B-Side Blog: Who's The Man or Woman 2017

The undeniable trio of Jaimie Robinson, Marcellus Moore, and KD Young have been unstoppable all under-cover season

It is that time of year again. The moment when I get to ask my favorite question: 'Who's the Man (or woman)?' That means the last indoor meet has come and Illinois Top Times is here and I am curious to see who steps up and answers my question.

A year ago, we were all hyped to witness the Cahokia legend Ja'mari Ward on the runway and track along with fellow superstar Josh Eiker of Galesburg, but they have moved onto the college ranks.  This year's version of the Top Times is a huge opportunity for some athletes to assume the mantle of greatness.  Now don't forget not everybody will be at Top Times. Some legitimate alibis or excuses will fall on deaf ears whether it is being on vacation, allowing injuries to heal, preparation for the outdoor season, or would just rather wait until May. 

In the meantime, we will witness the outstanding senior KD Young of Warrensburg-Latham blast the shot put out of the field house. How about Homewood-Flossmoor senior veteran Jaimie Robinson (entered in LJ/TJ/200M) along with junior Imani Carothers of Chicago Brooks in the 60H/LJ? Or junior John Meyer of Lockport who is the #6 shot putter in the US with a lethal 64'04".  But I think this year's meet is a changing of the guard as a brand new crop of fresh-faced, unfazed athletes have stepped up and taken names.

Plainfield North freshman Marcellus Moore has been the man all indoor season.  He has been in all the big meets and faced the best such as Miami's Tyrese Cooper as he placed 9th in the 60m at New Balance Indoor Nationals.  Marcellus has years of club experience at nationals under Coach Thomas Boatright (Aurora Flyers TC).  He is battle-tested as the fastest freshman in the U.S.  But will he officially become heir apparent to Josh Eiker? A crop of sprinters says "No" to the freshman.  Until proven otherwise, I am rollin' with Marcellus.

Junior Ronald Reed of Decatur MacArthur, the #1 ranked 60m man in 2A, is battled-tested as well as he took 9th in the Emerging Elite Division in the 60M in NY.  He has fought through an ankle injury and still produced a 6.95 prelim and 6.97 final at NBIN.

Elizabeth Drab of Arlington Heights St. Viator fame is hot right now in the 200/400m with monster performances in NY at the Hershey USATF Championships. 

Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West is the state leader in the 800/1600/3200- she is a freshman - would you look at her times please!  From her times, she wins the 1600/3200 and I believe she will.  Anyone in her races, until she graduates, has major problems.  Finally, what list is complete without Jelena Rowe "6.0" -the Bloom Township senior is the #1 high jumper in the country at 6'00". 'Nuff said!

There are even newer faces you may not know, like Urbana's Diamonasia Taylor, another freshman who #1 in 2A HJ at 5'06".  OK, I am biased; she was on my club team last summer and was #10 in the US.

A big question at state... can the Decatur Eisenhower Martin twins Katina (60M) and Tina (400M) finally grab a title?  They have been through a lot.  Elizabeth Drab in the 400 says, No!  We shall see. 

All of these athletes are at the crossroads.  The moment of the season where the question is asked and you must answer "Who the Man/Woman?