The face of Illinois sprints for girls at is Amira Young until further notice
Key athletes: Katelynne Hart (Fr., Glenbard West) 16/2m, Dajour Miles (So., West Aurora), Likkaya Keyes (Jr., Rich South), Jenna Diers (Sr., Lincoln-Way West), Avyril Johnson (Jr., Libertyville), Shanice Garbutt (Jr., Danville) 800, Jaimie Robinson (Sr., Homewood-Flossmoor), Amira Young (Jr., Chicago Whitney Young),
The best overall track athlete last year at this time was Dajour Miles. The now former Waubonsie Valley star strolled into Lexington ready to prove to the detractors that her pre-high school resume was legitimate. Cinnamon exited the Nutter Fieldhouse with two #1's: 400 (55.42) and 200 (24.78). Unfortunately, it would be the last high school race that she would run in for 2016. It is a new year and new team with new expectations. Cinnamon is not the automatic favorite. The face of Illinois sprinting is Amira Young and she may be a roadblock until further notice. The Lady Dolphin quietly took apart the competition in Charleston last year by winning the 3A 100 and 200 titles. Many pundits were puzzled that she did not continue to run after the high school season. The Young camp has its reasons why they shut things down. So far in 2017 it has been smooth sailing for Young who leads the state in the 200 and 3rd in the 60. Another top speedster to watch is the rising Jaimie Robinson. The extraordinaire jumper has improved vastly in the sprint game. The emphasis this winter has been to get faster for the jumps. It has worked. Robinson has burned the track for IL #2 in the 200m. The arrow only goes up from here.
The sprint competition in general is DEEP.
Kentucky MileSplit webmaster Chris Hawboldt breaks it down:
60 Meter Dash
The girls race will be a showdown between two defending national champs with Alabama ace Jayla Kirkland (200m) and Indianapolis Pike star Lynna Irby (400m). These two will also showdown in the 200 meter dash later in the day. Can they break the field house record set back in 2007 with a 7.26 60m? With the level of competition set for the meet, this mark is not out of the question. Both ladies have run in the 7.40's this season, so keep an eye on this record to fall. Irby is returning to build on her second place finish at this meet last season. Milan Young from Texas will be in the mix as well.
60 Meter Hurdles
Taylor Scott (NC) and Milan Young (TX) are the top seeds coming into the race. Last season, the UK HS Invite saw a finals with six seniors. Antonia Frazier (GA) is the only returner placing 9th in 2016. Milan Young comes in with a PR of 8.43 last week in Texas while Taylor Scott's 55m PR is 8.41. This will be an interesting prelim and final to watch to see who surprises the group.
200 Meter Dash
Again we have the matchup that many will come to Nutter Field House to watch. Jayla Kirkland and Lynna Irby will face off with Stephanie Davis (MD). Davis looks to redeem herself from a false start in 2016 and place herself in the conversation for the 200m meet championship. She will have fresh legs as the other two will have two 60m races (prelim and final) under their belts for the day. It will be interesting to see them all face off in the first heat from lanes 4, 5, & 6. A sleeper, if you want to call her that, in this race may be Dajour Miles (IL) who will also have the 400 on her docket for the meet.
400 Meter Dash
Watch out for the girls 400m dash! Syaira Richardson (VA) has yet to run the 400 this indoor season, but she has dominated the 300m. With wins at the VA Showcase, Armory, and Gloucester Pre-Holiday Invitational, she is ready for a big performance. She placed second at this meet last season, but later went onto win the New Balance National Indoor title. She will be challenged by Dajour Miles (IL), the reigning AAU Junior Olympic Games 400 champion. These two will duke it out first heat with Shaianne Sipsey (GA). Watch for a field house record as they chase the 2012 mark of 53.88.