High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: class 1a

IHSA, Track, Dyestat IL, GeigerBob Geiger/ESPNHSLeo HS wins the 4 x 100 Relay at the 2012 IHSA Class A State Meet, propelling them to a team victory.
Class A Photo Gallery



Charleston, Ill ---There he stood by the awards tent talking to his fellow competitors with a slight smile on his face. You could tell that Steve Schroeder (Monticello, Ill) did not have much energy left in his body. This day could have been about him trying to accomplish a 3200 /1600 double to go along with his cross country title in the fall. Not that many runners had accomplished that.

He made this championship Saturday at the IHSA state meet more about his teammates and what he wanted for them. Instead, he added the 4 x 800 Meter Relay to what he would run. If Monticello’s 4 x 400 Meter Relay would have qualified, he would have run that as well.

“My teammates have been working so hard and they have been improving over the season. I believed in them,” said Schroeder. “I wanted to do it for them. I knew I could do it for them and they did it for me. We did it for each other. I wanted to give the experience of being a champion. I am not the only champion at Monticello this year. There are three other guys that I get to share that with.”

At 11:00 AM, the competitors stepped out onto the track for the 4 x 800 Meter Relay. It was a close battle through the first two legs as Monticello, Elmwood, and Tolono Unity switched off the lead. On the third leg, Elmwood’s Issac Ramsey took the lead and tried to stretch out the lead. The goal for Monticello’s third man Jesse Galaway was to stay close for Schroeder’s anchor leg. Gallaway accomplished that staying within a second of Ramsey as he handed off the baton to Schroeder.

This race was set up perfectly for Schroeder. There was no doubt of that in the packed stands at O’Brien Field. Schroeder 1:55.1 anchor brought home the title for the Sages four seconds ahead of Erie.

One hour later, Schroeder took the track again ready to go after the 3200 title that eluded him in 2011. The pace was fairly quick running 2:19.1 for the opening 800. Schroeder, Jesse Hahne (Schlarman, Danville Ill), and Scott Woodward (Unity, Tolono Ill) had already opened up a 15 meter lead ahead of the pack. After the 1200 meter mark, Hahne made a move to test Schroeder and how he was feeling. Nothing changed as the Schroeder stayed closely on Hahne’s shoulder for the next three laps. The trio were at 4:43.3 as they passed the 1600.

The weather was taking affect on the race at this point as runners started to slow down succumbing to the stifling heat. With 3 laps to go, Schroeder felt like it was time to go. Within the next lap, Schroeder ran a 74 second 400 but had opened up a four second lead. This race was in. No dramatic kick was needed. It was just survive and finish. Schroeder covered the last 1200 in 3:41 as he crossed the line nine seconds ahead of Woodward and a state championship, his second within an hour.

“This race was more of an endurance test for me. The race was mostly tactical. I know the time wasn’t impressive, it was just getting the points for the team.”

Schroeder came back on to the track three hours later. He knew he would company in his quest for the triple in Grant Nykaza (Beccher, Ill) in the 1600 Meter Run. Nykaza took the lead immediately at the start and Schroeder immediately content to let Nykaza do the work. The duo passed in 2:09 opening up a six second lead. There was still no change over the next 400 meters. Schroeder was just sitting there waiting to make his move to open the lead up. Or was it the other way around?

Schroeder stayed close to Nykaza, but was laboring to do so. The Beecher junior could sense that. At 200 meters to go, Nykaza exploded away from Schroeder with the distance between the two growing wider and wider. Nykaza’s last 400 was 61.5, 28 seconds for the last 200 as he ran 4:18.34 for a four second win over Schroeder.

The win for Nykaza was redemption in the season for him. “I’m ecstatic right now. I had injuries during this season and I had only two mile races heading into the state meet. My confidence was low,” said Nykaza. “I needed a good time at sectionals to get confidence. Everyone was telling me that Steve would be tired. But it’s the state meet. You never give up. No matter how tired you are. It is a mental thing and you just put it past your head.”

“I was telling myself over and over again I was ready for it and I just had to keep myself mentally upbeat that I could do this,” Schroeder said. “I just tried to stay with Nykaza. I waited to make my move and he made his even stronger. It will keep a chip on my shoulder as I head into college.”

The future is bright for this young man. What is next for Schroeder is an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He will report on June 28 and is looking forward to the new challenge. “The Naval Academy just fits me. I feel good when I am among the Midshipmen. I visited there during my junior year. My career I really want to be an officer in the Navy in Special Forces. That is the goal in my life and it toughens me up to go out here and burn it all out on the track on a hot day over and over that is mentally and physically. I think I can set my mind to whatever I decide to do in the Navy. It will be good for me.”

Schroeder’s efforts helped Monticello earn a third place trophy. For the team title, Leo Catholic had to wait during the final event the 4 x 400 Meter Relay. It had no more events and had to wait and see what the only team left with a chance to beat them, Newton, would do in that event. Newton would need a fourth place finish for the team championship, fifth for a tie.

Newton finish 6th in the race, securing a back to back title for the small Chicago Catholic League School. Leo Catholic was paced by a win by their 4 x 100 Meter Relay (42.76) and all state performances from Keith Harris (100 – 4th , 200 – 7th), Theodore Hopkins (100 – 6th, 200 – 6th), and Marlon Britton with a second place finish in the 110 Meter High Hurdles.

Other News and notes:

  • Newton’s second place finish was powered by a first and fifth place tie for finish by Mitch Mammoser and Brandon Goode-Tolliver. Mammoser easily won his second straight Pole Vault championship clearing a personal best of 15-11. He had three good tries at the 1A record of 16-2.5 but was unsuccessful. “I was a little at first. Everyone expected me to repeat. A lot more pressure heading into this meet. I knew I could do it. I just jumped like I have been,” Mammoser said. “The vault I made at 15-7 was a school record. My brother Scott had it. I thought about going after the Class 1A record, but I was not ready for that. I got 15-11 on my third jump.”

  • Deonte Pryor (Kewanee, Ill) last year could not run in the state meet due to hamstring problems. He had a great weekend by winning both the Long Jump and the 100 Meter Dash and finished third in the 200 Meter Dash. “Coming out of the blocks, my legs felt like jello,” said Pryor. “It’s been a long time trying to get here for the win. This year I worked harder than ever to get down here to win.”

  • Daniel Farmer (Johnston City, Ill) had just won the 400 Meter Dash (49.25) over Tim Doll (Westmont, Ill). He stood in the middle of the infield looking like he was not satisfied. “I really have been concentrating on the 200 this year. Myles Kettelson (Flora, Ill). Beat me the last couple of weeks and I really want to get him. But this win in the 400 feels great.” Farmer did accomplish his goal in the 200. He beat Kettelson, who finished fifth, and in the process won the 200 by five hundredths of a second over Jordan Hutchison (Peoria Christian, Peoria Ill).

  • Eric Leonard (Sangamon Valley, Niantic Ill) ran a 1:55 anchor to bring his team up to finish third in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay. He followed that up by capturing the 800 Meter Run in 1:54.61 holding off Britt Henderson (The Latin School, Chicago Ill) by thirteen hundredths of a second. “The relay took a lot out of me but I had plenty of time to rest. I still felt fresh but I felt obliged to get them the medals,” said Leonard. “I was just trying to win. Dakota Conrad (Auburn, Ill) went out fast. I’ve raced him before and I was expecting that. I went out where I wanted to be (55.2) and I was kind of feeling it at the end. But a win is a win.”

  • Adam Weidner (Bureau Valley, Manluis Ill) started his high school career playing baseball. He transitioned over track his sophomore. He finished it off on Saturday winning the Shot Put (57-10.75) by almost ten inchers over Ryan Pearce (Villa Grove, Ill). “I knew in warm-ups today I would be locked in and ready to go,” Weidner said. “I started today at 55. My coach told me to speed it up and I hit a 57. I knew I had another good one in me but I scratched. It got me the title.” Pearce came back to win the Discus (166-11) by a foot over Jake Mahin (Stanton, Ill).

  • Kyle Landon (Chester, Ill) was out to better last year’s second place finish and defeat the defending champion Oumaru Abdulahi (Mooseheart, Ill). Both jumpers cleared 6-10 but Landon was awarded the win on less misses. Landon followed that up with a second place finish in the Triple Jump behind Heath Byom (Knoxville, Ill) trailing only one and a half inches (43-10.75 – 43-9.25).

  • Colin Carver (Casey-Westfield, Casey Ill) was the only individual double winner on the track in Class 1A. He nipped Marlon Britton (Leo Catholic, Chicago, Ill) to win by four hundredths of a second. Carver dominated the intermediate hurdle races holding off Noel Yarngo (Mooseheart, Ill) for the win (38.71-39.32).

  • The last race of the day went to Aurora Christian in the 4 x 400 Meter Relay. Jake Gehman took control of the race on his second leg. Anchorman Dillon Howorth was able to hold off Bryce Willett (Monmouth-Roseville, Monmouth Ill) and Zeke Elkins (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph Ill) for a 22 hundredths of a second win. Elkins had a busy day placing fourth in the 800 and third in the 400.
Charleston, Ill --- The winds whipped up strongly from the south and affected most athletes Thursday in the first day of the prelims of the IHSA Boys State Track Meet. It did not affect Steve Schroeder (Monticello, Ill) and Grant Nykaza (Beecher, Ill) as they ran in the final heat of the 1600 Meter Run.

To them, it was just a rehearsal for Saturday’s final. Schroeder and Nykaza traded off the lead for the first three laps before Schroeder took the lead just before the last lap. He came across the finish line effortlessly running 4:21.28 while Nykaza jogged in a second behind (4:22.55).

“Everybody in the stands today thought I wanted to beat Steve today. The plan today was to just qualify. That was it,” said Nykaza after his run. “I did not want to run the last lap in 73. I wanted to come in nice and easy. I have some thoughts in my head about Saturday but I will keep them to myself.”

Thursday’s prelims for Schroeder set him up for a busy day on Saturday. He opened up the prelims by anchoring his school to the fastest time in the prelims in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay (8:10.29). Schroeder’s split on the anchor was 1:56.8 just ahead of St. Joseph-Ogden. He finished the day by anchoring his schools 4 x 400 Meter Relay running a 53.5 anchor. Monticello ran the 23rd fastest time in the relay and did not advance.

After he finished his 1600 meter heat, he announced that he would run the 4x8, 3200, and the 1600. Big plans for the state cross country champion. “He is the strongest distance runner in 1A,” said Nykaza.

“My plan today was test the field on the last lap. I think I executed my plan,” said Schroeder. “Saturday is going to be a lot of fun. Getting to run on this track so much? I want to dell well in everything I can. It is all about heart and guts and doing whatever it takes.”

The triple that he plans to do is not for his own self gratification. He wants to do it for his teammates. This is his last chance to that.

“I want to do this for my teammates. They have given a lot of the summer, over the winter. I just want to give back to them. They have been there for me through all my struggles. They are great teammates. We just want to bring a trophy home with us.”

Monticello is in good shape heading into Saturday’s finals. The Sages are tied with 6 qualifiers along with Oregon, Chicago Leo, and St. Joseph-Ogden. Newton leads all of Class 1A with 8 qualifiers including all 4 relays. Sparta qualified all of their relays and has 7 total qualifiers.

Leo chances of repeating took a little bit of a hit when they bobbled the final exchange of the 4 x 200 Meter Relay. They finished 26th and did not advance. Their 4 x 100 Meter Relay had the fastest qualifying time (42.67).

Other news and notes from Thursday’s prelims:
  • The athletes in the 100 Meter Dash and the 110 Meter High Hurdles took advantage of the consistent 20 MPH south winds at their back. Colin Carver (Casey-Westfield, Casey Ill) just held off George Wayda (Pleasant Plains, Ill) to run the fastest time in the High Hurdles (14.54). Wayda was four hundredths back. Carver came back to run the fastest qualifying time in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles (38.35). In the 100 Meter Dash, Dontae Pryor (Kewanee, Ill) was the fastest qualifier running a 10.59. Defending champ Jonathan Hutchison (Peoria Christian, Peoria Ill) qualified by winning his heat in 10.83. Pryor is also the leading qualifier in the Long Jump (23-0.75).
  • There was one record set on Thursday. In the final heat of the 4 x 200 Meter Relay as Leo Catholic was having their handoff problems, Tuscola won the heat in an electrifying 1:27.93 breaking the record set by Lombard Montini seven years by one hundredths of a second. Considering how strong the wind was, it will be interesting to see if they can lower their record.
  • Daniel Farmer (Johnston City, Ill) had a great day on the track. He opened up by qualifying eighth in the 100 Meter Dash (10.81). In his best event, the 400 Meter Dash, Farmer charged around the back curve and finished with fastest qualifying time in the event (48.97), almost a second and a half ahead of Devin Johnson (Erie-Prophetstown, Erie Ill). He led all qualifiers in the 200 Meter Dash running a 22.46 into the strong wind on the home straightaway. “I got a slow start in the 100 again. The 100 did not affect my legs in the 400.”
  • Zeke Elkins (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph, Ill) set himself to a busy day on Saturday similar to Schroeder. He qualified in the 800 Meter Run (1:59.54). Thirty minutes, later he was back on the track in the blocks in the 400. He qualified sixth in that event (50.57). He anchored his team into the finals running a 50.3 anchor placing St. Joseph-Ogden into the finals.
  • Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day occurred in the 800 Meter Run when Michael Brown (White County, Carmi Ill) had the fastest qualifying time in the event (1:56.56). What makes it so eye-opening is that a week ago at his sectional, he ran 2:06.87 to win the West Frankfort Sectional which was the second slowest time heading into Thursday’s race. So who is this guy? That is what people were asking. I can tell you he ran in the 1A State Cross Country meet last fall finishing 32nd. He did come back and was the eleventh qualifier in the 1600 (4:33.31). This is the beginning of a story in which we will see this young man back in the finals again and again. A star in the making…
  • The weight events looks like they will be heading to an exciting conclusion on Saturday. Adam Weidner (Bureau Valley, Manlius Ill) had the longest mark in the Shot Put (57-10.75), only 7 inches ahead of Ryan Pearce (Villa Grove, Ill). Pearce is also leading the discus heading into the finals (166-11), three feet ahead of Jake Mahin (Staunton, Ill).
Perhaps the most dominant distance runner in Class 1A in the last year has been Monticello’s Steve Schroeder. He won in the fall at Detweiller Park and dominated the IPTT Classic 3200 indoors. He is scheduled to run in the 3200 and the 1600. He could also run in the 4 x 8 relay for Monticello, at least in the prelims.

The weather will play a BIG factor in this state meet this weekend. Temperatures are forecast to climb near the triple digits making it tough to pull off a double, especially in the distances.

Here is a look at the individual events and what to keep an eye on:



Outlook: Michael Geary (Polo, Ill) has the longest jump in the sectional competition (22-5.5) but it will be a pair of jumpers that most spectators will keep an eye on. Kyle Landon (Chester, Ill) is one of the favorites in the High Jump and could pull off the double here. The junior jumped 22-9 in April at his county meet and is itching to go over 23-0. The one I would keep an eye on is Devin Johnson of Erie. He placed ninth last year at state and is looking to greatly improve on that. He currently has the longest jump in 1A (22-11) which he did at his conference meet two weeks ago.

Dontae Pryor (Kewanee, Ill) jumped 22-4 in the same meet as Johnson and could be in the mix at state for this title in this event. Also watch for Tay Shanklin (Winnebago,Ill) and Myles Kettelson (Flora, Ill) to be in the mix for the top spot as well.


Outlook: This event could be the most wide-open of all the field events in this class. Heath Byom (Knoxville, Ill) got the longest performance in this event last week at the sectionals and will be the favorite heading to Charleston. He will get his chief competition from 3 jumpers. Alex Walter (Central, Camp Point Ill) had the second longest jump at sectionals. Juniors Nick Hundley (Momence, Ill) and Kyle Kleeman (Carlinville, Ill) will also challenge.


Outlook: Could we see a 7-0 jump in this event? If so, how many will go over. This could be one of the highlight events in the 1A competition. 3 of the top finishers from the 2011 meet return. Not much has been heard from last year’s champ Oumaru Abdulahi (Mooseheart, Ill). But we said the same thing last year and look what he did. Abdulahi is a tough competitor that rises to the occasion and the pressure of a big meet.

Kyle Landon (Chester, Ill) has cleared 6-11 this outdoor season and is looking for that 7-0 barrier on Saturday. He has the sectional best of 6-7. The second place finish of last year has been pushing him higher. It could happen on Saturday.

Bill Weissinger (Big Rock, Hinckley Ill) will be the other chief jumper in this event. He placed third last year and will push both Landon and Abdulahi. Others to watch include Daniel Welling (Monticello, Ill) and Kolten Postin (Central A&M, Moweaqua Ill).


Outlook: Mitch Mammoser (Newton, Ill) is the defending state champion and is a good bet to repeat that on Saturday. He has cleared 15-0 twice this season, with his best coming at the Shelbyville Open (15-6).

If Mammoser has an off day, there are several other vaulters that could surpass him. Sophomore Jack Denby (Carlinville, Ill) cleared 14-7 earlier in the year and could be his chief competition. Also watch for Dalton Plumer (Rushville-Industry, Rushville, Ill), Brandon Goode-Tolliver (Newton, Ill), Josh Blome (Westfield, Casey Ill), and Austin McCourt (Oregon Ill) to be in the mix for the top spot.


Outlook: This event could come down to any of 5 athletes that could win on Saturday. O’Shay Smith has the longest throw in 1A and the sectionals (58-3) and will be one of the weight men to watch. Senior Adam Weidner (Bureau Valley, Manlius Ill) will be close having gone over 57 a number of times this year. Also watch for Ryan Pearce (Villa Grove, Ill), who was only 3 inches behind Smith’s sectional mark and could be peaking at the right time.

Other weight men to watch include Jake Mahin (Staunton, Ill), Brandon Williams (DuQuoin, Ill) and Gabe Manning (Williamsville, Ill).


Outlook: With Caleb Fricke (PORTA, Petersburg Ill) having moved into 2A for this season, there will be a new champion in this event. Just like the Shot Put, there will be five athletes that could seriously contest for the event title. Adam Weidner (Bureau Valley, Manlius Ill) had the longest throw in sectional competition (160-3). Jake Mahin (Staunton, Ill) has the seasonal best (163-8). Another thrower that will be in the hunt for the title could be Ryan Pearce (Villa Grove, Ill), who has thrown 163-4 this year.

The big surprise in this event is Hakeem Chatman (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill). Not even in the discussion at the beginning of the year, this senior has emerged as one of the elite men in this event in this class throwing 161-0 at the end of April.

Also keep an eye on Cory Long (Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Paxton Ill), Dawson Hillis (Carrollton, Ill) and Alec Dutton (Catlin, Ill). All three of these athletes will be in the hunt for a top finish.



Outlook: Tolono Unity enters this competition with the sectional best time (8:14.00). They could not be the favorite. Niantic Sangamon Valley, led by Eric Leonard, will be the one team to watch out for if it comes down to the final leg. Sangamon Valley has run 8:07.05 this season. The fastest team in 1A is Macon Meridian, led by Brock Snarski (8:05.99).

Two teams that could win include Sparta and St. Joseph-Ogden. Zeke Elkins looks like he could be anchoring for the Spartans and with the quartet they have, St. Joe could score some big points. Sparta has a strong duo in Jon Hill and Wes Bradshaw that could push them towards the front.

Do not know if any teams can go under 8, but it could be close. Do not forget these other quartets that could make things interesting: Monticello, Heyworth, Oregon, and Ottawa Marquette.


Outlook: In the heat of Charleston that is expected this weekend, there could be some fast times in this event. Leo Catholic has the fastest time in 1A this year running 42.48 two weeks ago at Chicago Catholic League. They have a strong quartet led by Keith Harris Jr. and Theodore Hopkins. Peoria Christian could be in the mix with defending state 100 champ Jonathan Hutchison anchoring.

Lena Winslow is peaking at the right time and could be in the chase for the title. They will have a great anchor as well with Tevin Sellers. Also watch for Pleasant Plains, Momence, Newton, Madison, and Rockford Lutheran also to challenge.


Outlook: Steve Schroeder (Monticello, Ill) will enter this race as the big favorite in this event. The big key will how hot will it be and what kind of tactics will Schroeder use. Last year will definitely be in the back of Schroeder’s mind. Last year, he had a big lead entering the final lap and Westmont’s Henry Arndt caught him in the final meters. This is Schroeder’s race to lose. He will make sure that this title is his.

The one person that could push the pace is Jesse Hahne (Schlarman, Danville Ill). The junior pushed him at the IPTT Classic indoors before Schroeder pulled away in the last 800. The same happened last week at Monticello’s Sectional. He may be the one not to late the pace lag.

Others to watch in this race include Scott Woodard (Unity, Tolono Ill), Dan Plunkett (Pleasant Plains Ill), Nate Novota (Westmont, Ill), and Andrew Hanselman (Monticello, Ill).


Outlook: There has been one hurdler that was looked as the favorite most of the year, but on Saturday, it could be one of two Catholic League rivals that may steal the show. Colin Carver (Westfield, Casey Ill) finished fourth last year and has been under 15 in May. Carver has the second fastest time in the sectional competition (14.76).

Joe Morrow (Hales Franciscan, Chicago Ill) has been on fire the last two weeks. Last week, he sizzled a 14.40 at the Chicago Christian Sectional and could be in contention for the win. Marlon Britton (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) lost to Morrow at Chicago Christian last week, but barely defeated him two weeks ago at the CCL Meet and will be looking for the repeat on Saturday.

Other hurdlers to watch include George Wayda (Pleasant Plains, Ill), Jake Hooker (Timothy Christian, Elmhurst Ill), Noel Yarngo (Mooseheart, Ill), and Spencer Cooper (Prairie City, Bushnell Ill).


Outlook: Will this race be as tight in 2011 when Bruce Gray (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) and Jonathan Hutchison (Peoria Christian, Peoria Ill) finished in a dead heat for the title. Hutchison is back and does not want to share the championship on Saturday. Looking at the top times, it will be close again.

Keith Harris (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) enters this meet with the fastest sectional time (10.85). Dontae Pryor (Kewanee, Ill), Tevin Sellers & Quinn Haas (Winslow, Lena Ill), Broc Smith (Tuscola, Ill) and Martel Hunter (Monmouth-Roseville, Monmouth Ill) will challenge. Also keep an eye on Theodore Hopkins (Leo Catholic, Chicago, Ill), Nick Rude (Newman Catholic, Sterling Ill), and Cameron Walter (Greenville Ill). They will be all in the hunt to win at O’Brien Stadium.


Outlook: Blake Hale (Robinson, Ill) dominated the indoor season with a win at the IPTT classic. He enters the state meet with the fastest sectional time (1:55.71). He will face some hot competition from Brock Snarski (Meridian, Macon Ill) and Eric Leonard (Sangamon Valley, Niantic Ill). Both faced each other two weeks ago at the Shelbyville Open, where Leonard won by less than half of a second (1:54.51).

Zeke Elkins (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph Ill) could be in the mix, depending if he runs on his team’s 4 x8. The heat could wear him down just a little if he is in that. Also watch for Adam Crutchley (Villa Grove, Ill), George Gunther (University, Urbana Ill), Nick Jones (Oregon, Ill), and Aaron Kennedy (North Boone, Poplar Grove Ill). It should be a fast race. Under 1:54 could win this race.


Outlook: Leo Catholic comes into the meet with the fastest time in the event (1:28.94) so far this season. This quartet looks like the big favorite.

Watch also for Newton, Chicago Hales Franciscan, Momence, Aurora Christian, Monmouth-Roseville, and Sterling Newman Catholic to contend.


Outlook: Sophomore Tim Doll (Westmont, Ill) has the 1A fastest time in the state after sectionals (49.96). It may go lower, especially with Dan Farmer (Johnston City, Ill) close behind. The senior was the best in this event indoors and he will look to be the best outdoors as well. Farmer’s fastest time so far this year is 50.08.

Watch also for Tevin Sellers (Winslow, Lena Ill), Tommy McCormick (Oregon, Ill), and Jonathan Harrell (Christian, Aurora Ill) to contend. Zeke Elkins (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph Ill) is entered in this event and will be doubling back in the 800. Will he have enough left on this tough double?


Outlook: This looks like it could be Colin Carver (Westfield, Casey Ill) in this race. Carver has the fastest time coming out of sectionals by almost a second over George Wayda (Pleasant Plains, Ill) and Noel Yarngo (Mooseheart, Ill).

Jake Hooker (Timothy Christian, Elmhurst Ill), Matt McCoy (Lewistown, Ill), and Alex Arteaga (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph Ill) will all be in the hunt for the championship.


Outlook: Could be the best of all the races in 1A on Saturday with two of the best distance runners in 1A. Steve Schroder (Monticello, Ill) two weeks ago at the Mahomet-Seymour Invitational ran a 4:15.48. Last week at the Seneca Sectional, Grant Nykaza (Beecher, Ill) ran the 1A sectionals best time of 4:17.36. Schroeder will be running earlier in the 3200. Nykaza will be running fresh. This could be a fast pace with maybe 4:14 or under winning it.

Also keep an eye on Adam Crutchley (Villa Grove, Ill), Cole Dill and Connor Ehnle (Tremont, Ill), Jesse Hahne (Schlarman, Danville Ill), and Matt Vermeersch (Pleasant Plains, Ill).


Outlook: Could be a fantastic final especially with the warm weather complimenting the sprinters. Keith Harris (Leo Catholic, Chicago Ill) has the fastest sectional time (22.22). Broc Smith (Tuscola, Ill) and Dontae Pryor (Kewanee, Ill) have both ran faster times during the season and will be with Harris in the finals.

This is a deep field. Also watch for Dan Farmer (Johnston City), Myles Ketelson (Flora), Jesse Cardenas (Princeville), Nick Rude (Newman Catholic, Sterling), and Jonathan Hutchison (Peoria Christian).


Outlook: Last race of the day…could decide the team title. The question will be who the hot team of the meet is because that could be your favorite. First 10 teams from sectionals are all within three seconds of each other with Aurora Christian having the fastest time (3:24.53). They do have the fastest time in 1A for the entire season.

Also keep an eye on Monmouth-Roseville, Lena-Winslow, St. Joseph-Ogden, Niantic Sangamon Valley, Williamsville, and Sparta.

At the beginning of the season, Leo Catholic HS in Chicago did not look like they had enough talent back to defend their 1A state championship that they won in 2011. But, as we look at the contending teams for the 1A crown, there are the Lions in good position to take home another trophy.

There are schools that think they have the talent to take the title away from Leo. Monticello, St. Joseph-Ogden, Peoria Christian, and Aurora Christian all have the talent that could walk away from O’Brien Stadium with the championship trophy in hand.

It will be a close team battle.

Here is a look of what to watch for from the individual teams that we think have a shot to challenge for the state championship. They are listed by number of total qualifiers.


Qualifiers: 9 Individual, 4 Relays – 13 Total

Outlook: The Sages enter the prelims in good shape to do some damage during the qualifying stages. Steve Schroeder, the 1A cross country champ, will do double duty where he will be the favorite in both the 3200 & 1600. You could also watch for him on Thursday possibly running in their 4 x 8 relay.

Monticello will depend on the distances to score points. Andrew Hanselman in the 3200 and Tim Easton in the 1600 could give much needed support to Schroeder. Also expect points in the 4 x8 and 4 x 4 relays. Watch for Sophomore Daniel Welling in the High Jump. The event is highly competitive. Welling could place in the top 5.

Pleasant Plains

Qualifiers: 9 Individual, 3 Relays – 12 Total

Outlook: It could be hit or miss for the Cardinals. They do have the quantity for the state meet, but a few of their athletes may need to step up to secure this team with a chance for a trophy. Most of the weight of this team will fall on multipurpose athlete George Wayda, who has qualified for 3 individual events. He will be one of the favorites in the 300 Intermediate hurdles and should place high in the High Hurdles.

The Cardinals could also get points in the distance races. Watch for Dan Plunkett in the 3200 and Matt Vermeersch in the 1600 to get some points in those events.

Leo Catholic

Qualifiers: 8 Individual, 3 Relays – 11 Total

Outlook: The Lions once again step up to the state meet as the favorite to defend their title, but will need a few things to happen. Leo will depend on two sprinters that they will have to rely on for points. Both Theodore Hopkins and Keith Harris Jr. are seeded high in both the 100 & 200 Meter Dashes. Both sprinters need to get through to the finals. They will also be a big part of the success in the 4 x 1 and 4 x 2 relays. Leo Catholic will be one of the favorites in both of these races.

The Lions will need to get points outside of these four events if they want to win. Expect a high place from Marlon Britton in the 110 High Hurdles and Hakeem Chatman in the Discus. If these two can place high, Leo could be heading back to Chicago with another state championship.

St. Joseph – Ogden

Qualifiers: 9 Individual, 2 Relays – 11 Total

Outlook: If this team is going to win a trophy at this meet, it will come down to the legs of Zeke Elkins. The senior is rated in the top 5 in the 800 Meter Run. He also will be coming back on short rest in the 400, where he has the fifth fastest sectional time. Weather will be very warm in Charleston this weekend and it will play a huge factor on him.

Elkins should also be a part of the 4 x 8 and 4 x 4 relays. Both will be in contention to win in this meet. Alex Arteaga could also score points in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles and the Pole Vault. The Spartans could also get some points from Dave Knipfer in the 1600.

Aurora Christian

Qualifiers: 8 Individual, 3 Relays – 11 Total

Outlook: The Eagles could sneak in to get a trophy in this new look 1A, but will need a few things go their way. Billy Howorth will be towards the top in a loaded Pole Vault competition. He will need to get some big points there. Also look for Jonathan Harrell in the 400 Meter Dash. The sophomore is ranked 6th after sectional performances and could grab a top 3 place in this event.

Also watch for Aurora Christian in the 4x1, 4x2, and 4x4 relays, especially the 4x4. The Eagles have the fastest seed time in that race. If it comes down to the final event, this would put Aurora Christian in great shape to catch a trophy.


Qualifiers: 9 Individual, 2 Relays – 11 Total

Outlook: The Indians do not have the fire power that they have had in recent years in the sprints. This school, however, could sneak into the top 3 at this meet. Tay Shanklin has been out for the portion of the year with an injury. He is healthy as evidenced by a 21-10 Long Jump at Sectionals. Winnebago will also be strong in the Pole Vault hoping to get points from either Alex Finley or Max Bradfield.

Michael Jack could also score points in the Discus. The Indians will need to get both of their qualifying relays, the 4 x 1 and 4 x 2, into the Saturday finals.


Qualifiers: 6 Individuals, 4 Relays – 10 Total

Outlook: The Hawks could sweep in and land with a top 3 trophy. They will need plenty to happen. Oregon qualified all 4 of their relays to Charleston. All are ranked in the top 10. If they could get all into the finals, it would be a great start.

Tommy McCormick has the fourth fastest time in the 400 and will be a favorite in that event. Senior Nick Jones will be a part of some of those relays. He will also be in the open 800, where he could snare a couple of points. Austin McCourt and Mark Schmidt both qualified in the Pole Vault. Both are in position to score some big points.


Qualifiers: 7 Individuals, 2 Relays – 9 Total

Outlook: Not a lot has been heard from this small school in western Illinois. The Panthers could make some big noise this weekend in Charleston. There big points could come from sprinter Tevin Sellers. The junior came up big last week at the Winnebago Sectional where he won the 100 in 10.97, the third fastest sectional time in 1A. He will also be a part of the second fastest 4 x 1 sectional team that could win as well. Sellers also has the third fastest 400 Meter time. He could challenge for the win in that event.

The Panthers have only 1 field event qualifier. O’Shay Smith has the longest put in the Shot in 1A coming out of sectionals and will be heavily favored there. This team does not have much space for mistakes. If they are all on, they could upend Leo to capture the team title.


Qualifiers: 6 Individuals, 3 Relays – 9 Total

Outlook: The Eagles are another one of those teams that could make things uncomfortable for Leo Catholic. Newton could score some big points in the Pole Vault. Mitch Mammoser will enter the event as the favorite. Teammate Brandon Toliver-Goode will also be in the mix for a high finish as well.

Newton traditionally places high in the relays that it is entered in. This year will be no exception. The 4 x 2 relay, led by Ridge Finn, has the 2nd fastest time in the sectionals and could win here as well. All 3 relays need to get to the finals for this team to have a shot at a trophy.


Qualifiers: 6 Individuals, 1 Relay – 7 Total

Outlook: The Sentinels could sneak into the top 5 in this meet, but will have to be clicking in every event entered. Sophomore Tim Doll has the fastest time in the 400 and will be one of the favorites in that race. Nate Novotna could score points also in the 3200. He has the fifth fastest sectional time.

Manlius Bureau Valley

Qualifiers: 6 Individuals, 1 Relay – 7 Total

Outlook: With the weather supposed to be sizzling this weekend, this squad could suffer. Adam Weidner should place high in both the Shot Put and the Discus. Derrick Johnson is entered in all three distance events, but with the way the weather will be, he will probably be in two. He could score high in either of those.

Peoria Christian

Qualifiers: 4 Individuals, 1 Relay – 5 Total

Outlook: In a meet where a low point total could win, this team could sneak in for a trophy. Success for this team revolves around one individual: Jonathan Hutchison. The senior is the defending champion in the 100 Meter Dash. He will also be in the mix in the 200 Meter Dash and will anchor their 4 x 1 relay, which has the fastest sectional time. They need three wins and they could bring a trophy back to Peoria.

IL Boys Track - 1A Sectional Recap

May, 21, 2012
Here is a brief look at the action of each of the sectionals in Class 1A that happened last Thursday and Friday. To those athletes that made it to Charleston for the State Track & Field Meet, congratulations. To those that did not, congratulations on a season that you competed to the best of your abilities.

~~ Chester Sectional – May 17 ~~

Sparta qualified 12 for the state prelims by winning the Chester Sectional Thursday night. Sharvel Austin led his team with a double win in the 100 (11.48) and the 200 (23.37).

There were two other athletes that were double winners at this meet. Jason Bliven (Trenton-Wesclin, Wesclin Ill) won both hurdles races (110 HH – 15.87, 300 IH 40.50) and Brandon Williams (Duquoin, Ill) won both the Shot (54-2) and the Discus (142-10).

Kyle Landon (Chester, Ill) who placed second last year in the High Jump, proved he was up to this year’s challenge by winning the event clearing 6-7.

~~ Chicago University Sectional – May 17 ~~

Defending 1A team champion won the sectional championship by 36 points over Westmont. The Lions qualified 11 for the state meet led by 1-2 finishes in both the 100 & 200 by Keith Harris Jr. and Theodore Hopkins. Harris had great times in his double win recording 10.85 / 22.22.

Britt Henderson (The Latin School, Chicago, Ill) won both the 800 (1:58.99) and the 1600 (4:32.64).

Sophomore Tim Doll (Westmont, Ill) showed he may challenge for the 400 Meter championship with a 49.96 win.

~~ Moweaqua Sectional – May 17 ~~

We could some future state champions coming out of this sectional. Ryan Pearce (Villa Grove, Ill) won both the Shot (57-0.25) and the Discus (159-7). Colin Carver (Westfield HS, Casey, Ill) won both the 1110 HH (14.76) and the 300 IH (38.93). Broc Smith (Tuscola, Ill) won both the 100 (11.06) and the 200 (22.39) and was part of Tuscola’s winning 4x1 (43.95) and 4x2 (1:32.29) relays. Tuscola qualified 7 in winning the sectional by 31 points over Shelbyville.

Perhaps the best race of the evening was the 800 Meter Run where Brock Snarski (Meridian, Macon Ill) held off Adam Crutchley (Villa Grove, Ill) to run 1:56.16 for the win. Crutchley came back to win the 1600 (4:32.25).

~~ Staunton Sectional – May 17 ~~

Litchfield qualified 5 in winning this sectional with 80 points, 19 better than second place Greenville.

Jake Mahin (Staunton, Ill) conquered both the weight events winning the Shot (56-4) and the Discus (158-1). Cameron Walter (Greenville, Ill) was the only other double winner taking first in both the 100 (11.06) and 200 (22.75).

~~ Erie Sectional - May 18 ~~

This could have been the most exciting end of all the 1A sectionals. Coming into the 4x4 relay, only three points separated the first three teams. Eureka, in third entering the relay, won the race (3:26.94) over Sterling Newman thus winning the sectional. In winning, Eureka qualified 7 to Charleston.

There were three double winners in this meet and one athlete that won three.

Adam Weidner (Bureau Valley, Manlius Ill) won the Shot (56-5.5) and the Discus (160-3). His teammate Derrick Johnson controlled the distances with a triple win in the 3200 (10:06.16), 800 (2:02.15), and the 1600 (4:36.26)

Sprinter Nick Rude (Newman Catholic, Sterling Ill) won the 100 (10.99) and the 200 (22.45) and also a part of Newman’s winning 4x2 relay win (1:30.98). Devin Johnson (Erie Ill) won the Long Jump (22-0.5) and the 400 Meter Dash (51.20).

~~ Lawrenceville Sectional – May 18 ~~

Newton High School won 5 events and will send 10 to the state meet after winning the sectional in Lawrenceville with 127 points. Wins came in 3 relays (4x1 – 43.38, 4x2 – 1:30.05, 4x4 – 3:28.70) and from Mitch Mammoser in the Pole Vault (14-0) and Dylan Davidson in the Triple Jump (41-2.25).

Myles Ketelson (Flora Ill) was the big winner of the evening. The senior won the Long Jump (21-10.75) and both sprints (100 – 11.13, 200 – 22.33).

Blake Hale (Robinson, Ill) proved that he will be one of the favorites in the 800 Meter Run. He ran 1:55.71 for a convincing eight second win. Hale also anchored Robinson’s winning 4 x 8 relay (8:23.27).

~~ Lewistown Sectional – May 18 ~~

Pleasant Plains qualified 11 to the state meet on Thursday in winning this sectional scoring an astounding 137 points. George Wayda led the way with a double win in the 110 HH (15.37) and the 300 IH (40.02).

Defending 100 Meter 1A champion Jonathan Hutchison (Peoria Christian, Peoria Ill) won both the 100 (10.9), and the 200 (22.52) along with anchoring his school’s 4x1 relay (42.87).

~~ Monticello Sectional – May 18 ~~

The most competitive of all of the1A sectionals. Host Monticello captured the sectional crown scoring 132 points, 27 better than St. Joseph-Ogden. Both schools will be in the hunt for a state trophy. Monticello advanced 13 to Charleston while St. Joseph-Ogden will bring 11 to EIU. Seven runners advanced from this race.

State 1A cross country champion Steve Schroeder (Monticello, Ill) had two close battles with Jesse Hahne (Schlarman, Danville Ill) in the 3200 & 1600. Schroeder won the 3200 by four seconds over Hahne (9:31.01 – 9:35.73), then came back in the 1600 to win by less than a second (4:26.38 – 4:27.16).

Zeke Elkins (St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Joseph Ill) had impressive wins in a tough double. In a very competitive 800, Elkins won by two tenths over Eric Leonard (Sangamon Valley, Niantic Ill). He came back 30 minutes later to win the 400 (50.55).

~~ Paxton-Buckley-Loda Sectional – May 18 ~~

Host Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Downs Tri Valley tied for the sectional crown scoring 84 points each.

Ben Bakaitis (Lexington, Ill) was the only individual double winner. Bakaitis won the 110 HH (16.18) and the 300 IH (41.96).

~~ Rushville Sectional – May 18 ~~

Pittsfield qualified eight to the state meet and held back host Rushville to win the sectional title by six points.

The only individual double winner was Alex Walter (Central, Camp Point Ill) winning the Triple Jump (43-5) and the 300 IH (41.28).

~~ Seneca Sectional – May 18 ~~

Aurora Christian stamped itself as one of the team favorites by qualifying 11 in winning the sectional. They had 5 individual wins led by Bill Howorth in the Pole Vault (13-6), Jonah Walker in the Shot Put (47-8), C.J. Schutt in the Discus (146-2), Jake Gehman in the 800 (2:01.27), and Johnathan Harrell in the 400 (50.58).

Defending High Jump 1A champion Oumaru Abdulahi (Mooseheart, Ill) won that event with a 6-3 clearance. He also won the Long Jump (21-6.5).

Grant Nykaza (Beecher, Ill) showed he is fit and ready to challenge Steve Schroeder in the 1600. In his first race in almost a month, the Beecher junior sizzled off a 4:17.36 to win that race by almost sixteen seconds.

~~ West Frankfort Sectional – May 18 ~~

Carterville won the sectional by over 50 points over host West Frankfort while qualifying 11 to Charleston.

Daniel Farmer (Johnston City, Ill), who was the indoor state winner in the 200 and 400, showed that he is in peak condition by winning all three sprint races (100- 11.41, 200 – 22.40, 400 – 50.08).

~~ Winnebago Sectional – May 18 ~~

Winnebago was a rude host in winning their sectional by nine points over Lena-Winslow. The hosts advanced 11 to the state meet in Charleston.

Tevin Sellers was a double winner for Lena-Winslow. He won the 100 (10.97) and the 400 (50.14).