Milesplit illinois: Week 1 Recap

Chicago North Lawndale Charter senior Terry McGee posing after winning the Greg Foster Invite athlete of the meet

The first week of full action actually began during the early portion of the week with a few dual, triangular, quadrangular, and even five-team meets.  There were some solid performances put up in contests that several Chicago suburban schools hosted in their field houses.

Proviso West Girls meet #2: Proviso West Field House- 200m flat track
•    Palatine kicked off their season with some of their top runners running down in short events in preparation for a huge season. The most telling event was the 300m where Cassidy Mcpherson (Sr.) won in 46.0. She was followed by teammates Kara Burton (Jr.) 46.2 and Liz Cox (Sr.) 47.5.

Proviso West Boys meet #2: Proviso West Field House- 200m flat track
•    Distance running top over as David Rodriguez (Jr., Hersey) and Matt Plowman (Jr., York) took center stage in the 3200m. The race came down to the very end in which Rodriguez edged Plowman 9:32.9-9:33.1.  Rodriguez was a key member of Hersey’s 4x800m relay last season and Plowman was on the shelf until late in the year.  Maybe both runners will meet up again at the Wanner Prospect Invite and then state.

•     Prospect senior Blake Hallman won the 1600m in 4:34.4 over teammate Mike Anderson (Jr.) 4:35.3. Kevin Kovach (Sr., Hersey) placed third in 4:39.4.

  • Proviso West junior Jamante Steward clears 6-4 in the HJ for the second meet in a row

Little Four Invite: Hinsdale Central HS- 160m flat track
•    West Suburban Conference Silver powers Downers Grove North and Hinsdale Central debut their season with several solid performances. The 4x800m relay was won by DGN in 8:34.9.

•    DGN junior John Diamond won 1600m in 4:41.6 over teammate senior Jared Spilky 4:42.6.  Hinsdale Central’s Matt McBrien (Jr.) and Alex Domiano (Jr.) finished third and fourth respectively in 4:44.9 and 4:45.7.

York Girls meet #1: Joe Newton Fieldhouse- 200m flat track
•    Hoffman Estates got their season off to a good start with some quality performances. The 4x800 relay team ran a state best 10:00.55.
•    Hoffman Estates sophomore Meagan Biddle won the 1600m ahead of teammate Solome Haile (Sr.) 5:24.54-5:29.88. Haile had previously took the 3200m in 11:51.78.
•    Senior standout Banke Oginni of Hoffman Estates launched a masterful 46-11.5 in the shot put. Her mark is the second best in the state.

Distance coach Kirk Macnider was pleased with his team’s effort. “This was our first time stepping on a track this year; we train in the hallways,” he said. “I was pleased with our strength and depth for the first meet. The track was crowd and we were lapping people in every race we ran except the 800m. I spread everyone out as well and tripled (three events each) them up for work. The girls were given all mental goals; no goal times yet for meet one. They achieved what I asked them to.”


Greg Foster Invite: Proviso West HS Fieldhouse- 200m flat track
The First Annual Greg Foster Boys Invitational took center stage at Proviso West High School. Unfortunately, the legend Mr. Foster was not in attendance to witness several quality performances.

Homewood-Flossmoor got off their bus ready to compete and put on a show. The Vikings won the meet going away with 112 points. TF North was runner-up with 68 points.

Key highlights:
•    Terry McGee (Sr., Chicago North Lawndale Charter) put on a show for his team and fans with three winning efforts. McGee started the morning off by polishing the competition in the 55m dash blazing the straight track in 6.60. McGee is quickly emerging as one of the best speedsters in the state this year, and will be one of the favorites to watch come outdoor season. McGee anchored his team to victory in the 4x200m relay that won over Homewood-Flossmoor 1:35.11-1:35.58 (23.4 leg)… the icing on the cake though was the 200m where McGee cruised to victory on the Mondo X surface in 23.28.  McGee was off from his 22.39 season best but well ahead of second place senior Adonis Barnes of TF North who ran 22.74.

•    Homewood-Flossmoor senior Matt Anyiwo opened his season with a taste of speed.  The standout middle-distance runner dropped down in distance in a run-a-way victory in the 400m (51.39). Anyiwo returned for the showstopper and anchored his team’s 3:35.35.

•    Jack Curtis (Jr., Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) and Myles Barbee (Sr., TF North) got into a friendly fight in the high jump in which both jumpers set personal bests at 6-6. Curtis was awarded the win on less misses.

•    Imani Payton (Sr., North Lawndale Charter) copped the state best in the 55HH in 7.77. Payton will be one of the state threats in the 110HH and 300IH when the outdoor season commences.

Lonnell Poole Invite:  Bloom Fieldhouse- 160m flat track.

  • Mike Monroe (Sr., New Lenox Providence Catholic) tied the state best in the high jump with a winning effort of 6-8.
  • Senior Jonah Wiley of Chicago Heights Bloom Township leaped a personal best 23-0 in the tight barn at Bloom Trail HS. Wiley will be a name that jump fans will get to know when May comes.
  • Anthony Mazzola (Sr., Rockford Jefferson) gets big pole vault win 14-3
  • Jared Kern (Sr., Machesney Park Harlem) takes the gold in the shot put 54-8

Evanston Boys Invite 1: Evanston Fieldhouse- 160m flat track.

  • New Trier distance running is of course the bread and butter of the Trevian program.  So it was no surprise to see some solid times put up in what could be termed as a prelude of bigger things to come. 1600m: Connor Trapp (4:32.8), Om Kanwar (4:34.5), Josh Rosenkranz (4:34.5), Austin Santana (4:34.9).

Oak Park-River Forest vs. Lake Park dual: OPRF school field house- 160m flat track.

  • University of Louisville commit Marcus Jegede (Sr., Lake Park) won the long and triple jumps with solid 22-6.75/47-0 efforts. 
  • Lake Park senor Curtwan Evans won the shot put in a personal best 55-7.

Whitney Young Invite: University of Chicago Crown Fieldhouse- 200m flat track

  • Malcolm Grba (Jr., Chicago Northside Prep) won the 800m in a big personal best 2:00.52.  Grba was one of the top middle-school talents coming into the CPS as an eighth grader three years ago. It appears as though his talent is now showing the dividends. Grba returned later in the meet to place second in the 1600m to St. Ignatius sophomore Dan Santino 4:35.37-4:37.38.

Batavia vs. Wheaton-Warrenville South Boys dual:

  • Nolan McKenna (Sr., Wheaton-Warrenville South) is out to be a henchman this season with a burner 9:24.9 in the 3200m. His partner in crime Luke Schroer (Sr.) won the 1600m in 4:22.3.
  • Batavia had some good performances in the distance races, but none better than what junior Ryan Wietes did.  He won the 800m in 2:00.6.

Hinsdale Central Red Devilette Invite: Hinsdale Central HS Field House- 160m flat track

  • Hinsdale Central sophomore Anne Zaher led a parade of fine performers in the 1600m who ran under 5:25. Zaher ran a sweet 5:17.8 ahead of Amanda Thate (Downers Grove South), Maria McDaniel (Naperville North), Ellen DeTurris (Naperville North), Haley Albers (Downers Grove South), and Judy Pendergast (Naperville North).

Stanford prodigies and good friends Sam Wharton and Jack Keelan finish 2-3 in the Junior National XC Championship

- Cross Country may be over for prep fans but it's not for a select few collegians and professional athletes.  Former Naperville Neuqua Valley superstar and distance legend Chris Derrick repeated as US champion in the senior long course at the USA Championships in Boulder, Colorado.  Derrick's time for the rugged 12k course was 36:13.  Former Chicago (St. Ignatius) star Jack Keelan has taken his talents to Stanford University where he has transitioned quite nicely.  Keelan is redshirting the indoor track season in preparation for the World Junior championships.  He took a big step at the next level by finishing second the 8k junior championship in 25:26