High-SchoolTrack-and-XC: state meet

This week in Illinois boys track & field

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
12:12
AM ET
It’s time to erase the blackboard. Time to close the books. The track & field athletes are about ready to take their final exams: The Illinois High School State Meet. The next 9 days they will take two tests. It will show if all of their work from the past year has paid off. After the last weekend full of conference meets, it is even harder to determine the team favorites and the individual favorites heading into the state series. The sectionals on Thursday and Friday will help sort that out a little.

Tim Hasso, the head track & field coach at Oak Park-River Forest High School, put it the best. “It does not matter what we have done the past couple of months. Might as well clean the leaderboard. It’s only the next two weeks that will matter.”

~~ On the 3A front ~~

After last week’s action, it is a tossup of who will be the team favorite.

Oak Park-River Forest stepped up to the plate at the WSC-Silver Meet at Western Springs and hit a home run by dominating the meet over defending champion York. Led by Malachy Schrobilgen and Carl Heinz, this team could score some major points. The Huskies have some young sprinters that put the fastest time in the state in the 4 x 1 and could be a factor in the short relays.

Wheaton North easily won the DuPage Valley Meet without their strongest lineup. Zack Gordon will be a factor in the Long Jump and the sprint relays. Aidan Askin has come up strong in the 1600 and will be a part of a strong 4 x 8 relay. Also watch for weight men Mac Spaulding and Christian Hollinger to put up points for the Falcons.

Have we forgotten about two-time 3A state champion Lake Park? The school from Roselle looks like they will strong again in the field events led by Kevin Spejcher, Scott Filip, and Marcus Jegede. The Lancers will also be strong on the track with Filip in the hurdles and strong in the 4x1 and 4x8 relays.

Neuqua Valley placed second behind Lake Park at the Upstate Eight Valley meet, but looks can be deceiving. Coach Mike Kennedy moved athletes around in some different events looking more towards the state series. The Wildcats will be strong in the distances with Taylor Soltys and Mark Derrick and also could get big points from sprinter Jacob Bender.

Last week, we talked about the teams in southern Illinois. Edwardsville could be the team to watch out for. They are fairly deep in most of the events. Cameron James looks like he is totally back after struggling most of the outdoor season with hamstring problems. He will be a plus in the relays. The Tigers will score in the field events and don’t forget about Garrett Sweatt! He could do some damage in both the 3200 and the 1600.

Belleville West might be the big surprise. The Maroons are always strong in the relays. This year they could score in all 4. DJ Owens could be a factor in the horizontal jumps.

~~ And 2A ~~

There are three schools that have separated themselves so far from the rest of the pack. After the sectionals, we may be able to read this class a little bit clearer.

Cahokia still remains the favorite in this class. The Comanches have the fastest times in all four relays. They will also be strong with Marlin Brady in the 400 and Darren Payton in the 800. Chris Moore leads the Triple Jump.

If one team could catch them is Providence Catholic. The Celtics looked strong in winning the Chicago Catholic League Meet last Saturday. Troy Sheppard could score in both of the short sprints. Andrew Helmin may be a factor in both of the hurdle races. Do not forget Chad Weaver. He should be the favorite in the Pole Vault.

One other team to watch is Decatur MacArthur. Jonathan Boey will be the one man to watch in the short sprints having some of the top times in this class. Michael Clevenger is the defending champion in the 3200. He has the fastest times in both the 3200 and the 1600 and will enter the meet as the favorite in both events..

~~ In 1A ~~

As of right now, it is very hard to tell the favorites in this sized down class. Defending champ Leo Catholic made some noise against the bigger schools in the Chicago Catholic League Meet. Terrance Hopkins and Keith Harris Jr. looked strong in both of the sprints and could score points here. Marlon Britton so far has the fastest times in the High Hurdles. Leo always has great sprint relays. Expect the same thing next week in Charleston.

~~ What about those relays?~~

The funniest thing happened last Friday at conference meets throughout Illinois. Every time I checked my twitter account for results, I would see the results of every conference’s 4 x 8 relay. It seemed like every conference’s winning time was between 7:56 to 7:58….well, that is what it seemed like. Algonquin Jacobs made the most noise in this event running 7:54 at the Fox Valley Conference meet.

Will we see the same results this week? I seriously doubt it.

It will be faster. Definitely faster. The sectionals is traditionally were schools put together their strongest quartets and then the times take a major drop.

It will be interesting to see what O’Fallon does. The Panthers have the fastest time in 3A with both Alex Riba and Patrick Perrier part of the quartet. Keep those two in there and they could be below 7:50.

With the weather forecast very favorable, do not be surprised if we see three or four schools under 7:50 in the next two days.

~~ This week’s meets: The Sectionals ~~

All the 3A sectionals will be tough. But perhaps the toughest of them all will be the Belleville West Sectional downstate. Call it a “bloodbath or a “meat grinder”, but this meet could have the most qualifiers out of all the 3A sectionals. Watch especially in the relays. I think we could have two teams under 1:27 here. Pick an event…it will be loaded.

In 2A, keep an eye on the Jacksonville Sectional, held in Springfield. There should be some good distance races with Michael Clevenger (MacArthur, Decatur Ill), Marc Maton (Glenwood, Chatham Ill), and Jake Fritszche (Mt. Zion, Ill).

In 1A, the distance geek in me takes over. If I could I would be at Monticello. Some great distance races with some of the best distance runners in East-Central Illinois led by 1A state cross country champion Steve Schroeder (Monticello).

Also watch the Seneca Sectional in 1A. Grant Nykaza (Beecher, Ill) will only be running the 1600, but we could see if he will get close to Schroeder’s class leading time of 4:15 in that race.

~~ And finally ~~

Here is what we are looking at the next few days. I will be at two sectionals and will give you recaps on those two meets. Also watch for recaps of all the sectionals on Sunday morning.

There will be no weekly recap next week. There will be a state meet preview for all three classes next Wednesday. Okay, now I can exhale…maybe just a little.

Good luck to all the athletes competing over the next few days. Keep your heads up whether you win or lose. Do your best, have fun doing it, and you will be a success. Even if you don’t achieve your goals, just stepping onto the track or area of competition makes you successful.

This week in Illinois boys track & field

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
8:15
PM ET
Most of the main action on the boy’s side of track in the state of Illinois headed to the college tracks last weekend. Some great meets were held in Carbondale, Jacksonville, Normal, Champaign, Romeoville, and Naperville that filled up the performance boards. So many stories to tell from these meets, but these are some of the things that caught my eye.

~~ News from the field ~~
  • I thought that perhaps the best story of the weekend out of all the field events might have started on that Friday night at the York Invitational with a great showdown between two of the state best Shot Putters Paul Golen of York and Mark Balmes of Hersey. Balmes came back to win 30 seconds after Golen took the lead. His throw at that point was tied for the state lead in the event. Less than 24 hours later, Josh Freeman of Cary-Grove cranked a put of 60’ 0.5” (US #9) at the Joe Scarpino Invitational in Buffalo Grove. What was thought to be a lackluster event after basically the top weightmen graduated has turned into a spirited affair. It will be fun to see the distances climb as the season progresses. But kudos to Balmes. Last fall, it was thought that Balmes would not compete in track following a knee injury during the football season. That perseverance that he had coming back from the injury will serve him well in the upcoming competitions of the season. It showed at York on Friday.
  • The Pole Vault was thought to be an event that might not be that great this year. Wrong. Eric Gordon of Normal Community West cleared a US#25 height of 15’ 6” in winning the Windy City Pole Vault Summit. Maybe the story of the season in this event is the emergence of Providence Junior Chad Weaver, who improved an incredible 15” in the matter of 48 hours in this event. It will be interesting to see these two go at it at the end of the month at the IPTT Classic in Bloomington.
  • In the past week, 2 top field eventers from the West Suburban Silver Conference climbed to #1 in their respective events. Last Friday, Carl Heinz of Oak Park-River Forest cleared a US #3 height of 6’ 11”. Matt Harris of Lyons Township last Tuesday jumped 23’ 8 ” (US #9) in a triangular in his home pit. Both will be challenged by a pair of Lake Park jumpers, Kevin Spejcher in the High Jump and Scott Filip in the Long Jump.
~~ Milers gone wild ~~

The last weekend popped out some great performances in the 1600. As of this publishing, there are 9 Illinois runners that are ranked in the top 100 in the United States in this event led by Jack Keelan of St. Ignatius who is ranked #17.
  • Keelan ran a smart an aggressive race last Sunday at the ICOPS Invitational in Romeoville. After cruising through the 800 in 2:11. He finished in 63/63 basically not kicking it in. It showed he had plenty left in his tank. Also watch for Nolan Dickson of Marmion who finished 2nd in the race running 4:22, which is a PR for this senior.
  • While most of the attention in central Illinois was at Champaign and the great race in the 1600 that Garrett Sweatt of Edwardsville and Michael Clevenger of Decatur MacArthur had, there was a great mile that happened at the ISU Invitational at Normal. Grayslake Central’s Will Brewster and Luke Zygmunt went 1-2 in the 1600 with Brewster running 4:20.94 and Zygmunt within a half second of his teammate. This was a significant race for Zygmunt who missed the state cross country meet last fall due to a leg injury that ended his season. He finished 2nd last spring in this event at state. He appears to be, along with Brewster, as two runners that could challenge Clevenger in May.
~~ This weekend ~~

Not the same amount of big meets that we saw last week as schools gear up for conference meet action next week. However, there are a few meets to take note of if you are out and about on Friday and Saturday.
  • If you are in Plainfield this weekend, you will have a choice of some good invitationals. Plainfield North will be holding an invitational while on the south side of town, Plainfield South will be holding their second invitational of the season.
  • Near St. Louis on the campus of Principia College, Edwardsville will be holding their second annual indoor invitational. There should be some great sprint competition with Edwardsville, Cahokia, and Belleville West going at it.
  • The SWSC will be holding their conference meets this weekend. The Blue Division will hold their meet at Bolingbrook and the Red Division will be at New Lenox. There will also be meets in western Illinois this weekend at Sterling and Byron.
~~ And finally ~~

Will this unseasonably warm weather give us faster time in the distances when we head outdoors?

When Garrett Sweatt ran that 9:07 at the end of February, a coach came up to me and asked if he would be able to keep that up until May? Should we ask the same question about Futsum Zeinesalassie after he ran 9:00 at the same time? Sure, Futsum’s resume backs up that performance, but we should not doubt what Sweatt is capable of this season.

I think we will see some faster times this year in the distances not only because of the weather, but through some wiser decisions made by both coaches and athletes.

Some coaches are not letting the weather effect the way they are coaching. Stick to the plan and reap the benefits when it comes to May. I know of one coach that has some good runners that will only run on a 200 meter track 3 times this indoor season. He is going to let them each of them run 1 800, 1 1600, and a 3200. It will give them some idea of what to look for outdoors. At the same time, limit the wear and tear of racing under the roof.

I look back at my past experience in track and can give you a good example. My junior year, I was excited to be racing indoors and my PR dropped. At the same time, I was resting before the big meets and not putting in a great base. When I got to outdoors, I paid the price and fizzled in May. I learned from that. MY indoor season my senior year was a matter of training through meets. I basically ran the same times that I did indoors my junior year, but when I got outdoors, my times dropped and I was more consistent.

I think Sweatt has learned as well. I do not know what he did last year, but he has taken advantage of the weather and is putting in more mileage which will lead to strength when he gets to the big meets of May. Last year, he did not have that strength at the state meet. Time will tell if this will pay off, but I think he is going in the right direction.

So take heart distance runners of Illinois. I hope you have taken advantage of this Illinois winter and pounded in the miles. You will benefit from it in May.

2012 Illinois 3A Boys Sprints / Hurdles Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:37
PM ET

3A Sprints | 3A Distance | 3A Relays | 3A Field Events | 3A Team Preview




Here is a glimpse to watch for in the sprints and the hurdles in 2012:

100 Meter Dash
10.72 Calvin Edwards SR Joliet West 8th - AAA
10.80 Cameron James SR Edwardsville 5th - AAA
10.83 Levelle Jordan SR Skokie Niles West 6th - AAA
10.85 Blake Holder JR Streamwood
10.86 Tevin Coleman SR Oak Forest 4th - AA
10.89 Kendrick Foster JR Peoria Richwoods
10.90 Perez Ford SR Romeoville 9th - AAA
10.90 Leo Okeke SR Blue Island Eisenhower 7th - AAA
10.91 Michael Thoams JR LaGrange Lyons Township
10.96 Jordan Atwater SR East Moline United
10.97 Tyrone Echols SR Collinsville
10.99 Xavier Levy SR Evanston Township
11.00 Derrick Ellis SR Rock Island
11.01 Jeremy Nicholson SR East St. Louis-Senior
11.01 Jalen Banks JR Harvey Thornton
11.06 James Davis SR Huntley
11.06 Devontea Young SR Rock Island
11.06 Terry Magee SO Chicago North Lawndale
11.08 Justin Smith SR Chicago Payton
11.09 Jon Aldrin SR Downers Grove South
11.09 Jacob Bender SR Naperville Neuqua Valley

There will be a new champion in this event as Thornton’s Timothy Faust has graduated. It still could be a loaded field with 6 all state sprinters returning but none of them stands out in the crowd. It will be interesting to see who takes the step forward early in the season.

The highest placing returnee is Cameron James of Edwardsville HS. He has the second fastest time coming into the season behind Calvin Edwards of Joliet (West HS), who was a state finalist last year.

Leville Jordan of Skokie (Niles West HS), Perez Ford of Romeoville HS, and Leo Okele of Blue Island (Eisenhower HS) are the other three returning all state performers in this event. Moving up from 2A is Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest HS, who placed 4th in that class last year. It is a close group this year with the top 8 sprinters only separated by 18 hundredths of a second. It is anyone’s race.

Other athletes to keep a watch on include Kendrick Foster of Peoria (Richwoods HS), Blake Holder of Streamwood HS, Jordan Atwater of East Moline (United Township HS), and Derrick Ellis of Rock Island HS.

200 Meter Dash
21.46 Calvin Edwards SR Joliet West 9th - AAA
21.79 Cameron James SR Edwardsville
21.80 Dantrell Wright SR Plainfield South
21.82 Leo Okeke SR Blue Island Eisenhower 7th - AAA
21.89 Perez Ford SR Romeoville
21.94 Jeremy Randolph SR Belleville West
21.99 Joshua Nance SR Homewood-Flossmoor
22.03 Xavier Levy SR Evanston Township
22.09 Levelle Jordan SR Skokie Niles West
22.19 Marquis Flowers SR Plainfield North
22.21 Derrick Ellis SR Rock Island
22.21 Mike Brown SR Summit Argo
22.22 Jordan Atwater SR East Moline United
22.24 Jon Aldrin SR Downers Grove South
22.32 Jacob Bender SR Naperville Neuqua Valley
22.34 Kennedy Mayweather JR Collinsville
22.35 Quest Young SR Plainfield North
22.42 Royce Chandler SR Joliet Central
22.46 Mikey Sammer JR Wheaton North
22.46 Vito Anzalone SR Mt. Prospect-Prospect
22.46 Raymond Scott SR Belleville West

The 100 meters was loaded with returning all state runners, this is nearly the complete opposite. Which means plenty of chances for athletes to shine in the state meet spotlight. Leo Okele of Blue Island (Eisenhower HS) and Calvin Edwards of Joliet (West HS) are the only returning finalists from 2011 with Okele leading the way with a 7th place finish. The one sprinter that I would look out for is Cameron James of Edwardsville HS. He does have the 2nd fastest returning time in the 200 behind Edwards. James missed making the finals last year by 7 hundredths of a second. He is running for redemption in this event.

With a field this wide open, the chances for winning will be greater. So, keep an eye on the following sprinters to possibly make a statement in this event: Dantrell Wright of Plainfield (South HS), Perez Ford of Romeoville HS, Xavier Levy of Evanston (Evanston Township HS), Levelle Jordan of Skokie (Niles West HS), Marquis Flowers of Plainfield (North HS), and Jon Aldrin of Downers Grove (South HS).

400 Meter Dash
48.04 Jacob Bender SR Naperville Neuqua Valley 2nd - AAA
48.42 Jeremy Randolph SR Belleville West 9th - AAA
48.67 Quest Young SR Plainfield North
48.70 Joshua Nance SR Homewood-Flossmoor
49.10 Mike Brown SR Summit Argo
49.30 Antonio Farley SR Round Lake
49.51 Mitch Wolff SR Plainfield South
49.56 James Davis SR Huntley
49.60 Ryan Gundersen SR Rolling Meadows
49.74 Dakari Howard SR Chicago Whitney Young
49.90 Tom Fritz SR Park Ridge Maine South
50.00 Kennedy Mayweather JR Collinsville
50.01 Marquis Flowers SR Plainfield North
50.02 Malik Harrison JR Springfield
50.09 Jeff Broger JR Elgin
50.10 David Storino SR Naperville Central
50.12 Clayton Glasper SR Peoria Richwoods
50.19 Justin Smith SR Chicago Payton
50.39 Michael Gulan SR Chicago Von Steuben
50.42 Steven Harris SR Plainfield South

Last year was a dynamite final. With the oncoming thunderstorm approaching, the schedule was sped up. Thornwood’s London Hawk had nothing left after he finished a disappointing 8th in the 800 Meter Run. He didn’t think he could finish the 400. Did he ever. Hawk held off Jacob Bender of Naperville (Neuqua Valley HS) in the last 100 meters to win by 13 hundredths of a second. Bender returns as one of the favorites in this event. The other runner to watch is Jeremy Randolph of Belleville (West HS), who ran 48.42 last year. I think we could see both of these athletes under 48 seconds by the end of May.

There is a group of runners that I would keep an eye on. Watch for Quest Young of Plainfield (North HS), Joshua Nance of Flossmoor (Homewood-Flossmoor HS), Mike Brown of Summit (Argo HS), Mitch Wolff of Plainfield (South HS), and James Davis of Huntley HS.

110 Meter High Hurdles
14.18 Clayton Glasper SR Peoria Richwoods 2nd - AA
14.29 Ben Bowers SR Hoffman Estates Conant 6th - AAA
14.35 Rashad Hulbert SR Crete-Monee 3rd - AAA
14.42 Phillip Hickman SR East St. Louis-Senior
14.43 Christian Herring SR Belleville East
14.54 Jourdon Redmond SR Olympia Fields Rich Central
14.58 Johnathon Anderson SR Harvey Thornton 7th - AAA
14.66 Sean Wells SR Fox Lake Grant
14.71 Brandon Sykes SR Crete-Monee
14.91 Gus Shipp SR Glenview Glenbrook South
14.97 Phabian Clark SR Wheaton-Warrenville South
15.02 Joe Morrow JR Chicago Mt. Carmel
15.05 John Goins SR Lockport Township
15.11 Davy Mellado SR Palatine Fremd
15.12 Adam Rabushka SR Deerfield
15.19 Jalann Pulley SR Dolton Thornridge
15.22 Brett Whitten SR Downers Grove South
15.23 Jalil Manson JR Plainfield East
15.23 Matt Harris JR LaGrange Lyons Township
15.24 Mierocles Bell JR Belleville West

Could be a great hurdle race in May. 4 hurdlers return from last year’s finals. The fastest however ran in 2A last year, Clayton Glasper of Peoria (Richwoods HS). He finished 2nd last year in 2A and will be considered of one of the favorites in this event going into the season. The highest placing 3A returnee is Rashad Hulbert of Crete (Crete-Monee HS). Add in Ben Bowers of Hoffman Estates (Conant HS) and Johnathan Anderson of Harvey (Thornton HS) and you could have a final close to 14 seconds.

Other hurdlers to watch in this event include Phillip Hickman of East St. Louis (Senior HS), Christian Herring of Belleville (East HS), Jourdan Redmond of Olympia Fields (Rich Central HS), Sean Wells of Fox Lake (Grant HS), and Gus Shipp of Glenview (Glenbrook South HS).

300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles
37.60 Rashad Hulbert SR Crete-Monee 1st - AAA
38.57 Ben Bowers SR Hoffman Estates Conant 9th - AAA
38.68 Sean Wells SR Fox Lake Grant 7th - AAA
38.83 Phillip Hickman SR East St. Louis-Senior
39.26 Johnathon Anderson SR Harvey Thornton
39.28 Adam Rabushka SR Deerfield
39.30 Christian Herring SR Belleville East
39.30 Clayton Glasper SR Peoria Richwoods
39.50 Marcus Greer JR East St. Louis-Senior
39.90 Jourdon Redmond SR Olympia Fields Rich Central
40.12 Devaughn Dix JR Bloomington
40.30 Lino Magorovic JR LaGrange Lyons Township
40.36 Conor Dunham SO Chicago St. Ignatius
40.42 Darius Mosely JR O'Fallon
40.46 Damon Overton SR East Moline United
40.48 Brett Kohler SR Wheaton North
40.49 Phabian Clark SR Wheaton-Warrenville South
40.53 John Burns SR Oak Park-River Forest
40.70 Jesus Najera SR Bolingbrook
40.70 T.J. Tolbert SR Frankfort Lincoln-Way E
40.70 Ben Hullett SR Aurora Metea Valley
Rashad Hulbert of Crete (Crete-Monee HS) is the defending champion in this event. He has the fastest time coming into this season by almost one second over Ben Bowers of Hoffman Estates (Conant HS). He has great technique over the intermediates. It will be interesting to see if along with the speed he has he can takes his personal best under 37 seconds. The question will be if any other hurdlers will be close to him?

Besides Bowers, keep an eye on Sean Wells of Fox Lake (Grant HS), Phillip Hickman of East St. Louis (Senior HS), Johnathon Anderson of Harvey (Thornton HS), Adam Rabushka of Deerfield HS, Christian Herring of Belleville (East HS), and Clayton Glasper of Peoria (Richwoods HS).

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

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Distance Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:29
PM ET
Here is a glimpse of what to look for in the distances races for 2A in 2012:

3200 Meter Run
9:09.00 Michael Clevenger SR Decatur MacArthur 1st - AA
9:25.78 Luke Zygmunt SR Grayslake Central
9:29.67 K.J. Matuszak SR Mundelein Carmel
9:31.55 Marc Maton JR Chatham-Glenwood 5th - AA
9:34.93 Ethan Adifinger JR Rock Island Alleman
9:35.40 Clint Kliem SR Burlington Central
9:37.87 Jamison Dale JR Chicago Jones Prep 8th - AA
9:38.26 Joe Fritzsche SR Mt. Zion 9th - AA
9:39.00 Ryan Prais JR Lake Villa Lakes
9:39.25 Will Brewster SR Grayslake Central 10th - AA
9:42.96 Dan Fox SR Johnsburg
9:43.55 Joe Singleton SO Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
9:44.20 Dylan Hartley SR Benton
9:46.55 Jeffrey Rector SR Chicago Roosevelt
9:46.70 Drew Spargo SR Columbia
9:46.81 Tyler Morse SR Bartonville Limestone
9:46.86 Wesley Ward JR Normal University
9:47.72 Jacob Heser SR Salem
9:48.33 Jamen Helton SR Waterloo
9:49.52 Ryan Clardy SR Oak Park Fenwick
9:49.87 Jake Brown JR Mt. Zion

The question will be this spring will be whether or not there is any runner in 2A that can beat Michael Clevenger of Decatur (MacArthur HS). After all, he is only the defending champion in this race along with being the defending 2 time 2A state cross country champion. He had a great post season in cross qualifying for both the Foot Locker and Nike National Meets. He capped off his cross country season by being named the Gatorade Boys Cross Country of the Year for Illinois. A well deserved honor for this young man.

I think this race could have been closer. But with Troy Yunk running in 3A this spring, it could change the strategy. I am sure Clevenger will go for some fast times during the season. Decatur MacArthur may have a shot at getting a team trophy so we could see a double from him and a scenario similar to last year with York’s Jack Driggs: just go for the points.

Clevenger ran 9:09 last year and has the fastest returning time by 16 seconds. The next in line is Luke Zygmunt of Grayslake (Central HS). Last year, Zygmunt just ran the 1600. If he is in this race, it could be interesting. 3 other all staters in this race return. Marc Maton of Chatham (Glenwood HS) did not have the best state meet in cross country last fall. He was 5th last year as a sophomore. He has the talent to be in the top 3. Jamison Dale of Chicago (Jones College Prep HS) and Joe Fritzsche of Mt. Zion HS are the other two returnees. Both have improved. Both will have an impact in this race.

Other runners to watch include K.J. Matuszak of Mundelein (Carmel HS) who was all state in Cross Country, Jake Brown of Mt. Zion HS who finished 3rd in 1A cross, Ethan Adfinger of Rock Island (Alleman HS), Will Brewster of Grayslake (Central HS), Joe Singleton of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS), Ryan Clardy of Oak Park (Fenwick HS), Wesley Ward of Normal (University HS), and Dylan Hartley of Benton HS.

800 Meter Run
1:56.24 Adam Lange JR Galena 7th - A
1:56.84 Clint Kliem SR Burlington Central 4th - AA
1:57.06 John Wold SO Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
1:57.32 Ryan Prais JR Lake Villa Lakes
1:57.51 Nathan Allyn JR Decatur MacArthur 10th - AA
1:57.65 Alec Andrewson SR Manteno 8th - A
1:57.68 Grant Inskeep JR Peoria Notre Dame 11th - AA
1:58.10 Darren Payton JR Cahokia
1:58.31 Jeffrey Rector SR Chicago Roosevelt
1:58.59 Sam Welbourne JR Jerseyville Jersey
1:58.66 Mike Gulik SR Burlington Central
1:58.80 Mark Pedziwiatr SR New Lenox Lincoln-Way West
1:58.81 Timothy Warren SR Chicago Jones Prep
1:59.13 Beau Salsman SR Galesburg
1:59.13 Cameron Rohmann SR Dunlap
1:59.56 Zac Justus SO Pontiac
2:00.20 Grant Grimshaw JR Freeburg
2:00.45 Traxton Taylor SR Marion
2:00.50 Matt Meyers JR Aurora Central Catholic
2:00.97 Eli Johnson SR Mahomet-Seymour
Michael Simon of Springfield HS is the defending champion in this race. However, since Springfield HS is now 3A for track and Belvidere North’s Will Crocker will also be in 3A, this race becomes more wide open.

There are 3 runners returning that are all-state in this event. The only all stater in 2A returning is Clint Kliem of Burlington (Central HS). Kliem finished 7th in the fall and 4th in this event last season. He does not have the fastest returning time. That belongs to Adam Lange, a junior from Galena HS who finished 7th in this event in 1A. The other returnee is Manteno’s Alex Andrewson, who finished 8th in 1A in 2011.

In this event, there are always wild cards with runners that could run other distance events or doubling off of the 4 x 8 relay. That question went through the mind of John Wold of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS) last year. He had quality times in both the 800 and the 1600 last year. He ended up running the 1600. Will it be the same decision this year? The same can be said about Ryan Prais of Lake Villa (Lakes HS). However, he ran both events.

There is a ton of talent in this event making it interesting who will step up. Other runners to keep an eye on include Nathan Allyn of Decatur (MacArthur HS), Grant Inskeep of Peoria (Notre Dame HS), Darren Payton of Cahokia HS, Sam Welbourne of Jerseyville (Jersey HS), Mike Gulik of Burlington (Central HS), Timothy Warren of Chicago (Jones College Prep HS), and Mark Pedziwiatr of New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West).

1600 Meter Run
4:18.33 Luke Zygmunt SR Grayslake Central 2nd - AA
4:19.37 Michael Clevenger SR Decatur MacArthur 3rd - AA
4:20.27 Tyler Morse SR Bartonville Limestone 6th - AA
4:22.94 Ryan Prais JR Lake Villa Lakes
4:22.95 John Wold SO Glen Ellyn Glenbard South 11th - AA
4:23.48 Murphy Affolder SO Mascoutah 7th - AA
4:24.92 Torben Hoffmeyer SR Marengo
4:25.23 Clint Kliem SR Burlington Central
4:25.81 Dylan Harkness SR Sterling
4:26.07 Jamison Dale JR Chicago Jones Prep
4:28.48 Riley McInerney JR Charleston
4:28.93 Shawn Milhauser JR Pontiac
4:29.37 Nick Hess SO Champaign St. Thomas More
4:31.89 Marc Maton JR Chatham-Glenwood
4:32.00 Cale Stallard SR Olney East Richland
4:32.45 K.J. Matuszak SR Mundelein Carmel
4:33.02 Kyle Reiling SR Geneseo
4:33.18 Ethan Adifinger JR Rock Island Alleman
4:33.36 Josh Rodenberg JR Waterloo
4:33.50 Tom Berg JR Lisle Benet Academy

This could be a great race in this class. 4 all state runners return in this event. Along with that, this event is deep in talent which means so much could happen. So let’s look at the what could happen in May.

The fastest returnee and highest returning placer in this event is Luke Zygmunt of Grayslake (Central HS). He finished 2nd last year right behind Belvidere North’s Paul Zeman. He was having a great cross country season until he injured his shin right before his conference meet, which shelved him for the rest of the season. He won the Peoria Woodruff Invitational in September and would have been in the mix for the individual title at Detweiller in November. I am sure there is a fire burning inside of him wanting a state championship.

Then you have Michael Clevenger of Decatur (MacArthur HS), who finished 3rd last year after winning the 1600. There is always a question of a runner doubling at the state meet. Clevenger showed that he could do it. He also is battle tested and has the heart of a champion. He will be ready for the challenge.

The two other all state returnees are Tyler Morse of Bartonsville (Limestone HS) and Murphy Affolder of Mascoutah HS. Morse finished 6th last year. During the season, Morse was running around 4:28. When it came to the state meet, he dropped his personal best 8 seconds. He runs similar to former state champion Johnny Crain of Dunlap HS who is now at North Central College.

Murphy Affolder is the one runner I believe that is hidden in southern Illinois but could be the big surprise here. He finished 7th in this event last year and had a great cross country season finishing 10th. One runner not to discount.

Other runners to keep an eye on include John Wold of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS) who finished 4th in cross country and 11th here last year. Wold in the prelims last year lost his shoe in the prelims which hampered his final’s race, Riley McInerney of Charleston HS who finished 3rd in cross last fall, Torben Hoffmeyer of Marengo HS, Ryan Prais of Lake Villa (Lake HS), Clint Kliem of Burlington (Central HS), Dylan Harkness of Sterling HS, and Chris Martin of Mascoutah HS.

Comments / Questions? e-mail Michael Newman > newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Sprints / Hurdles Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:26
PM ET
Here is what to watch for in the sprint hurdle events in Class 2A:

100 Meter Dash
10.70 Brian Carter SR Chicago Kelvyn Park
10.75 Reggie Bratton JR Jacksonville
10.76 Jamal McNeeley JR Chicago Kelvyn Park 3rd - AA
10.78 Blake Quiram SR Princeton
10.81 Joey Giovannelli SR Chatham-Glenwood 8th - AA
10.87 Jonathon Boey JR Decatur MacArthur
10.90 Aaron Sowers SR Mattoon
10.94 Bryton Griffin SR Kankakee
10.95 Lonnie Washington JR Chicagp Perspectives Charter
10.99 Greg Johnson JR Peoria Manual
11.03 Joseph Fese JR Aurora Central Catholic
11.03 Wesley Sanders SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
11.04 Anthony Moore SR Mt. Vernon 9th - AA
11.04 Brian Mays JR Richton Park Rich South
11.05 Joseph Jones SR Plano 6th - A
11.07 Mac Melto SR Chicago Northside Prep
11.08 Marshall Graham SR Mahomet-Seymour
11.10 Isaac Morckel SR East Alton-Wood River
11.11 Dirk Washburn JR Olney East Richland
11.12 Quinntarius Hill SR Cahokia
11.12 Fuhad Akinbiyi SR Chicago Gordon Tech

With Devantre Whitelow of Centralia (Centralia HS) graduated, there are a number of sprinters that are waiting their chance to be the king of sprints in the shorter dashes that Whitelow held the last 2 years.

The Chicago Public League schools have started to churn out quality talent after a long drought. It has become evident in the sprints especially the last couple of years. Jamal McNeely of Chicago (Kelvyn Park HS) placed 3rd in this event last year and will look to capture the title this year. He will have company from his teammate senior Brian Carter, who placed 2nd in this event 2 years ago.

Two other all-staters return in this event. Joey Giovanelli of Chatham (Glenwood HS) and Anthony Moore of Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon HS) will make things difficult for the Chicago Public League pair. Joseph Jones of Plano (Plano HS) placed 6th in 1A last year and will be in the mix for a medal in Charleston.

Also keep an eye on Reggie Bratton of Jacksonville (Jacksonville HS), Jonathan Boey of Decatur (MacArthur HS), Lonnie Washington of Chicago (Perspectives Charter), Blake Quiram of Princeton (Princeton HS), and Greg Johnson of Peoria (Manual HS). This year’s sprint corps are deep in this class. We could see some fast times in May.

200 Meter Dash
21.95 Jamal McNeeley JR Chicago Kelvyn Park 2nd - AA
22.08 Joey Giovannelli SR Chatham-Glenwood 8th - AA
22.12 Wesley Sanders SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
22.20 Brian Mays JR Richton Park Rich South
22.26 Brian Carter SR Chicago Kelvyn Park
22.27 Dion Starnes SR Midlothian Bremen
22.33 Blake Quiram SR Princeton
22.35 Brandon Penrod SR Troy Triad
22.43 Isaac Morckel SR East Alton-Wood River 8th - A
22.47 Marshall Graham SR Mahomet-Seymour
22.55 Trey Story SR Cahokia
22.57 Treston Fowler SO Dunlap
22.58 Trey Sheppard SR New Lenox Providence
22.66 Joanh Peoples JR Champaign Centennial
22.66 Dale Strope SO Sandwich
22.66 Kristopher Burge SR Richton Park Rich South
22.70 Gabe Cotton JR Vernon Hills
22.72 Mike Beckman SR Lake Villa Lakes
22.72 Damon Daugherty SR Paris
22.73 Adonis Hill SR Centralia

We may see the same scenario in the 200 that we have in the 100. Jamal McNeeley of Chicago (Kelvyn Park HS) also placed 2nd last year in the 200 behind Centralia’s Devantre Whitelow. McNeeley also returns with the fastest time in this event. The only other all stater returning is Joey Giovanelli of Chatham (Glenwood HS).

This could be a tough event with the possibility of 5 runners going under 22 seconds. Other runners to keep an eye on are Brian Mays of Richton Park (Rich South), Brian Carter of Chicago (Kelvyn Park HS), Wesley Sanders of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South), Dion Starnes of Midlothian (Bremen HS), and Trey Story of Cahokia (Cahokia HS).

400 Meter Dash
48.78 Mac Melto SR Chicago Northside Prep 7th - AAA
49.01 Anthony Moore SR Mt. Vernon 3rd - AA
49.02 Marlin Brady SO Cahokia 4th - AA
49.15 Zach Barnett SR Rochester 7th - A
49.71 Brandon Penrod SR Troy Triad FS
49.78 Darren Payton JR Cahokia
49.82 Syrus White SR Rantoul 6th - A
49.90 Robbie Odeneal SO Kankakee McNamara
50.04 Brian Mays JR Richton Park Rich South
50.17 Spencer Williams SR Chicago Perspectives Charter
50.22 Anthony Holloway SR Peoria Manual
50.30 Charles Jideonwo SR Midlothian Bremen
50.30 Adam Parr SR Metamora
50.37 Terez Courtney SO Jacksonville
50.98 Stirling Sommer SR Fairbury Prairie Central
51.02 Pierre Tuell SR Champaign St. Thomas More
51.30 Christian Horcher SR Mundelein Carmel
51.40 Joshua Vaughn SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest
51.46 Kevin Ward JR New Lenox Providence
51.70 Brock McGee SR Herrin

Will the final in this event top what happened last year? Glenbard South’s Garret Payne held off Morton’s D.J. Zahn to capture his 2nd straight state championship. Both runners went under 48 seconds with the winning time an incredible 47.31.

This event may be a little bit deeper than it was last year. There are a number of runners that could leave Charleston with the state championship. Two all staters return in the 400. Anthony Moore of Mt. Vernon HS and Marlin Brady of Cahokia HS lead this deep event. At the same time, we should not forget Mac Melto of Chicago (Northside Prep HS). The senior last year placed 7th in 3A. With his school moving down this year to 2A, it makes Melto with the fastest returning time in this class and a threat to win the state championship.

To add to the depth, do not forget about 2 all staters moving up from 1A. Zach Barnett of Rochester (Rochester HS) and Syrus White of Rantoul (Rantoul HS) have times rank in the top 7 coming into this year. Consider them part of the state championship hunt in this event.

Other 400 runners to watch this spring include Brandon Penrod of Troy (Triad HS), Darren Payton of Cahokia (Cahokia HS), Robbie Odeneal of Kankakee (Bishop McNamara HS), and Brian Mays of Richton Park (Rich South).

110 Meter High Hurdles
14.41 Spencer Allen SR Mt. Vernon 3rd - AA
14.59 Dion Starnes SR Midlothian Bremen 5th - AA
14.64 Joseph Jones SR Plano 1st - A
14.84 Jonah Peoples JR Champaign Centennial
15.02 D.J. Duncan JR Harrisburg 7th - A
15.11 David Briscoe SR Champaign Centennial
15.14 Brandon Lindley SR Peoria Central
15.25 Gary Hickman SO Cahokia
15.30 Kai McNeely SR Galena
15.39 Chris Cheatham SR Evergreen Park
15.39 Elven Walker SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
15.44 Jake Gates SR Mattoon
15.44 Tyler Barnas SO Princeton
15.50 Tyler Parsons JR Woodstock
15.56 Joshua Vaughn SR Country Club Hills Hillcrest
15.58 Travis Johnson JR Rock Falls
15.64 Tyler Ginger JR Stanford Olympia
15.64 Joel Ooms SR Lansing Illiana Christian
15.64 Dan Arnold JR Rockford Boylan
15.65 Andrew Helmin JR New Lenox Providence

4 all state hurdlers return in this event: 2 from 2A and 2 from 1A. There is 1 state champion returning from quartet. That hurdler is Joseph Jones of Plano HS, who recently signed to attend Northwestern University next fall. Jones last year also ran the 100 in 1A. Question will be whether he will run both in 2A.

The runner who has the fastest returning time is Spencer Allen of Mt. Vernon HS who finished 3rd last year. Dion Starnes of Midlothian (Bremen HS) has the 2nd fastest time returning and finishing 5th last year. The last returnee is D.J. Duncan of Harrisburg HS, who finished 7th in 1A. Any of these 4 hurdlers could favored in this event heading to Charleston at the end of May.

Other hurdlers to keep an eye on would be Jonah Peoples and David Briscoe of Champaign (Centennial HS), Brandon Lindley of Peoria HS, Gary Hickman of Cahokia HS, and Kai McNeely of Galena HS.

300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles
38.67 Brandon Lindley SR Peoria Central 1st - AA
38.92 Mike McCullough SR Tinley Park 4th - AA
39.31 D.J. Duncan JR Harrisburg 3rd - A
39.53 Donte Arnold SR Woodstock 7th - AA
39.90 Spencer Allen SR Mt. Vernon
39.92 Elven Walker SR Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
40.20 Joel Ooms SR Lansing Illiana Christian
40.43 Dylan Nauert SO Maple Park Kaneland
40.48 Charles Fenner SR Metamora
40.50 Jamal Sims SR Springfield Southeast
40.50 Jake Gates SR Mattoon
40.60 Drew Ing SR Benton
40.73 Mark Devall SR Effingham
40.79 Matthew Schaap SR Mahomet-Seymour
40.80 Dion Starnes SR Midlothian Bremen
40.85 Conor Gleason JR Rochester
41.04 Tyler Parsons JR Woodstock
41.17 Victor Baker SR Evergreen Park
41.21 Chris Cheatham SR Evergreen Park
41.50 Tyler Barnas SO Princeton
Brandon Lindley of Peoria HS is back to defend the title he won in 2011. He also has the fastest returning time in 2A, which is a quarter of a second faster than last year’s 4th place finisher Mike McCullough of Tinley Park HS. Look for these two hurdlers to battle it out for the title in May. Two other hurdlers that could also have a say in this are both returning all-staters: D.J. Duncan of Harrisburg HS (3rd in 1A) and Donte Arnold of Woodstock HS (7th in 2A).

Other hurdlers to watch include Spencer Allen of Mt. Vernon HS, Elven Walker of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS), Joel Ooms of Lansing (Illiana Christian HS), Dylan Nauert of Maple Park (Kaneland HS), and Charles Fenner of Metamora HS.

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

2012 Illinois 2A Boys Field Events Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:24
PM ET
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 ”. 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.

Discus
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
2/03/12
4:22
PM ET
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

2012 Illinois Boys 1A Distance Previews

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:19
PM ET
Here is what to keep an eye on in the 3 distance races for this upcoming season in Class 1A

3200 Meter Run

9:27.76 Steve Schroeder SR Monticello 2nd - A
9:37.94 Jesse Hahne JR Danville Schlarman 10th - A
9:38.97 Scott Woodward SR Tolono Unity 7th - A
9:40.88 Cole Dill SR Tremont 8th - A
9:51.19 Cameron Harvey SR Sullivan
9:52.33 Spencer Friske SR Lake Forest Academy
9:55.84 Sam Whan SR Aledo Mercer County
9:57.90 Connor Ehnle SO Tremont
10:01.54 Luke Hill JR Ottawa Marquette
10:02.30 Luke Zocher SR Monticello
10:11.89 Colby Purcell SR Tolono Unity
10:13.90 Wesley Bradshaw SR Sparta
10:14.30 Sam Schuette SR Aurora Christian
10:15.82 Daniel Plunkett SO Pleasant Plains
10:17.47 Kevin Claus JR Port Byron Riverdale

It came down to a last lap kick for Henry Arndt of Westmont (Westmont HS) to move by Steve Schroeder of Monticello (Monticello HS) in the last 100 meters to win the state championship in this event. It has pushed Schroeder to bigger things in this past cross country season. After an earlier season defeat to Grant Nykaza of Beecher (Beecher HS) in September, Schroeder responded with a convincing 9 second win at the state cross country meet in November. I would imagine Schroeder still has that image of last May in his mind and would like to exorcise it.

Schroeder comes into this year with the fastest returning time by over 10 seconds to the time of Jesse Hahne of Danville (Schlarman HS).

After the state cross country meet, Nykaza shocked with his second place finish was thinking out loud about racing in the 3200 Meter Run this spring. Last year, Nykaza was a part of his team’s winning 4 x 800 relay and then in the 1600 Meter Run. With parts not being there for Beecher in that relay, we could see Nykaza running in this race at state in May.

This could be a tough field and we could see some quick times at state in this event. Also keep a close watch on Scott Woodard of Tolono (Unity HS), Cole Dill and Connor Ehnle of Tremont (Tremont HS), and Cameron Harvey of Sullivan (Sullivan HS).

800 Meter Run
1:55.34 Eric Leonard SR Niantic Sangamon Valley 2nd - A
1:55.77 Zeke Elkins SR St. Joseph-Ogden 4th - A
1:56.97 Brittian Henderson SR Chicago Latin
1:58.01 Lance Curtis SR Bushnell Prairie City 9th - A
1:59.37 Blake Hale JR Robinson
1:59.58 Steve Schroeder SR Monticello
1:59.95 Dakota Conrad SR Auburn
2:00.60 Jon Hill SR Sparta
2:00.88 Nick Jones SR Oregon
2:01.20 Josh Weier JR Colfax Ridgeview
2:01.42 Kendall Eckert SR Tolono Unity
2:01.49 Zach Quinn SR Heyworth
2:01.54 Armon Kennedy SR Poplar Grove North Boone

This race is always effected by the runners that doubling back after running the 4 x 8 relay earlier in the day. Last year’s rushing of the time schedule took out some of the runners who could have factored into the outcome.

The 800 in 1A will be a tight affair between Zeke Elkins of St. Joseph (St. Joseph-Ogden HS) and Eric Leonard of Niantic (Sangamon Valley HS). Leonard placed 2nd last year behind Josh Jones of Herscher (Herscher HS). In that race, Leonard ran a 3 second PR showing that he is capable of going much faster this spring. Elkins will be the chief competition for Leonard. Most likely coming off of the 4 x 8 relay, the senior showed he has the strength this past fall by finishing 15th at the state cross country meet. Last year, Elkins anchored his team to a second place finish and came back to finish 4th in this event.

Britt Henderson of Chicago (Latin HS) was on the outside looking in at last year’s state meet. He finished 14th in the preliminaries missing the finals by 6 tenths of a second. He ran a 1:56.97 at the Lisle Sectional last year. He has the talent to compete with the above mentioned.

There are a group of runners that will be in the mix. Keep an eye on Lance Curtis of Bushnell (Bushnell Prairie City HS) who made the finals last year and finished 11th, Blake Hale of Robinson (Robinson HS), Dakota Conrad of Auburn (Auburn HS), Nick Jones of Oregon (Oregon HS), and Kendall Eckert of Tolono (Unity HS).

The record in this class is 1:51.22 of Peter Callahan of Winnetka (North Shore-Country Day HS) in 2009. Both Elkins and Leonard have the talent to get close to this.

1600 Meter Run
4:21.16 Grant Nykaza JR Beecher 2nd - A
4:24.99 Jon Hill SR Sparta 4th - A
4:27.03 Steve Schroeder SR Monticello 12th - A
4:27.61 Matt Vermeersch SR Pleasant Plains 6th - A
4:30.19 Brock Snarski SO Macon Meridian
4:30.73 Cameron Harvey SR Sullivan
4:31.16 Andy Arenz SO Auburn
4:31.21 Matt Avenatti SR Georgetown-Ridge Farm
4:32.17 Luke Zocher SR Monticello
4:32.20 Wesley Bradshaw SR Sparta
4:32.22 Kendall Eckert SR Tolono Unity
4:32.22 Luke Muzikowski JR Chicago Hope Academy
4:32.31 James Weissensel SR Ottawa Marquette
4:34.84 Blake Hale JR Robinson
4:35.32 Connor Ehnle SO Tremont

Last fall was a breakout season for Beecher’s Grant Nykaza. Even though he did not win the state meet in cross country, he did make his mark by posting some fast times and did qualify for the Foot Locker National Meet. Big step for this junior. We could see some bigger steps in this event this spring from him. He has the fastest returning time in the 1600 by almost 3 seconds. You expect this junior to double.

Should be a good pack after Nykaza. Steve Schroeder of Monticello (Monticello HS) has the XC championship under his belt, but would like to add some more honors to that. He ran 4:27.03 last year. Expect that time to drop this spring.

Other runner to watch include Jon Hill and Wes Bradshaw of Sparta (Sparta HS), Luke Zocher of Monticello (Monticello HS), Matt Vermeersch of Pleasant Plains (Pleasant Plains HS), Brock Snarski of Macon (Meridian HS), and Andy Arenz of Auburn (Auburn HS).

Comments: please e-mail Michael Newman : newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com

2012 Illinois 1A Boys Field Events Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:15
PM ET
Here is a glimpse of what to watch this spring in the field events in Class 1A:

Long Jump
22-2 Myles Ketelson SR Flora 11th - A
22-0.50 Alex Baumgarten SR Stewardson-Strasburg 2nd - A
21-5.50 Tyler Young JR Virden North Mac
21-5.50 Jake Keown JR Shelbyville
21-5.25 Malik Williams SR Champaign Judah Christian 6th - A
21-2.50 Kyle Landon JR Chester
21-1.25 Devin Johnson JR Erie-Prophetstown 9th - A
21-1 Michael Geary SR Polo
20-11 Jacob Segrest JR Piasa Southwestern
20-10.50 Jake Neely SR Trenton-Wesclin
20-9 Austin Wenskunas SO Argenta-Oreana
20-7.50 D.J. Gordon SR Monticello

Three all state jumpers return to this event. Alex Baumgarten of Strasburg (Stewardson-Strausburg HS) finished 2nd last year at the state meet and returns as the highest placer. However, he does not have the longest returning jump. That honor belongs to Myles Ketelson of Flora (Flora HS) who jumped 22’ 2” during the season. Should be a good battle between these two quality jumpers.

Let us not discount the other two jumpers that placed at last year’s state meet. Keep an eye on Malik Williams of Champaign (Judah Christian HS) who finished 6th, and Devin Johnson of Erie (Erie-Prophetstown HS) who finished 9th.

Other jumpers to keep an eye on include Tyler Young of Virden (North Mac HS), Jake Keown of Shelbyville (Shelbyville HS), and Kyle Landon of Chester (Chester HS).

Triple Jump
44-8.50 Alex Walter SR Camp Point Central 3rd - A
44-4 Tay Shanklin JR Winnebago 7th - A
42-8.50 Matt Mcdonald JR Dupo 12th - A
42-6.50 Russell Michelich SR Auburn
42-5 Heath Byom SR Knoxville 11th - A
42-3.25 Zach Gulley SR Downs Tri-Valley
42-0.50 Jordan McCall SR Niantic Sangamon Valley
42-0 Alex Arteaga SR St. Joseph-Ogden
41-6 Jordan Evans SR Red Hill

This could be a wide open event in 1A this year with only two jumpers that return that are all-state. That also means that there is an opportunity for plenty of jumpers to step up.

Alex Walter of Camp Point (Central HS) placed 3rd last year at the state meet to be the highest placing returner. He also has the longest returning jump. Close behind is junior Tay Shanklin of Winnebago (Winnebago HS), who placed 7th last year.

After these two jumpers, there is a 2 foot gap. However, watch for Heath Byom of Knoxville (Knoxville HS), Matt McDonald of Dupo (Dupo HS), and Russell Michelich of Auburn (Auburn HS).

High Jump
6-10 Kyle Landon JR Chester 2nd - A
6-8 Oumaru Abdulahi JR Mooseheart 1st - A
6-6 Bill Weissinger JR Hinckley-Big Rock 3rd - A
6-5 Matt Mueller SR Mt. Olive 8th - A
6-4 Kolten Postin SR Moweaqua Central A&M 9th - A
6-3 George Wayda SR Pleasant Plains
6-3 Andrew Esser SR Kewanee Wethersfield
6-3 Jaylin Neal SR Winnebago
6-3 John Piper JR Alton Marquette
6-3 Matt Mcdonald JR Dupo 14th - A
6-2 Daniel Vatch SR Elmhurst Immaculate Conception
6-2 Darrin Southwell SO Taylor Ridge Rockridge
6-1 Andrew Barsema SO Fulton
6-0 Kyle Dyke SR St. Joseph-Ogden
6-0 Brody Bilthouse SR Elmhurst Timothy Christian
6-0 Blake Ebeling JR Newton
6-0 Daniel Declerck SR Alexis United
6-0 Kane Elston SO Galva
6-0 John Goeckner SO Effingham St. Anthony
6-0 Justin Christian SR Rockford Christian Life

Perhaps the most competitive of all the field events in 1A. 5 jumpers return that attained all state status. The good thing is that the top 3 return. The better this is that those 3 are all juniors. So the next two years in the high jump in this class should be fun fun fun.

The two athletes to keep a close watch on are Oumaru Abdulahi of Mooseheart (Mooseheart HS) and Kyle Landon of Chester (Chester HS). Landon had the highest clearance last year with a jump of 6’ 10”. However, it was Abdulahi who bested Landon at the state meet. Both are great sportsmen and great athletes. We could see both of them flirting with 7’ this spring.

Do not discount Bill Weissinger of Hinckley (Hinckley-Big Rock HS). He finished 3rd last spring. He should be in the mix with Landon and Abdulahi for the state championship in 2012.

Also keep an eye on Matt Mueller of Mt. Olive (Mt. Olive HS) and Kolten Postin of Moweaqua (Central A&M HS) to challenge for a top 3 finish.

Pole Vault
15-3 Mitch Mammoser SR Newton 1st - A
14-0 Brandon Tolliver-Goode SO Newton 8th - A
13-9 Haeden Sweetin JR DuQuoin
13-9 Dalton Plumer SR Rushville-Industry 10th - A
13-6 Austin McCourt SR Oregon 14th - A
13-6 Josh Blome JR Casey Westfield
13-3 Mark Schmidt JR Oregon NH - A
13-3 Alex McWhorter SR Teutopolis 15th - A
13-0 George Wayda SR Pleasant Plains
13-0 Koty Groutage SO Bushnell Prairie City
13-0 Jack Denby SO Carlinville
13-0 Alex Arteaga SR St. Joseph-Ogden
13-0 Allen Kile SR Pana
13-0 Kolton Merritt JR Eureka
Mitch Mammoser of Newton (Newton HS) is the defending champion in the Pole Vault and will enter the season as the huge favorite. It would have been interesting if Tyler Ginger of Stanford (Olympia HS), who placed 2nd place last year, was in this event. However, Olympia HS is now 2A.

There is a 15 inch gap between Mammoser and the rest of the field. His teammate, Sophomore Brandon Tolliver-Goode finished 8th last year and could be his chief competition.

Other vaulters that will push the two Newton vaulters include Haeden Sweetin of DuQuoin (DuQuoin HS), Dalton Plumer of Rushville (Rushville-Industry HS), Austin McCourt of Oregon (Oregon HS), and Josh Blome of Casey (Casey-Westfield HS).

Shot Put
57-1.50 Adam Weidner SR Manlius Bureau Valley 5th - A
54-11.25 Ryan Pearce JR Villa Grove 4th - A
53-5.50 O'Shay Smith JR Lena-Winslow 6th - A
51-9 Heath Frevert JR Glasford Illini Bluffs 10th - A
50-2 Ben Smith SR Cambridge
49-2 Gabe Manning SR Williamsville
49-1.50 Matt Geitner SR Knoxville
48-7.75 Nic Bergman SR Litchfield
48-1 Jeremy Gibson SO Nashville
47-11 Michael Jack SR Winnebago
47-10 Brandon Williams SR DuQuoin
47-9.25 Sam Akainyah SR Winnetka North Shore-Country Day

Just like the Pole Vault, this event could be as competitive. 3 athletes return that are all-state. Ryan Pearce of Villa Grove (Villa Grove HS) is the highest finisher returning. He placed 4th last year. His best put of the year is over 2 feet behind that of Adam Weidner of Manlius (Bureau Valley HS), who finished 5th. Some of that had to do with the poor conditions on prelims day a year ago. Look for a competition between these 2 this year.

O’Shay Smith of Lena (Lena-Winslow HS) finished 6th last year and is the other returning all-stater. Look for big things from him this spring. Also keep an eye on Heath Frevert of Glasford (Illini Bluffs HS) and Ben Smith of Cambridge (Cambridge HS) in this event.

Discus
183-10 Caleb Fricke SR Petersburg PORTA 2nd - A
164-5 Ryan Pearce JR Villa Grove 6th - A
160-3 Adam Weidner SR Manlius Bureau Valley
159-7 Gabe Manning SR Williamsville
158-7.50 Michael Jack SR Winnebago
149-2 Chris Aschemann SR Carterville
149-0 Jason Fry SO Stewardson-Strasburg
148-6 Dawson Hillis SO Carrollton 9th - A
145-9 Cory Long SR Paxton-Buckley-Loda
143-8 Heath Frevert JR Glasford Illini Bluffs 12th - A
143-2 Drew Benson SR Monticello
141-0.50 Quinton Risley JR Arcola

After horrible conditions in the prelims where they could not move this event indoors like most of the field events, Caleb Fricke of Petersburg (PORTA HS) responded with a huge throw in the finals. Still was not enough to catch the state champ Andrew Ellison of Lebanon (Lebanon HS), but it was a great effort. Fricke enters this year as the big favorite in this event. His throw is close to 20 feet better than the next closest athlete Ryan Pearce of Villa Grove (Villa Grove HS), who finished 6th last year.

Other throwers to watch include Adam Weidner of Manlius (Bureau Valley HS), Gabe Manning of Williamsville (Williamsville HS), and Michael Jack of Winnebago (Winnebago HS).

comments? e-mail Michael Newman newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com

2012 Illinois 1A Boys Relays Preview

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
4:12
PM ET
It is hard to give an accurate outlook of the relays. There is so much time during the season for coaches to tinker with the lineups to see who will make the quartet the fastest. This preview will give you some kind of an idea of what to look for this season.

4 x 800m Relay
7:55.50 Beecher (1st - A)
Aaron Borgman SR, Grant Nykaza JR, Mike Polzin SR.
7:58.44 St. Joseph-Ogden (2nd - A)
Chas Cox SR, Cole Johnson JR, Landon Vowels SR, Zeke Elkins SR, Alex Arteaga SR, Drew Knipfer JR, Kyle Smith JR, Corey Thompson SO.
8:00.97 Elmwood (4th - A)
Isaac Ramsay SR, Tyler Cox JR, Nathan Ingersol SR, Jake Osmulski JR, Wes Richier SR, Austin Teel JR.
8:02.05 Macon Meridian (5th - A)
Wade Collier SO, Drake Stanley SR, Max Fransen SR, Brock Snarski SO, Chase Carnahan SO, Mitch Fransen SO, Glyd Martin SO, Chance Ulrich SR.
8:07.01 Byron (7th - A)
Jackson Halmser JR, Keith Ketcham SR, TJ Pitcock SO, Mike Wilder SR.
8:07.98 Sparta (8th - A)
Jon Hill SR, trevor Morgan SR, Michael Weber SR, Wes Bradshaw SR, Derrick Barnett SR, Josh Bockhorn JR.
8:09.65 Niantic Sagamon Valley (9th - A)
Blake Burton SR, Andrew Dunn SR, Eric Leonard SR, Nick Craig SR, Dakota Ramsey JR, Tyler Ramsey SR, Kyle Shartzer SR.
8:09.72 Tremont (10th - A)
Sam Stuber SR, Cole Dill SR, Colton Daily JR, Connor Ehnle SO, Tyler Schweigert SR.
8:17.28 Monticello (18th - A prelims)
Andrew Hanselman JR, Cole Marsteller SR, Jesse Galaway SO, Steve Schroeder SR, Luke Zocher SR.
8:20.78 Chicago Francis Parker
Eloy Prado SR, Caleb Flack SR, Luke MacNabola SO.
8:21.25 Tolono Unity (12th - A0
Austin Kramer SR, Eric Wenzel SR, Colby Purcell SR, Kendall Eckert SR, Joe Baker SO, Logan Moore SR, Doran Wolsten SR.
8:21.25 Manlius Bureau Valley (16th - A prelims)
Ryan Taylor SO, Ryan Johnson SR, Derrick Johnson SR, Kenny Catton SR, Daniel Trone SO.
8:22.00 Oregon (14th - A prelims)
Nick Jones SR, Holden White JR, Austin Burkhart SO, Garrett Newman SO, Pierce Dhaese SO, Mihali Granados SR.

With Beecher losing most of it’s core to graduation, look for a new champion. The place to start is with St. Joseph (St. Joseph-Ogden HS). They placed 2nd last year and have 4 runners returning led by Zeke Elkins. It is a team capable of running near 7:50 this season.

A team that could also challenge is Macon (Meridian HS). All 4 runners return as well led by Sophomore Brock Snarski. It is a quartet that could give St. Joe’s a run for its money.

Other schools to watch include Elmwood HS, Sparta HS, Niantic (Sangamon Valley HS), Monticello HS, and Tolono (Unity HS).

4 x 100m Relay
42.47 Chicago Leo (2nd - A)
Theodore Hopkins SO, Marlon Britton JR, Keith Harris SR
42.74 Carthage Illini West (1st - A)
Kayden Guymon SR, Spencer Kirkenslager SR, Kyle Miller SR
42.77 Winnebago (3rd - A)
Jaylin Neal SR, Neal Leonard SR, Tay Shanklin JR,Alex Finley SR, Zach Kleindl SR, Jimmy Turcato SR, Myles Wallin JR.
42.96 Jacksonville Illinois School for the Deaf (12th - A prelims)
Dwayne Esper SR, Alec Blackert SR, Jimel Wright SR.
43.11 Polo (4th - A)
Shane Geary SR, Michael Geary SR
43.36 Spring Valley Hall (8th - A)
Landon Piccatto JR,Collin Aimone SO, Collin Bezely SR, Alic Hernandez SO, Brandon Schramm JR.
43.38 Peoria Christian (10th - A prelims)
Jonathan Hutchison SR, Josh Henry SO, Tavis Johnson SR, Corey Allen JR, Josh Doolin SO, Cedric Riley SO.
43.38 Erie-Prophetstown (FS in prelims)
Chris Bauer JR, Rob Cobert JR, Zach Hart JR, John Heun JR, Devin Johnson JR, Kyle Pannier SO, Austin Snyder JR.
43.43 Trenton-Wesclin (11th - A prelims)
Jake Neely SR, Eric Deterding SR, Matt Schaeffer SR, Austin Schultz SO.
43.50 DuQuoin (23rd - A prelims)
Quivon Bledsoe SR, Antonio Smith JR, Brandon Williams SR.
43.52 Newton (6th - A)
Ridge Finn SR, Jake Stone SR, Dylan Johnson JR, Marcus Pilman JR.
43.66 Nashville (22nd - A prelims)
-
43.71 Byron (18th - A prelims)
Zach Pattat JR, Will Carlson SO, Nate Fore JR, Matt McMullen JR
43.80 Aledo Mercer County (9th - A)
Payton Holmes JR, Alex Sproston SR.
43.80 Sparta (19th - A prelims)
Sharvell Austin JR, Dion Baker JR, Kyonte Fuller JR, Michael Weber SR, C.J. Windes SR.
43.83 Monticello (DNF in prelims)
Josh Burton SO, Ryan Donohue JR, DJ Gordon SR, Matt Justus SO, Vinny Strack JR, Bobby Woodruff SR.
43.90 Carterville (16th - A prelims)
Tyler Brunden SR, Jeff Aldridge SR, Taylor Mitchuson JR, JD Helton SR, Nick King SO, Patrick Long SR.
44.02 Princeville (25th - A prelims)
Dalles Fry SR, Nick Humphreys SO, Dion Kirwin SO, Damian Abel JR, Devin Gonzales SR, Nik Potter SR, Marco Rodriguez SO.
44.04 Oregon (31st - A prelims)
Tommy McCormick JR, Jake Smith SR, Nick Newman SO, Jake Osborne SR, Tim Smith SR.

The top two teams from last year lost key runners from their quartets due to graduation. So the team to watch in this event is Winnebago HS. They return 3 quality sprinters led by Senior standout Neal Leonard. Even with the loss of Marcus Posley, this team is deep enough to win in Charleston.

Other schools to watch include Chicago (Leo HS), Peoria (Christian HS), Erie (Erie-Prophetstown HS), Newton HS, and Carthage (Illini West HS).

4 x 200m Relay
1:29.16 Chicago Leo (2nd - A)
Theodore Hopkins SO, James Davis SO, Keith Harris SR, Joshua Wright JR.
1:29.32 Carthage Illini West (3rd - A)
Kayden Guymon SR, Spencer Kirkenslager SR, Kyle Miller SR.
1:29.68 Winnebago (5th - A)
Jaylin Neal SR, Neal Leonard SR, Tay Shanklin JR,Max Bradfield SR, Jeff Swanson SO, Jimmy Turcato SR.
1:29.73 Polo (6th - A)
Michael Geary SR, Shane Geary SR, Connor Corbitt JR
1:29.92 Jacksonville Illinois School for the Deaf
Dwayne Esper SR, Alec Blackert SR, Jimel Wright SR.
1:30.90 Sparta (8th - A)
Sharvell Austin JR, CJ Windes SR, Kyonte Fuller JR, Devonte Garrett SO, Michael Weber SR.
1:31.30 Carterville (13th - A prelims)
JD Helton SR, Jeff Aldridge SR, Matt Bigelow SO, Nick King SO, Taylor Mitchuson JR.
1:31.40 Tuscola (12th - A prelims)
Alex Kemp SR, Jordan Scribner SR, Jeff Broch SR, Austin Sexson JR, Broc Smith SO, Chris West JR.
1:31.44 Aledo Mercer County (19th - A prelims)
Payton Holmes JR, Alex Sproston SR.
1:31.45 Byron (10th - A prelims)
Zach Pattat JR, Will Carlson SO, Will Goreth JR, Matt McMullen JR, Abe Mulberry SR, Mike Wilder SR.
1:31.75 Monticello (15th - A prelims)
DJ Gordon SR, Josh Burton SO, Matt Justus SO, Ryan Donohue JR, Vinny Strack JR, Bobby Woodruff SR.
1:32.01 St. Joseph-Ogden (9th - A)
Austin Allen SR, Cameron Ackerson SR, Alex Arteaga SR, Beau Barber SR, Kyle Dyke SR.
1:32.25 Eureka (16th - A prelims)
Carter Vance JR, Alex Hunt JR, Austin McKee JR, Phil Schmidgall SO
1:32.57 Trenton-Wesclin (24th - A prelims)
Jake Neely SR, Eric Deterding SR, Matt Schaeffer SR, Austin Schultz SO
1:32.81 Newton (11th - A prelims)
Jake Stone SR, Dylan Johnson JR, Ridge Finn SR, Austin Angel SO, Evan Brooks JR, Marcus Pilman JR.
1:33.09 Amboy (20th - A prelims)
Steven Bickett SR, Derek Henkel SR, James Jones SO, Cooper Nelson JR
1:33.26 Oregon (25th - A prelims)
Tommy McCormick JR, Jake Smith SR, Nick Newman SO, Jake Osborne SR, Tim Smith SR.
1:33.29 Erie-Prophetstown (28th - A prelims)
Devin Johnson JR, Rob Cobert JR, Zach Hart JR, Chris Bauer JR, Josh Green JR, Connor Saad JR, Nick Williams SO.

I think we may see a great battle between two good sprint powers Chicago (Leo HS) and Winnebago HS. Leo finished 2nd in this event last year and will have a good quartet led by Sophomore Theodore Hopkins. Winnebago should be close on their heals. Neal Leonard and Jaylin Neal will lead this team. Could see both of these teams in the 1:28’s this spring.

Other squads to watch include Sparta HS, Tuscola HS, Carterville HS, Carthage (illini West HS), Polo HS, and Monticello HS.

4 x 400m Relay
3:21.58 Nashville (1st - A)
Trey Meyer SR.
3:22.42 Aurora Christian (3rd - A)
Billy Howorth SR, Jake Gehman JR, Nate Jensen SR, Johnathan Harrell SO, Dillon Howorth SO, Sam Schuette SR, C.J. Schutt SR, Cody Slamans SR.
3:25.00 DuQuoin (5th - A)
Dolton Donoghue JR, Josh Sanders SR, Antonio Smith JR, Haeden Sweeten JR.
3:25.17 Eureka (6th - A)
Alex Hunt JR, Austin McKee JR, Phil Schmidgall SO
3:27.00 Westmont (7th - A)
Tim Doll SO, Calvin Casper SR, Jermauld Crowder SO, Kristofer Pierce JR.
3:27.69 Onieda ROWVA (8th - A)
Dean Nyman SR, John Lawrence SO, Brett Bonynge JR, Kevin England SR, Jack Oiler SR.
3:27.71 Sherrard (9th - A)
Jake Kissner SO, Reed Dahlstrom JR, Jacob Gross SO.
3:27.95 Polo (10th - A Prelims)
Michael Geary SR, Shane Geary SR, Justin Hughes JR
3:27.99 Niantic Sagamon Valley (15th - A Prelims)
Kyle Shartzer SR, Tyler Ramsey SR, Jordan McCall SR, Eric Leonard SR, Nick Craig SR, Andrew Dunn SR, Blake Walters JR.
3:29.06 Macon Meridian (13th - A prelims)
Glyd Martin SO, Drake Stanley SR, Wade Collier SO, Max Fransen SR, Chase Carnahan SO, Mitch Fransen SO, Ryan Ricker SO, Brock Snarski SO.
3:29.13 Oregon (23rd - A prelims)
Garrett Newman JR, Tommy McCormick JR, Braden Barton SR, Pierce Dhaese SO, Tim Smith SR.
3:29.20 Riverton (28th - A prelims)
Zach Yoggerst SR, Jazeel King SO, Brad Nihlas SR, Nick Barber SR, Matthew Nordyke SO, Jared Wells SO.
3:29.60 Carterville (29th - A prelims)
Kyle Adams JR, Matt Bigelow SO, Nick Heifner SO, Nick King SO
3:29.65 Byron (22nd - A prelims)
Jackson Halsmer JR, Keith Ketcham SR, Mike Wilder SR.
3:30.20 Sparta
.
3:30.42 Staunton (20th - A prelims)
Samuel Allison JR, David Vaughn JR, Nick Banovz SR, Eric Lotter JR, Nick Ondes JR.
3:30.66 St. Joseph-Ogden
.
3:30.79 Farmington (19th - A Prelims)
Wes Lozier SR, Michael Hammond JR, Kyle Harmon SO, Jake Jepson SO, Ben Moss SR.
3:30.80 Jacksonville Illinois School for the Deaf (39th - A prelims)
Jimel Wright SR, Alec Blackert SR.

The one team that I would definitely keep an eye on in this event is Aurora (Christian HS). They have all 4 of their quartet returning led by Bill Howorth and Johnathan Harrell. This squad placed 3rd last year running 3:20. It is definitely a squad that could go sub 3:20 in this race.

Other teams to watch in this race include Niantic (Sangamon Valley HS), Polo HS, DuQuoin HS, Westmont HS, and Onieda (ROWVA HS).

Heinz Looks for Higher Heights for Himself and Team in 2012

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
11:20
AM ET
Carl HeinzCassandra Geiger/ESPNHSCarl Heinz attempts 7' at the 2011 IHSA State Meet
When he was in eighth grade, Carl Heinz would always take a detour on his way home from school. He would sneak inside of the Oak Park-River Forest High School field house to watch track practice. There he would then pick 1st year high jump coach Danielle Dobias-Wagner's mind with questions about the high jump.

He had a love for track and field when he started participating in that in sixth grade as believe it or not a distance runner. It was the challenge of the high jump that he liked and wanted to excel in. Four years later, he enters his final year of track field at the Oak Park high school looking to defend his state championship in the high jump as well as getting a team trophy with a little help from his teammates.

Maybe it was destiny that brought Heinz to where he is now, a defending state champion and an All-American in the high jump. Heinz showed great promise when he entered Oak Park River-Forest High school in the fall of 2008. The highest he cleared in the high jump was 5-9 in eighth grade. “When you clear 5-9 in eighth grade, you think you are all right,” said Heinz.

A year later he cleared 6-5 to qualify for the state meet, a big-time achievement for a freshman. It is even bigger factoring in how technical of an event it is. “When I jumped that, my confidence shot up,” Heinz continued. “Once you realize that height gets you downstate, you realize you are in an entirely different league.”

“The one thing about Carl is that he makes adjustments. He has learned how to do that,” stated Dobias-Wagner. “In his freshman and sophomore year, he was kind of a head case. The sound of the spikes on some tracks would get to him. I would see him unscrewing his spikes between his second and third attempts. By design, he has learned how to adjust and has done a great job.”

It finally clicked for Heinz when he returned to the state meet in his sophomore season. During the year, he was struggling with clearing 6-6. At the state meet, he cleared a personal best height of 6-9 placing him fifth.

“His PR at the state meet his soph year was a HUGE deal. I don’t think he realized that it was going to happen,” his coach stated. “It was a beautiful perfect storm that placed him there and I think in his mind that no one PR’s at the state meet. The conditions usually aren’t that great there. I think he realized he needed to be confident to happen the way that they did.”

“I was thinking about that 6-6 barrier too much before state meet,” said Heinz. “It was just a matter if I could clear that height. It wasn’t about improvement but it was about consistency. I didn’t find that until the state meet that year.”

That 6-9 clearance got the mental albatross off of his mind. How do you coach that for a high jumper? Dobias-Wagner had a simple answer.

“You cannot give an athlete confidence. I can tell him a million things that should boost his confidence. You can have a paper interview him or this and that,” she said. “So that builds him up so that he learns how to perform.”

The confidence carried him to a new level last season. Early in the outdoor season, he cleared 7-0 at the Hinsdale Relays.

“Nothing was in my mind on that day. I took the ACT that morning. I really wasn’t thinking too much. I did my jumps in the Triple jump and headed over to the High Jump pit. Then the sun came out,” Heinz said. “It was just a feeling. It was awesome. After I cleared that, I just wanted to keep going. I felt so great on that day.”

That new confidence carried over to the state meet. It did not affect him that the schedule was pushed ahead so that the meet. “I don’t remember that part of the meet. I was kind of in a zone. All I know was that I wanted to get the jumps in before the rain came,” he said.

What did get his attention was that he missed his first two attempts at 6-5.

“I was a little over confident. I didn’t overanalyze what I was doing wrong,” he said. “I knew I had to clear that height to get a medal and then do big things.”

He cleared on his third attempt, and then he took off. He went on to capture the individual championship by clearing 6-10.

Sometimes you find an arrogance in athlete after that have achieved a state championship or even higher. The kind of thing that glows from them that everything should revolve around me. Not with Heinz.

“Carl is so team oriented,” Oak Park-River Forest head coach Tim Hasso said. “At last year’s state meet. We realized after we did not finish in the 4 x 2 relay that we did not have a chance for a team trophy. We went to Carl in the dorm that night and said that he did not have to compete in the triple jump the next day. Just concentrate on the high jump.”

“Does he want to do the long jump/triple? No.” added Dobias-Wagner. “He got us some points in the triple jump at some meets last year. Will he compete in those events this year? Yes. He will do whatever his coaches ask of him. If he knows he can score points for the team, he will be willing to do it.”

Heinz knows what can happen this year. The pieces are there for the Huskies to contest for a trophy at the state meet this year. Along with Heinz is fellow senior Malachy Schrobilgen, who placed second in the 3,200 last spring. The focus on this team is to see what will happen this season to get them to the point of getting a top-three finish in Charleston. The pieces are there with Distance runners Evan Fisher, Nick Reyes, and fellow High Jumper Harrison Gay with the possibilities to place. The Huskies always have good sprint relays. They will be young this year, but could mature with a season of racing.

“I know Coach Hasso has this track team going in the right direction,” said Schrobilgen. “It would mean so much to do it for him this season.”

“I am going to do everything I can this spring. I just want to score as many points as I can,” added Heinz. “Last year I was just satisfied with the high jump. This year I am looking to bring back more. It is not satisfying to bring something back unless everyone else on the team can share with it.”

It shows the character of this young man. “He is just a great kid. He is really mature for his age,” Dobias-Wagner stated. “He is always asking me questions. There is no hidden agenda with him. There is no wanting to try things outside of what the coaches are telling him.”

At that point, she looked over at the high jump pit. There Heinz was there helping some of his younger teammates with their steps.

She continued: “He wants to know what he should do. He goes out of his way to help everyone else. He helps his teammates tremendously.”

If everything goes to plan this year, Heinz will be in Charleston to defend his state championship. His individual goals are defending his state title while at the same time going after the state record, which is attainable. Then he is off to Duke University to start his next stage of life.

“I want to contribute to the team at Duke, that is one thing,” he said. “But I realize that most college athletes do go on to become professional athletes. The bottom line is getting an education.”

If he does win again in the high jump, it won’t be an individual accomplishment according to his coach.

“This past four years have been great," Heinz said. "We are best friends. So that is something that I value more than anything. She is the reason the last four years I have come to practice. I respect her so much.”

“It is not a teacher-student thing or even a coach-athlete thing,” concluded Dobias-Wagner. “It is more like collaboration. He will be a friend for life. I know he has learned from me. I have definitely learned a lot from him in regards to coaching.”

Four years ago, who would have thought this boy sneaking into the field house to watch practice would be the young man now with a chance to be one of the key ingredients, along with Schrobilgen, to bring a state championship back to Oak Park?

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