2018 Class A Boys Pre-Season Sprints & Hurdles Preview

Easton Bianchi took the Century world by storm during last year's state series

100m
2017 State Champion: Easton Bianchi (Newman Central Catholic) 10.86
Key Returners: Easton Bianchi (Newman Central Catholic), Seth Rochelle (Liberty), Diondre Lewis (Warrensburg-Latham), Devon Burton (Blue Ridge), Tate Walcott (Ridgeview), Marshall Walk (Hall), Rahveon Valentine (Lena-Winslow), Jake Whipple (Hamilton County), Dionte Lewis (Warrensberg-Latham)
Season Outlook: Easton Bianchi is the returning state champion and he will have the proverbial Bullseye on his back. He is a true and true a burgeoning track and field star beyond this season. Last year's career best 10.52 appeared to be questioned, but as a champion sprinter there should not be any doubts of his talent. Bianchi will be joined by returning all-staters twins Diondre Lewis (4th) and Dionte Lewis (9th). Liberty coach Jared Schmidt said this about his standout speedster Seth Rochelle: "Seth had a great junior year and really turned a corner and helped solidify our sprint group. He was a little banged up during the season so I think the times he put down can improve." Rochelle can be a huge dark horse this season.
Top returning performances: 

400m
2017 State Champion: Ben Friesen (Chicago Christian) 48.65
Key Returners: Ben Buresh (Wethersfield), Keegan Anderson (Morrison), Diondre Lewis (Warrensburg-Latham), Bobby Kapolnek (St. Thomas More), Jason Landon (Carlinville), Riley Baker (St. Joseph-Ogden), Aaron Inda (Moroa-Forsyth)
Season Outlook: Ben Buresh is the top returner coming back in what appears to be a rebuilding year for this event. Buresh took 4th at state last year and will seek to get under 50 seconds. As with Illinois track and field, the athletes will step up and hit the traditional 48.4-5 numbers at the top of the charts. and is looking to improve on that. All-Stater Keegan Anderson (7th) is the only other state finalist in the picture. Off shoot performers to look out for could be middle distance star Riley Wells who has clocked under 50 seconds in the relay. 300H champ Mason Barr is strong enough to put up big numbers in the flat event.
Top returning performances: 
RANKTIMEATHLETE/TEAMGRADEMEET DATEPLACE
150.142018
250.492020
350.572018

200m
2017 State Champion: Easton Bianchi (Newman Central Catholic) 21.78
Key Returners: Bianchi, Basil Buckner (Rushville-Industry), Tate Walcott (Ridgeview), Pascal Guilavogui (Beardstown), Seth Rochelle (Liberty), Xavier Ross (Timothy Christian), Rahveon Valentine (Lena-Winslow), Camden Coleman (Urbana University)
Season Outlook: Easton Bianchi is the returning state champion from last year. As with the 100, Bianchi came on late to be a dominant force. Look for that continue again and we will see if he can run under 21.50 this year. Returning all-staters Tate Walcott (4th), Camden Coleman (5th), Basil Buckner (6th), and Rahveon Valentine (8th). Seth Rochelle's coach believes he will be one to watch if all goes well on the health front: "his injuries didn't allow him to compete enough to be ready for a lot of races at state, which probably hindered his 200m prelim race." Once again if Seth can stay healthy he will make a good run at state.
Top returning performances: 
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