Check out Marcellus Moore's 100m record-breaking performance at EIU
As a youngster growing up in Indiana for a good portion of my life, I remember hearing about the Illinois Boys & Girls State Championship. My good friend Mike Jaffe and his father used to go every year for both. Mike and his dad would talk about the great Danville teams and how they did against Chicago's best sprinters. I could recall the meet program from 1986 that featured Bob "B-Side" Jelks of Decatur MacArthur, Jarrett Cooper of Blue Island Eisenhower, Joe Vernell of Proviso East, and Keith Thomas of Chicago Kenwood.
Little did I know at the time when I swiped Mike's meet program for permanent safekeeping, I was building my track and field knowledge for the future. I had the pleasure of meeting and now working with B-Side for over 10 years. We talked about the great times of yesteryear. He seemed surprised at first that I knew a lot about his timeline. I am a historian of track and field. I knew that the IHSA awarded Jelks the 100m record in the semi-finals which actually was wind-aided. Later it was Thomas who ran 10.31w in his round. Nada. Thomas finally got the record in the final running 10.37. As good as Thomas was on the track, he split time with his first love baseball. He could have been better than the 10.37 which has lasted until a superstar in the making broke it...
I remember watching Marcellus Moore run in an AAU summer nationals when he was in 8th grade. He was already bubbling on the scene and when he set an age group record for 14-year-olds (10.81), I nearly lost my mind. B-Side confirmed this and he told me to check in with Aurora Flyers Track Club Head Coach Thomas Boatright who guided him. "I told you about Marcellus man a few years ago, you were so concerned about Kamari [Montgomery]." It turns out that I had met Marcellus at an Aurora Flyers practice and Boatright brought Marcellus up to me, but I was there to politic with Mr. Montgomery. Needless to say, I have never overlooked the Plainfield North superstar again.
As it turns out in present form under the guidance of Plainfield North Head Coach Tony Holler, Moore has been defined as a pure sprinter. His mechanics are tremendous, his starts flawless. He isn't just fast, he's better than most he has ever competed against. The record 10.31 set under tremendous pressure for a 15-year-old nicknamed "Baby Holyfield" was thrust to carry his team to the promise land. Moore ran 10.40 in his prelim. He was told to relax and save it for the final. It could have been disastrous had there been a storm or conditions causing performances to be wind-aided. But it wasn't and the rest is history. I am so proud that I was able to capture this moment in person. Congrats to Marcellus Moore!