Jelena Rowe Leads Magical Day At The Gene Armer Invitational

The item of the day was Jelena Rowe. The nation's best high jumper is a star in the making came into the fray knowing that all eyes as well as her competitors would be focused on her. The statuesque senior from Bloom Township in Chicago Heights stands at 6'4." If it was not for her easy personality her size and ability would intimidate her foes. Rowe used the 60HH as her warm up and then entered the competition at 5'6". That starting height would be ranked #3 in the state. It did not take long for Rowe was attempting 6-feet. It seemed as though time stood still inside the building. The first two attempts were close but no cigar. Rowe consulted with her coaches and appeared very calm and poised coming out of the huddle. She nailed the final attempt! 6-FEET!! Relief as well as excitement filled the air in what is fast becoming the event to watch when Rowe is in the air. Rowe asked for the bar to be raised to 6'1". The three attempts that Rowe took were very solid including the final one which dropped courtesy of a mysterious force. The faithful will have to wait until next weekend at the Illinois Top Times meet to catch the next episode of Jelena 6.0.

Another high school legend was in the building and her name is Anna Sophia Keller. The University of Notre Dame bound Keller from Effingham (St. Anthony) was not feeling quite right despite producing two solid efforts over the last several weekends. She would only enter the 1600 and she wanted it to count prior to the Top Times. Keller went right to work and had some company on her hip. It was Enyaeva Michelin (Jr., Evanston) right there wanting to make it a race. Michelin showed in previous races that she is not afraid to handle fast paces. Keller clocked the first half in 2:29 which is mild in her program. It wasn't until the 5th circuit that she began to turn things on and drop Michelin. Keller was alone for the remainder the race and finished with an outstanding 4:54.88- good for IL #2. 

Other fine performances:

"We stole this mug," said Evanston coach Fenton Gunter referring to his team winning the 4x2 relay unexpectedly. The victory aided his team to the overall meet title. The Wildkits ran a season best 1:46.26. Senior Tauja Foreman added a 60HH victory in 8.98, which is good for IL #3.

Sophomores Lyn'Nika Vance (Crete-Monee) and Ameia Wilson (Danville) enjoyed a great but tiring afternoon dueling one another in the pit to the track. Vance won the 60 in a person best 7.67. The margin was a photo finish over second place Katina Martin of Decatur Eisenhower. Wilson took third in 7.76. Vance was third in the long jump compared to Wilson's 6th. Wilson ran a leg on the 4x4 relay but prior had won the 200 in 25.50. Vance had scratched out of the event. 

Hannah Morris (Jr., Bloom Twp.) got back on track after enduring a few weeks of pain due to a hip flexor injury. There was some tension with the runway and pit but finally putting it together on her final attempt. The newfound confident Morris exploded for a winning 18'9.75 to defeat Serena Boldon of Springfield Southeast had jumped 18'7.25."