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

Jelena solified herself as the #1 high jumper   I  Jaimie Robinson turned her sweet smile into big wins

The indoor season has come and gone. Man, did it go quick. The Illinois Top Times meet answered my questions from last week as to 'Who's The Man or Woman?' I told you guys way back before she was a freshman that Homewood-Flossmoor senior Jaimie Robinson was going to be special. Jaimie proved once again that she was "The Woman." Jaimie, as my grandmother used to say, "cleaned house" with wins in the 200m, triple jump and a huge long jump all-time record of 19'11."

Chicago Heights (Bloom Township) senior Jelena Rowe not only won the high jump easily, but had a nickname change to go along with her new state record. Jelena jumped 6'01." She will now be referred to by me as "Jelena 6.1". And still the #1 HJ'er in the U.S.... Jelena 6.1 Rowe!

Katelynne Hart, the freshman sensation from Glenbard West, made easy work of the 1600/3200m double fields rocking and lapping all-star runners with a sensational 10:11.51/4:53.68. I said last week she was a problem; she now may be an unsolvable problem.

Warrensburg-Latham senior KD Young has been "The Woman" for four years in the shot put. She won again and leaves the ring as the greatest shot putter in Illinois history. All future putters will be compared to her.

I can't complete my list of who proved they are "The Woman" without mentioning junior Imani Carothers of Chicago Brooks. Imani, with her usual consistent self, won both the 60HH and the LJ (19'05"). It's too bad that Imani and Jaimie couldn't be on the runway at the same time pushing each other. We might've needed a bigger pit!

I really like watching the freshman Derria Edwards of Peoria in the 60m. She could very well be the next problem sprinters have to solve, not only outdoor, but the next four years. Lastly, Diamonasia Taylor of Urbana another unfazed freshman.  Can you see the trend? Diamonasia won the HJ with a PR of 5'08" and set the 2A state record. Diamonasia found herself in a couple of must clear situations but she had been in many of those situations last summer with her club team (Dominators) and got the record.

Marcellus Moore will be the center of attention in the sprints as we embark on the outdoor season 

The question of "Who's The Man?" was answered by Marcellus Moore of Plainfield North winning both the 60m/200m. It was thought the freshman might have a rough time in the final once Hoffman Estates junior Declan Rustay edged him in the prelims. BUT... All great sprinters know you never run all out in the prelims. In the final, I saw a more determined than ever Marcellus. Here's a funny side note. It was the B-Side last week that motivated him all week and pushed him to victory. Marcellus thought that I was saying that Josh Eiker, former sprint champion from Galesburg, felt Marcellus wouldn't be the heir apparent to the sprint king throne. When in reality it was the sprint competition who was saying NO to Marcellus. He has proven to be a worthy sprint king. Like I've said all year and will continue to say the rest of his high school career, I'm rolling with Marcellus until the wheels fall off.

Junior Ron Reed of Decatur MacArthur fought through an ankle injury to the 60m title in 2A in 7.00. Ron has faced the best all season long. The Arkansas Invite woke Ron up and he's been totally different ever since that meet.  The goal was set way back in November and to close it out with the injury is the making of a champion.

Senior Sam Sikon of Carbondale in the shot put has been "The Man" all season long as he won the 2A shot put. Sam should be a member of my club team because he thinks on a higher level than most. Sam allegedly threw his medal in the trash because he didn't end up the best overall thrower for the indoor season. He said "anything less is a participation medal for him". That he was the best in the state. I've had my team for 19 years and I've watched them throw medals away or leave them at the meet on purpose. We could fill a trash can with the number of medals I've seen thrown away. Why? Because to them and Sam it's about the goal and performance. So if this is true Sam, welcome to the team, we understand.

B-Side will say this about the 2017 indoor season. The state of Illinois has stepped its game up this year. The athletes are splattered all over the top 10 national rankings. Jelena 6.1 in the HJ and the phenom Hart- 3200m is #1 in the U.S. We've gone to New Balance Indoor Nationals in past years and got it handed to us. But 2017 was different as we sent a small group and handled business. If you haven't caught the trend, perhaps the greatest freshman crop we've seen in years is unfazed by big meet pressure. IL is in good hands for the next few years. The only missing ingredient from the latter part of the indoor season and IL Top Times ...was a pinch of Cinnamon, Dajour Miles (So., West Aurora).

Bring On The Outdoor Season!