It was just a small sample size in terms of numbers for the contingent of Illinois track and field athletes who made the trek to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete in the U of Arkansas HS Invitational. However, in this case size does not matter, performances does.
Plainfield North bulging superstar sophomore Marcellus Moore came into the fray hoping to spar with fellow sprint phenom Kennedy Lightner of North Little Rock, Arkansas. There would be no title bout on the track for "Baby Holyfield" because Lightner would pull up lame in the 400m prelims. Moore instead shadow boxed with himself first in the 60m prelims dropping a cool 6.87 to lead all qualifiers. About an hour later he dropped the entire 200 field with a 21.73. Those two marks alone were good enough to win the event had things been called a truce. But they weren't. Moore did not let up on the finals field in the 60 and 200. He won the short dash in a US#2 6.85. That also happens to be his personal best and cements him as one to behold against the absolute nation's best when that day comes. The 200 is Moore's best event and he did not disappoint as he rocketed around the banked Randall Tyson Indoor Stadium oval to a sizzling US#2 and all-time Illinois indoor best 21.30. It now appears nothing can stop Illinois' track and field knockout champ.
Other standout performances:
Connor Artman (Carthage Illini West) made his big stage entrance and put on a clinic. The University of Notre Dame bound Artman won the long jump IL #1/US#3 23-8.75. He only took two jumps because he was competing in the 60/60HH where made the finals. Artman took 7th in 7.07 but ran 6.99 in the prelim which is IL#2. In the 60HH he took second in a personal best and IL#2 8.19. The best is yet to come for Artman as the season marches forward.
Brandon Adams of Minooka had a tough 2017 season because of sustained injuries. But now as a senior he ran with abandonment. After a good qualifying round in th 400, Adams went nuts in the final and placed second in a state best 49.20 which is also the 16th fastest time in the country.
Illini West middle distance runner Jacob Bryan made the trek with teammate Connor Artman. Bryan is the state's #3 returner in the 800m. He knew that he needed to get a crack on the national scene. Bryan looked like he was in mid season form hitting the first 400 in just over 57 seconds. The final outcome was a state best 1:57.69.
Ameia Wilson (Danville)- The Central Illinois star opened and closed with a flourish. Wilson took third in the 200 in a state leading 24.85; 2nd in long jump 18-7; US#12 60 and 2nd overall 7.61
Mikenna Robinson (Naperville Neuqua Valley)- Starting to show the pre high school talent after opening with a sizzling 400 prelim in 57.87 (IL#1). Robinson opted out of the final and ran the 800 where she took 4th in a state best 2:20.13
Olivia Oliver (Homewood-Flossmoor)- It was another good showing for the emerging senior. Oliver ran an IL#2 25.16 to place 6th in the final.
Kayla Walters (Bolingbrook)- 2nd in the 60HH with a motoring 8.88 which is US#13. Walters is out to prove that she is going to be an elite 100HH this season.