Arielle Summitt will be a featured athlete at the Midwest Distance Classic (Dan Chamness photo)
Illinois Benedictine University; Lisle, IL
As we indicated in the boys preview, the upcoming Midwest Distance Classic is going to be a good one under the leadership of long time track and field veteran Skip Stolley. The girls field is not nearly as potent as the boys but it should be entertaining nonetheless.
2000m Steeplechase (7pm): This rarely run race outside of the New York area tri-state has only seven entrants. Perhaps it will be freshman Taylor Ewert of Beavercreek, OH. Her credentials include a second place finish at the New Balance Indoor Nationals racewalk, 5:11 1600m PB, and the sister of top steepler Ben Ewert. Taylor has run 7:14.60 and the challenge could be the meet record 7:03.47 by Stephanie Jenks (Iowa).
800m (7:30pm): The best event on the docket is here. A small compact field will feature Class A two-time state champion Arielle Summitt (Jr., Urbana U High) who went from ailing star and goat to class G.O.A.T. with winning her state meet for a second consecutive time last month. The 2:13.17 ranks #3 state wide but the long layoff could be an issue. That's because Summitt may be past her peak as is other Illinois girls such as Madison Marasco (Jr., Schaumburg) and Janie Nabholz (Sr., Glenbard West). It is tough restarting and then performing on a high level after a big layoff. One athlete that was looking forward to this moment is Rachel Hickey (Jr., Lasalle-Peru). Hickey competed in the St. Louis Festival of Miles 800m 10 days ago and placed second with one of her fastest times of the year in 2:14.51. But the goal here is getting close to 2:10 or under for Hickey. This is what she wants and she has to be prepared for a fast pace in order to do so. Tori Glazer (Jr., Custer SD) will make the long trek from up north. The 10+ hour drive will sure to show off the personal best 2:14.13 that Glazer sports.
3200m (8:30p): The tiny field is expected to go off as expected with just four girls entered. Grandville, Michigan standout Madison Malon recently completed her sophomore year with a personal best 10:53.55 that netted her a 10th place finish in her state meet. Ayah Aldadah (Jr., Dunlap) is entered and has broken 11:00 this year.
1600m (9:15p): A solid field will close out the festivities. If true, it looks like several athletes will double back within an hour's worth of time. This will favor fresh participants such as Enyaeva Michelin (Jr., Evanston), Allison McGrath (Sr., Wheaton-Warrenville South), and Courtney Klatt (Jr., Brandon SD). They have all broken 5:10 this season.