The last two years of the 3A meet you can say that the meet was won on the field and not the track. Roselle (Lake Park HS) won their 2 straight championships through the strength of their athletes in the field events. In the final ESPNHS National team ratings, Lake Park was rated #6. It is a pretty incredible feat considering that none of the rating points came from the track.
Jeremy Kline, Jermaine Kline, and Zach Ziemek have all graduated. These 3 athletes accounted for 65 out of the 74 points that this west suburban school scored. With this in mind, it would be correct to say that there will probably be a new 3A team champ this spring…correct?
Not so fast my friend!
Like most successful programs when there are major losses to graduation, there are athletes chomping at the bit waiting for their turn to perform on the big stage. Lake Park lost 3 major contributors, but they have athletes ready to compete again for the championship.
At the same time, there are a number of schools that believe that they have the right combination to knock Lake Park off of the top of the mountain.
So here we go.
Let’s take a look at some of the teams that may be a factor this May in Charleston.
Roselle Lake Park
2011 Finish: 1st
Top Returnees: Scott Filip JR (Jumps, Hurdles), Kevin Spejcher SR (High Jump), Marcus Jegede SO (Jumps), Shawn Koch JR (Jumps), Demetri Alimissis SR (Sprints, Jumps), Sean Lang JR (Pole Vault), Derek Smith JR (Pole Vault), Kevin Jorgensen SR (Distance), Mike Amerlan JR (Sprints, Jumps), Per Johnson JR (Weights).
Outlook: We said that the Lancers lost a lot in both Klines and Zach Ziemek. They do have the talent that could replace it. Perhaps they will not score as mny points that they did last year, but with the athletes they have they could bring back another state championship in May.
Scott Filip will probably take over the multi event athlete role that Zach Ziemek had last year. Filip scored in the long jump last season. He will be in contention of winning the event this year. He also has a good shot of scoring in the High Jump and Triple Jump as well. Kevin Spejcher is the other returning scorer. Last year, he placed 6th in the High Jump. He did not go out for basketball this year with his main focus being track. Watch for some big things from him.
The big secret for Jay Ivory’s team could be Marcus Jegede, a talented sophomore who could place in both of the horizontal jump. Sean Lang and Derek Smith could also get points for them in the Pole Vault. The Lancers may get some points from the track this year. Kevin Jorgensen is a possibility in the 800 and they do have the talent to have a quality 4 x 1 relay.
2011 Finish: 2nd
Top Returnees: Nick Sgarbossa SR (Pole Vault), Sean John JR (Pole Vault), Paul Golen SR (Weights), David Byerly SR (Sprints), Ken Bosenberg SR (Sprints), Dan Maxson SR (Sprints), Bill Clink SR (Distances), Scott Milling JR (Distances), Nathan Mroz SO (Distances), Gevin Wegner SR (Jumps), Chris May JR (Distances), Matt Parks JR (Distances), Eric Glaubke SR (Distances).
Outlook: Every year when you think that York has nothing left, they have something leftover to take the graduated athlete’s place. This is another year where we will look at the beginning and speculate how they will come back with a trophy.
This team may be powered with some points in the field. The Dukes have two good vaulters that could place this year. Nick Sgarbossa placed last year and will look for a top 3 finish this year. Sean John could be close behind. Paul Golen returns as one of the top athletes in what looks like a depleted Shot Put and Discus.
York always scores in the relays. David Byerly leads an unheralded group in the sprints that will surprise. And of course, if you say York, you have to say distance. They do not have the star power that they did last year in Jack Driggs, but they have a talented group led by Scott Milling that could get some points.
2011 Finish: 3rd
Top Returnees: Raymond Scott SR (Sprints), Jeremy Randolph SR (Sprints), Mierocles Bell JR (Hurdles), Jeremy Hill SR (Hurdles), Jamion Nash JR (Sprints, Jumps), Kerry Holmes JR (Sprints, Jumps), D.J. Owens JR (Sprints/Jumps), Taron Johnson SR (Weights).
Outlook: I sound like a broken record. Belleville West lost some key points last year with Devontre Ridley graduating. But the Maroons will simply reload and will be in the mix for another trophy.
2 athletes will be the keys to the success of this team. Jeremy Randolph will be one of the favorites in the 400 this year. Raymond Scott could score points either of the shorter sprints. Both will be key components in relay teams that like York, Belleville West always has towards the front. Also keep an eye on D.J. Owens and Kerry Holmes to possibly score points in either of the horizontal jumps.
Oak Park-River Forest
2011 Finish: 6th
Top Returnees: Carl Heinz SR (High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump), Malachy Schrobilgen SR (Distances), Nick Reyes SR (Distances), Evan Fisher SR (800, Relays), Jamal Baggett SO (Sprints), Harrison Gay SR (High Jump, Hurdles), John Burns SR (Sprints, Hurdles).
Outlook: The Huskies have 2 athletes that will score the majority of their points this year which will put this squad in contention for a trophy. Carl Heinz is the defending champ in the High Jump and will look to defend that in Charleston. You could also see him score major points in the Long and Triple Jumps as well. Also watch for Harrison Gay and John Burns in these disciplines to score some points.
Malachy Schrobilgen placed second behind Jack Driggs last year in the 3200. He will be one of the favorites in that event and could come back in the 1600. You could see Nick Reyes in either of those two events with the possibility of scoring. Also watch for Evan Fisher. He will be a major cog in the Huskies’ relay plans as well as possibly either the 400 or the 800.
Naperville Neuqua Valley
2011 Finish: 18th
Top Returnees: Jacob Bender SR (Sprints), Mark Derrick SR (Distance), Taylor Soltys SR (Distance), Alekh Meka JR (Distance), Nick Bushelle SO (Distance), Carlos Varela JR (Weights), Julius Garcia JR (Sprints), Andrew Peterson SR (Pole Vault), Kevin Skrip SR (Relays).
Outlook: The Wildcats could be back in contention this year for a trophy. Jacob Bender could be the key to the title hopes for Coach Mike Kennedy. Bender will be one of the favorites in the 400, could score points in the 100 and will be a main player in the success of the relays.
Neuqua Valley could score some big points in the distances. Mark Derrick placed last year in the 3200 and will be one of the favorites in that event this year. Taylor Soltys was injured most of last year. The two time cross country all-stater could score points in either the 3200 or the 1600. Carlos Varela qualified for state last year in the Discus as a sophomore. He could score some points this year. Also watch for Andrew Peterson in the Pole Vault.
2011 Finish: 24th
Top Returnees: Marquis Flowers SR (Sprints), Quest Young SR (sprints), Jacob Clayton SR (Sprints), Caleb Ivy SR (Jumps), Richie Rysiewicz JR (Distances, Relays), Corey Johnson JR (Hurdles), Dylan Korzac SR (Pole Vault), Rick Funk SR (Pole Vault), Caleb Donaldson SR (Weights).
Outlook: Could be the big surprise in the team competition this year. Coach Tony Holler’s team qualified 3 relays for the finals. Most of the key runners from those relays return headed by Marquis Flowers and Quest Young. Could score some major points in those 3 relays. Young could score points in the 400.
Caleb Donaldson made vast improvements towards the end of last year. He could score points in either the Discus or the Shot Put. Watch also for Dylan Korzac or Rick Funk to place in the Pole Vault.
East St. Louis – Senior
2011 Finish: Did Not Score
Top Returnees: Jeremy Nicholson SR (Sprints, Jumps), Bradley Russell JR (Sprints), Kevin Baker SR (Sprints), Johnny Moore SR (Distances), Devario Moore SR (Distances), Devonte Hamilton SR (Distances), Phillip Hickman SR (Hurdles), Marvin Hadley JR (Triple Jump).
Outlook: I think this was the first time last year that the Flyers did not score a point in the state meet. I do not think it will happen two years in a row. Look for the Flyers to score in the relays. Their 4 x 8 will be one of the favorites this year led by Johnny Moore and Devonte Hamilton. Moore could be in the hunt to score in the 800 as well.
Jeremy Nicholson could be in the mix to place in either of the horizontal jumps. Phillip Hickman could be a factor in either of the hurdles. Any case, Eastside will leave Charleston with some points…and possibly a trophy.
2011 Finish: 20th
Top Returnees: Cameron James SR (Sprints), Garret Sweatt SR (Distances), Julian Harvey SR (Jumps, High Jump), Garrett Covington JR (Triple Jump), Tom Schuette SR (Pole Vault), Chad Maxwell JR (Distances), Ethan Buford SR (Weights), Garrett Jensen SR (Weights), Bennett Grey JR (Hurdles).
Outlook: Two elite athletes could take the Tigers to a top finish this spring. Cameron James will be one of the favorites in both of the short sprints. Garrett Sweatt had a good cross country season culminating in a 4th place finish. Watch him as one of the premier runners in either or both of the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.
Edwardsville could also get points out of Tom Schuette in the Pole Vault, Garrett Covington in the Triple Jump, and Garrett Jensen in the Discus. Depending on the growth of a young sprint crew headed by James, the Tigers could score points in the short sprints as well.
East Moline United
2011 Finish: 8th
Top Returnees: Jordan Atwater SR (Sprints), Tatlen Anderson SR (Sprints), Todd Flamer JR (Sprints), Keith Sands SR (Distance), Tyler Rasso SO (Distance), Damon Overton SR (Sprints, Hurdles), Tayvian Johnson SR (High Jump, Triple Jump).
Outlook: Could have a shot for points in the Distances with Keith Sands in either the 1600 or 3200. Sands just missed qualifying for state last year in the 1600. Jordan Atwater could be one of the top sprinters and could get some points in either of the sprints. With Atwater and Tatlen Anderson in the quartets of either the 4 x 1 and the 4 x 2, this team could place in the top 5.