University Of Kentucky Invitational Invasion Preview: Illinois Girls Field Events

Jaimie Robinson takes flight against the triple jump competition at last year's NBIN (Mary Ann Magnant photo)


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In one of the biggest and hyped up indoor meets will take place in the Bluegrass state. The University of Kentucky has turned into one of the nation's elite meets over the past dozen years. It has also attracted some premier talent from Illinois. Unfortunately, the quantity appears to be down from a year ago. The IHSA (Illinois High School Association) rules have apparently scared away some talent. Not to fret though, several top athletes from the land of Lincoln will make their presence felt.

Girls field-

One of the main attractions to keenly watch for is all world talent Jaimie Robinson (Sr., Homewood-Flossmoor). Robinson will start things off in the long jump where she is already having a solid season ranked #1 state wide at 19'2.75". The Univesity of Alabama bound Robinson, who is ranked #10 in the US in her "secondary event", is the defending champion. Will we see another athlete touch the 20-foot barrier this season? It is possible after witnessing Californian Tara Davis smash the national record last weekend (21'11") in Texas. With six other young ladies that have eclipsed the elusive mark, Robinson is in line to be the seventh.Senior Izabella Sabharwal comes all the way in from National Catholic HS, Washington, DC. Sabharwal is not a stranger to national level meets having competed in NBON, USATF, AAU, and more. She placed ninth at UK a year ago. Her personal best 19'1.5" makes her a threat. Another threat looking to be in the mix is Jacqueline Simmons (Sr., Elizabeth Seton, MD) whose 18'11" achieved a few weeks ago means serious business.

Kathleen "KD" Young (Sr., Warrensburg-Latham) has been a traveling record setter this season. Last weekend in Ohio, she became the first Illinois girl to break 52-feet in the shot put. Young tossed a mind bloggling 52'4" at the Tifflin Open. Young remains in the US #2 spot by almost four feet! Young is the two time meet champion and meet record holder.

The pole vault will be as strong as any field event on the docket. US #4 Carson Dingler (Sr., Mary Persons, Georgia) leads the way with a freshly minted 13'6" clearance in Texas last weekend. Fellow Georgian Courtney Long is ready to collide after winning at the Vanderbilt University Invite. She topped 12'9.25". Illinois is not represented well here, but there is a newcomer by the name of Gabi Springer of Danville. She is an incoming freshman who won the IESA state middle school championship last spring. Springer has cleared 11-feet in the past and her coach stated that 11-4 has been the watermark in practice.

Jaimie Robinson will close out the action in her favorite triple jump. It has been over a month since she jumped. Robinson has the nation's #7 mark of 40'7.5". There are several girls entered over 40-feet. One in particular is reigning USATF Jr. Olympic champion senior Harleigh White (Maryland) is ready to open her indoor season for real now. White's personal best is 41'4" from last summer. She and Robinson know each other from past competitions including NBIN in which Robinson got the best of the friendly affair. Oh, by the way Robinson has the meet record 39'11.25" which should be destroyed on Saturday.