Jaimie Robinson- Ace jumper I Marcellus Moore- US #1 Fr. I KD Young- top shot putter in IL
The main frame competitors are ready to electrify the competition-
The largest and biggest indoor meet of the season will have a very small Illinois contigent this weekend. There will be no US #1 two-miler Katelynne Hart in attendance. The Glenbard West freshman has lit up the track this indoor campaign, but after running another super effort in the 3200m last weekend, her handlers felt it was best that she hold back. One of the best kept secrets this season is Jude Christine of Gateway Christian Academy. The senior import from French Martinique has caused a stir on the track and off of it. He was slated to attend the meet this weekend but a hamstring injury from early last meet is still tender. "We never got started; warm up just didn't go right," said a disappointed coach Dave Redden. "I got a very upset kid but we're pulling out of NBNI." And there will be no Dajour "Cinnamon" Miles in New York. The nationally ranked 400m ace sophomore from West Aurora blazed 54.25 at the UK Invite. She strained her hamstring a few weeks ago and is still mending. Watch for Miles possibly restart at the Top Times meet in a few weeks.
- Jaimie Robinson (Sr., Homewood-Flossmoor)- This will be an exciting time for the triple jump extraordinare Ms. Robinson. She came into the Big Apple wide eyed but was still able to leap over 40 feet and earn All-American honors with a 4th place finish. Robinson has been steady as a rock this season with her event consistency and especially the foot speed. Her US #8 40-9 will come in handy as 5 of the top 10 jumpers in the country are entered. US #1 Jasmine Moore (Texas) and US #2 Titiana Marsh (Virginia) are the only competitors to leap past 42 feet this season. Long jump national record holder Tara Davis (California) has a personal best of 43-2 (legal wind outdoors) and will be a major threat.
- Indoor shot put national record holder Alyssa Wilson (New Jersey) tossed the iron ball a whopping 57-5.5 several weeks ago. Even if she does not better that mark, it is a very safe bet that the gold medal will be wrapped around her neck. Kathleen "KD" Young has been waiting for this moment since taking 5th here a year ago. The U of South Carolina bound Young is undefeated and rated US #2 with a 52-4 best. That mark is the best in Illinois history indoors or outside. Young has proven to be a big game performer and if Wilson some how has a bad day, it will be KD on the scene to take first place. Young will double back in the weight throw as the 11th best performer in the country. This is an event in which she has improved steadily in over the past several seasons.
Marcellus Moore has taken on hype and pressure as well as a freshman can. The Plainfield North student athlete will enter into his fourth national level competition of the season. His 6.89 60m ranks 32nd in the country but a few hundreds lower in the time ledger and Moore could make the final. First up will be the prelims of the loaded 60m where a loaded field awaits. Can the nation's top freshman contend with the likes of the super Tyrese Cooper of Miami, Florida? Cooper will be next to Moore. It gets no bigger than this!! Moore will fall back on to the emerging elite 200 where he should be able to vie for a top spot.
Homewood Flossmoor girls will have their work cut for them in the 4x200 relay. Although they possess the state's top time of 1:42.74, they are going to have to run much faster than that to make the final. With Robinson, Olivia Oliver, Trelyn Newkirk, and Jackie Bassey, it is a potent line up. There are only 8 teams that will make the final and the top four squads in the country below are entered:
|Top Teams - US Overall|
- Girls Pole vault: the representation here for one event with three girls entered. The top dog is Josie Held (Jr., Mt. Zion) is having an outstanding season with a 12-5.5 clearance. Held is just outside the nation's top 20 by less than a half-inch. The field is incredibly deep. The magic number in 2017 is 13-0, with seven girls at or above. US #2 Becky Arbiv leads the field with her 13-7 clearance, but close on her heels is US #3 Katie Jones (Pennsylvania) at 13-6.5. Carson Dingler (Georgia) and Logan Kemp (Michigan) both find themselves at 13-6, rounding out the top seeds... IL #2 Lauren Seaver (Jr., Normal U High) and IL # Aliyah Welter (Sr., Monticello) come with very respectable 12-4/12-0 marks.
- Zach Bradford (Jr., Bloomington) comes in a high after clearing a state best 16-6 last weekend. He actually won two meets in one day. He took the Centennial ABC title and Windy City crown in less than 8 hours last Saturday. However, it is the potential history here as junior Mondo Duplantis of Lafayette HS out of Louisiana, the national record holder at 18-10.25, seeks to clear the 19 foot bar. If he does clear a height over 19-0.25 he sets the new world record for athletes under 20 years old, not only that but he'd then pass his dad's career best which would become useful during any family conversation.
- One time state triple jump leader David Oluyadi (Sr., Chicago Lane Tech) has dropped to IL #5. There is no better time or place to come out of a slump with a great field to compete against. US#1 ranked and defending national champion Noah Igbinoghene of Alabama returns to the Armory triple jump pit with a 50-03 PR in hand. The only athlete over 50 feet in the nation this season. He is trailed by Hasani Knight at US#2 with a 49-10 and Jalen Seals US#4 at 49-8.75.
- Maddie Manganiello (Jr., Downers Grove South) will take a crack at the big time championship section of the long jump. Manganiello personal best is 19-6 from last spring. This winter she has only achieved 17-0 which is 25th best in the state.
- Danny Kilrea (Jr., Downers Grove North) is ready for 2nd deuce of the season. He clocked a very fast 9:13.43 a few weeks ago at Proviso West but finished second. In that race, Kilrea did the set up work for the first mile until Whitney Young's Clayton Mendez swooped in like a vulture and stole the show. Mendez's 9:01.89 is US #2 for 3200m and he will not be in New York. Kilrea will have to shine on his own against some of the nation's top distance runners that he saw at NXN. Said Kilrea: "I am bummed about missing out on the fast [section], but I know that it won't be an issue to run fast. I want to get to as close to 9:00 as possible."
Amira Young (Jr., Chicago Whitney Young): It will be a tough test for Young who is moving the speed meter one step at a time. In other words, it is a good thing to enter in her first indoor national competition looking for supreme success. Of course, coming back home with a medal and degree of accomplishment is always good. Look for Young to challenge for the state lead (24.56). Young will also contest the 60m where her 7.72 is IL #5.
Two of the state's best female 800 runners will square off in the same section. Jenna Diers (Sr., Lincoln Way West) and Arielle Summitt (Jr., Urbana U High) are ranked IL #2 and #4. They are in different classifications during the school year, but both could make a dent for the state here. Diers has run an all time best from last year 2:13.46 while Summitt has clocked 2:12.29.
Ron Reed (Jr., Decatur MacArthur) may have chosen the right level after dealing with a sore foot. But his personal best 7.02 is the 8th best in the state. He placed 2nd to Marcellus Moore last weekend in Champaign.
Isaiah Hunter (Sr., Lisle) has been very quiet since running IL #1 50.40 in January. Let's see if he can get under 50.00.
Elizabeth Drab (Sr., St. Viator) was a late addition to the field along with friend Avryl Johnson (Jr., Libertyville). They will be in the 400 Friday morning They will double back and travel to Staten Island for the Hersey Games on Staten Island later Friday evening
The pole vault will see Hunter Whitwood (Sr., Normal West) who has a personal best 15-0. He has an opportunity to place among the top 9. Jack Pompe (Jr., Dunlap) and Josh Getz (Sr., Peoria Notre Dame) are top 10 ranked vaulters in the state.