigan SO, Mike Monigan SO, Chris Moore JR.
3:20.96 Maple Park Kaneland (10th - AA prelims)
Brandon Cottier JR, Brandon Bishop SO, Nathaniel Kucera SO, Dylan Nauert SO, Chad Swieca JR.
3:21.39 Springfield Lanphier (11th - AA prelims)
Richard Davis SR, Jemeal Hall SR.
3:21.74 Sterling (8th - AA)
Alejandro Rivera SR, Aaron Brenner SR, Dylan Harkness SR, Cornell Hartz JR, Jacob Landis SR, Alex Rodriguez SR.
3:22.00 Country Club Hills Hillcrest (7th - AA)
Joshua Vaughn SR, Moshood Adeyamo JR, Anthony McCaskill JR, Irvin Pierce SR
3:22.05 Chatham-Glenwood (5th - AA)
Whitt Kinley SR, Tyler Brinkman JR, Joey Giovannelli SR, Michael Giovannelli SO.
3:22.07 Chicago Robeson (6th - AA)
Devon Sanders JR
3:22.19 Normal University (14th - AA prelims)
Brent Emmerson SR, Kyle Morris SR, KJ Rohman SR.
3:22.41 Rockford Christian (2nd - A)
Treshaun Williams SO
3:22.90 Tinley Park (12th - AA prelims)
Mike McCullough SR, Greg Wallace SR, Aaron Crawford JR
3:23.19 Galesburg (9th - AA)
Beau Salsman SR, Deandre Law SR, Grant Boydstun SR, Shay Hostens SR, Jake Wolf JR.
3:23.28 Mahomet-Seymour
3:23.30 Herrin (4th - A)
Conner Butler SR, Brock McGee SR, Austin Butler JR, Demarlo Harris SR, Nathan Lukens SR, Ethan Pullum JR.
3:23.30 Morton (22nd - AA prelims)
Austin Bradford SR, Beau Swinford SR, Nick Steffen SR, Fernandez Bjork SR.
3:24.01 Troy Triad (13th - AA prelims)
DJ Sparks SR, Brandon Penrod SR, Mike Averill SO, Max Clifton SR, Lucas Haller JR, Sam Lawson SO.
3:24.39 Mt. Vernon (23rd - AA prelims)
Anthony Moore SR, Derek Hunter JR, Steve Boss JR, Spencer Allen SR, Karson Hahn JR, David Modert SO, Brykell Patton SO.
3:24.60 New Lenox Lincoln-Way West (19th - AA prelims)
Mark Pedziwiatr SR, Jake Bax SR, BJ Bello SR, Logan Gordy JR, Christopher Hunsaker JR
3:25.50 Dixon
3:25.71 Grayslake Central (21st - AA prelims)
Devon Osburn SR, Tyler Smith SR, Luke Zygmunt SR.

If you want to call your shot in this one, you could probably do it now and you would not be wrong. Cahokia HS enters this event as the defending champ and the BIG favorite. Coach Leroy Milsap has two big guns in Darren Payton and Marlin Brady, both capable of going sub 49 . This is a quartet that could flirt with 3:16 during the year, maybe faster.

After that, I think the battle will be for second. Keep an eye on Maple Park (Kaneland HS), Sterling HS, Country Club Hills (Hillcrest HS), Chatham (Glenwood HS), and Herrin HS.

Questions / Comments: email Michael Newman : newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com

Illinois Class 2A Girls 2012 Track & Field Preview

February, 3, 2012
The Class 2A division will undergo major changes this year with the addition and departure of some powerhouse programs. For instance, Chicago Morgan Park, Springfield, and Rock Island move up to the 3A ranks. There is an infusion of several 3A schools moving down, such as Chicago Northside Prep, Mundelein (Carmel Catholic), and Oak Park (Fenwick). Former solid 1A programs Aurora (Christian), Bloomington (Central Catholic), Breese Central, and Stanford-Olympia will add some depth to a vastly weakened league.

Two-time defending state champion Springfield Southeast will still be the favorite despite some heavy losses through graduation, most notably gone is jump star Alex Harden. She has taken her talents to Wichita State University, playing only basketball (for now).

In addition, it’s going to be hard to pinpoint what kind of division 2A is going to be after so many defections within the class itself. One suspects the IHSA didn’t envision this, and the unthinkable may just happen in May. The championship may lose some of its team aspect and be settled by a few individuals.

The spotlight will definitely be more of an individual variety. The tiny south side of Chicago college prep school known as Lindblom College Prep may as well be known as “Team Shamier Little.” As a sophomore, Little scored 27 points and placed sixth in the team standings. Everyone knows that the scoring system is not going to change and if Little crafts a plan to enter more events under a water downed system, she very well could win a state team championship by herself.

Let’s take a look how this could occur:

Assume that it will take at least 30 points to reach the podium and hoist a team plaque, probably 35-40 to garner first or second place. How would Little be able to achieve this historic achievement?

If she enters the the 100 hurdles, 400, 300 hurdles and 200, Little could win any of them, or all four. The difficulty comes in surviving the fatigue of all the prelim rounds. In the 100 hurdles, advancing to the final would be a piece of cake because she is the defending state champion. Several of her toughest foes have either graduated or moved into different classes. Defending her title would only take minimal effort because the nearest competitor maybe capable of 14.60 or 14.70. Little has clocked 14.00 wind-aided and 14.16 legally -- not to mention that she would be fresh entering her first final of the day.

In the 400, Little would be relatively sharp and could just match the talents of Megan Paul (Mundelein Carmel) or Mercedes Young (Hillcrest) stride for stride and not expend any true effort until the last 120 meters. If Lake Kwaza (Sycamore) enters and is improved, Little may have to deploy her fourth or fifth gear a little sooner than she originally planned. Still, she would not have to run at top-end speed until the final quarter of the race.

The 300 hurdles may be Little’s best event because she is a born hurdler. The turnaround time would be between 7-15 minutes defending on meet management moving on the back-to-back event. No one in IHSA history has ever attempted this particularly strenuous double and succeeded. But if anyone can do it, it is Little. Also, keep in mind that this event is probably the leanest on the log. It only took 46.59 to advance to the final last year. Little could cruise a full second faster and still would not feel much exertion. Another break is defending champion Brena Detra (Peoria Richwoods) is in 3A. Samone’ Thompson from Champaign Central may be the only threat, but her personal best is only 44.80. If she improves a full second, it would not be enough to tire out Little. Keep in mind, Little has run US#2 57.83 in the 400-meter hurdles, which suggests she is capable of least of sub-41 seconds in the 300. Little probably wins here despite running her seventh race in less than 24-hours and back to back.

The 200 is where the moment of truth arrives. None of the key speedsters will be fresh, but Kwaza will more than likely be here and she has the most top-end speed. Little will lose this one and settle for second place.

That could leave the team standings: Team Little: 39, Springfield Southeast 36

2011 Top 5 State recap: 1) Springfield Southeast 50; 2) Chicago Morgan Park 49; 3) Springfield 45; 4) Kankakee 32; 5) Rochelle 29.

The Spartans rolled through the regular season and postseason pretty comfortably. The state championship wasn’t nearly as easy as some expected because Morgan Park dropped down from 3A because their school enrollment shrunk. The Spartans got on the board before the track finals began on the legs of Alex Harden’s double jump victories (TJ, LJ). Morgan Park scored first in the 4x1 relay and then a third place 100 meters effort from then-sophomore Elexis Fairley. The Spartans countered with Charday Crawford’s sixth place finish. Meanwhile, Springfield picked up a high jump victory courtesy of Sarah Maxon. The Senators also nabbed quality points in the middle-distance area and big points in all four relays. But it all came down to the final event of the day: the 4x4 relay and Southeast didn’t have a team. Morgan Park did and could win the championship with a victory. They ran valiantly for three legs and actually were in the lead with about 300 remaining on the anchor leg before getting impeded and then almost knocked to the track by Rich Central. No flag was thrown. By the time the Mustangs' Tia Smith recovered she had lost all of her momentum. They finished second in the race and the final verdict resulted in Springfield Southeast escaping with a one-point victory.

Event-by Event look:
11.76 Lake Kwaza (Sr.) Sycamore
12.21 Ebony McClendan (So.) Chicago Brooks
12.22 Ladaisha Steen-Yates (So.) Peoria
12.27 Jazmin Jackson (Jr.) Chatham-Glenwood
12.29 Alex Rosignol (So.) Mt. Carmel
Outlook: Lake Kwaza came onto to the scene as a pre-high school sensation but injuries and outside interests (basketball) have curtailed the enormous pressure put on her. Also, Dominique Kimpel (Kankakee) came along and stole the show for three titles. Kimpel secured her place as one of the best that Illinois has seen. Quietly, Kwaza had a resurgent junior campaign in which she set a personal best as well as earned a 2nd place finish to Kimpel.

24.53 Shamier Little (Jr.) Chicago Lindblom Prep
25.14 Mercedes Young (Sr.) Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)
25.32 Megan Paul (Sr.) Mundelein (Carmel)
25.69 Lake Kwaza (Sr.) Sycamore
25.50 Jazmin Jackson (Jr.) Chatham-Glenwood
Outlook: Subtract Rock Island’s Mytique Thompson, Brena Detra, and Elexis Fairley because they will be competing in 3A. Paul will give this event some quality depth as will Young. Kwaza will be much improved in this area as she will be presumably healthy.

53.83 Shamier Little (Jr.) Chicago Lindblom
55.35 Mercedes Young (Sr.) Country Club Hills Hillcrest
56.49 Megan Paul (Sr.) Mundelein Carmel Catholic
57.34 Brittany Letts (Sr.) Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)
57.63 Lake Kwaza (Sr.) Sycamore
57.64 MacKenzie Bollinger (Jr.) Aurora (Christian)
Outlook: This event will probably be the strongest and deepest on the log. Little is perhaps the class of the entire state when it comes to the 400, with barriers or flat. She won her summer age group AAU title in the fastest time since Morgan Park’s Alex Anderson set the state all-time record in 2005. As easy as it sounds to just go and lace up the spikes and hit the track running, the competition isn’t going to bow down. Paul also had a great summer and is equally a great athlete with a personal best in the 54-second range from a few years back. But she will have a few tough choices to make in terms of race selections when the post-season arrives. Young will more than likely be a mainstay in the open event if multiple relay duty is not in the team title cards. Finally, the big mystery is Kwaza. If she can improve on her personal times in the early portion of the season, we may all see her among the leaders.

2:14.43 Kelsey Cramsey (Sr.) Effingham
2:15.64 Cassie Kruse (Sr.) Hampshire
2:16.01 Emma Preston (Sr.) E. Peoria
2:16.24 Megan Paul (Sr.) Mundelein (Carmel)
Outlook: It’s a very safe choice in predicting Cramsey as the top half-miler based on consistency; she never finished lower than second in a race. It will be interesting to see if she can raise the stakes a little higher and get under her lifetime best of 2:13.55 set in ’10. The competition will be stiff to say the least. Paul, who recently inked with the University of Arkansas, took a plunge into the middle-distance arena and performed magnificently. She competed on the AAU summer circuit and actually built up her confidence (IHSA season was not the best); producing several sub 2:17 marks along the way. Don’t be surprised if you see her try a 4/8 double a few times during the season before choosing one or both or three. Kruse is a strong candidate as well; she is a tough competitor who often doubles back from running in the 4x8 relay. A final name to keep a watch for is Brittany Letts from Country Club Hills Hillcrest. Letts is a multi-purpose runner who possesses a ton of speed but loves to run the half-mile. She had a tough year in ’11 in which she barely made the final and didn’t chart among the favorites. If she can get anywhere close to the season she had in ’10, then her competition had better watch out. She put up 25.5/57/2:13 numbers and even pole vaulted over 9-feet.

5:06.54 Katie Adams (Jr.) Marengo
5:09.24 Leah Brooks (Sr.) Dunlap
5:10.17 Sydney Billingsley (So.) Normal (University)
5:12.62 Claire Haggerty (Jr.) Grayslake Central
5:13.68 Alex Van Hoof (Jr.) Bloomington (Central Catholic)
5:18.66 Karyn Paisley (So.) Macomb
5:18.95 Cassie Kruse (Sr.) Hampshire
Outlook: Yorkville’s Ali Hester competed in 2A for cross country but strangely will be in 3A for the track season. Adams will probably have an unimpeded ride all the way to Charleston in May if no one steps up. The pre-high school star has the talent to get back to her 2007/08 level when she ran 5:01.28 for the full mile- this translates to sub 5:00 for 1600m. Brooks will need to peak better from indoor to outdoor season. She placed 2nd in the IPTT in 5:09, but she only mustered the same exact time by the end of the outdoor season. Kruse has the talent to be among the leaders when the season gets into full swing. Lombard’s Ericka Laviste (Sr.) has a personal best of 5:11; she will be a person at-large in ’12.

11:08.19 Ashley Pribble (Sr.) Morton
11:09.33 Meredith McClain (Jr.) Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin)
11:14.51 Alex Van Hoof (Jr.) Bloomington (Central Catholic)
11:17.26 Sydney Billingsley (So.) Normal (University)
11:19.59 Caitlin Pribble (Sr.) Morton
11:22.90 Leah Brooks (Sr.) Dunlap
11:26.18 Briana Daley (So.) Oak Park (Fenwick)
Outlook: Now that Illinois’ all-time best distance runner Kayla Beattie (Woodstock) has graduated and moved on to college, there will be a stability of girls with similar numbers. Ashley Pribble and her twin sister will be in the mix all season. Ashley finished 2nd behind Beattie in last spring’s championship race. McClain was just a few tenths back; she also enjoyed a great cross country season finishing 9th.

14.16 Shamier Little (Jr.) Chicago Lindblom Prep
14.79 Natasha Seymour (Jr.) Richton Park (Rich South)
15.36 Destini Artis (Jr.) Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)
15.37 Allison Rogutich (Sr.) Marengo
15.39 Kaci Storm (Sr.) Geneseo
15.42 Sydney Hellwig (Jr.) LaGrange Park (Nazareth)
Outlook: Little won her first state title with ease against a solid field. Now that field is gone and she should have an easier time. But her goals are much bigger than winning a state title- it’s about being among the very best in the country.

44.80 Samone’ Thompson (Sr.) Champaign Central
44.87 Erin McCoy (Sr.) Oak Park (Fenwick)
45.40 Joslyn Jones (Jr.) Cahokia
45.50 Sarah Goodale (Jr.) Carbondale
45.60 Shamier Little (Jr.) Chicago Lindblom Prep
Outlook: A ton of graduation and losses has severly weakened this event. Defending state champion Brena Detra of Peoria Richwoods has moved up to Class 3A. To matters worse, Little produced the US #2 mark in the longer 400H last summer could easily be a sub 41 performer. There is only one athlete in Illinois history to do that. Little may forgo this event and concentrate on her favorite event - the 400 meter dash - and run in June's Olympic Trials 400-meter hurdles. If so, the spoils will go Thompson and McCoy.

Discus Throw-
125-9 Bryn Buckwalter (Jr.) Freeport
124-5 Lindsay Herra (Jr.) Rockford Boylan
122-3 Morgan Young (Jr.) Mahomet-Seymour
120-10 Alyssa Mussatto (Sr.) Ottawa
120-3 Lauren Haas (Sr.) Rock Falls
118-7 Lena Giger (So.) Highland
Outlook: The state champion Buckwalter returns to defend her title. She will have some tight competition as four girls are within five feet. Herra will look to add a state medal on to her 124-5 personal best; she failed to advance to state in the event last year. Young is another quality thrower from the same Mahomet-Seymour program that produced an all-time great known as Daniella “Dani” Bunch several years ago.

Shot Put-
43-2.25 Kortnee Hall (Sr.) Jersey
42-2.25 Lena Giger (So.) Highland
40-5.75 Bryn Buckwalter (Jr.) Freeport
39-9.25 K’leesa Gilliam (Sr.) Springfield Southeast
39-5.75 Claire Nolan (Jr.) Taylorville
37-9 Myra Diggins (Sr.) Galesburg
37-5.25 Katy Spesard (Sr.) Paris
Outlook: Hall was just several inches away from a state title last year. Fortunately, she will have another season to redeem herself. Giger is from the same area as Hall which should lead to some spirited matchups all season long. Gilliam could be a candidate to replace former graduated teammate Lateria Fairlee. Her team will appreciate the points in a quest for a third straight team championship.

Long Jump-
18-1.5 Ellen Renk (Sr.) Lasalle-Peru
17-10 India Steward (Jr.) Richton Park (Rich South)
17-9i Lexi Hobbs (Sr.) Dunlap
17-7.5 MiCayla Collins (Jr.) Cahokia
17-6.5 Lexy Duncan (So.) Dixon
17-5.5 Jasmine Johnson (Sr.) Midlothian Bremen
17-5.5 Taylor McCammon (So.) Kankakee McNamara
17-4.5 Miranda Hankins (Sr.) Charleston
Outlook: For the first time in a long time, four years to be precise, there is going to be a new state champion and brand new face in the long jump. Alexandria Harden dominated this event for so long for Springfield Southeast that they could have named it in her honor. The days of the 19-foot mark will not happen but a more even playing field will surface. Renk will now get a shot be the top jumper. Steward and Hobbs will challenge Renk for the gold medal in May.

Triple Jump-
37-10.25 Ellen Renk (Sr.) Lasalle-Peru
37-6 Allison Rogutich (Sr.) Marengo
36-7i MiCayla Collins (Jr.) Cahokia
36-6.75 Lexi Ellis (Sr.) Morton
36-0.75 Mackenzie Bollinger (Jr.) Aurora (Christian)
Outlook: It’s Déjà vu here for Renk as she now has an opportunity to be the best in Illinois with Harden’s departure. Also, would be apparent Aliyah Harmon (Rich Central) has moved up to 3A. Rogutich placed 4th at state last year and was just 4 inches behind Renk. These two young ladies will be the class of the field.

High Jump-
5-6 Molly McGraw (So.) Bloomington Central Catholic
5-5 Katie Trupp (Jr.) Burlington Central
5-5 Shannon Nugent (Jr.) Vernon Hills
5-4 Jasmine Johnson (Jr.) Midlothian Bremen
5-4 Abi Sowash (Jr.) Troy- Triad
Outlook: This event will see a total makeover. The top 5 finishers from last year’s state final have either graduated or moved into different classes. McGraw placed third in 1A last May and actually has the top returning performance mark. Bridget Bodee (Jr.) from Lombard Montini has the highest returning placement in 6th, but she only jumped a paltry 5-3. She may improve but more than likely won’t finish ahead of McGraw, Trupp, or Nugent if they are on their game.

Pole Vault-
12-6 Sarah Bell (Jr.) Bloomington Central Catholic
11-6 Jesse Dryden (Sr.) Marion
11-6 Katie Trupp (Jr.) Burlington Central
11-6 Grace Shadid (Sr.) Peoria Notre Dame
10-6 Darrian Hartman (Sr.) Geneseo
Outlook: Bell moves up from Class A and will be a heavy favorite to win a state title. She is also the top overall rated vaulter in Illinois and was US#2 at press time of this preview with a super mark of 12-8. Shadid is one of only three vaulters who cleared 11-6 last season in the Class. Dryden and Trupp are the other two.

Hampshire, Maple Park Kaneland, Burlington Central, Mahomet-Seymour, and Effingham will see their fortunes improve dramatically with record holder Yorkville moving to 3A. Rock Island and Springfield HS were state charters too and they follow suit with Yorkville. So, the prognosis is going to come down to the best anchor legs. Effingham has Kelsey Cramsey and Hampshire will go with Cassie Kruse- may the best team win.

Once again a ton of movement makes it hard to predict who is going to perform well. Springfield Southeast may be the favorite despite the loss of Alex Harden. Chicago Morgan Park was the champion but they move up to 3A as does Springfield and Rock Island.

Southeast will return three legs and should be strong as last year. The Spartans have a wealth of frosh-soph talent to draw from if need be.

Rich South will be the favorite with three legs back from a record setting performance in last year’s final. Vernon Hills was a surprise last season. No one had them among the best but yet they placed 3rd in the state rankings. They will be right there with the top squads again this season. Let’s add in Hillcrest. They had a troubling year in ’11 but it’s a clean slate now. They will be a much better team overall and should get back to 2010 levels when they dominated their competition and finished 2nd in the state. All four girls return included the talented Brittany Letts and Mercedes Young.