Milesplit Illinois Athletes Of The Week: Week 8

JD Lafayette is the boss in the 800m so far this year in IL

Milesplit Illinois is pleased to announce the athletes of the week. Credit goes to the coaches who put in the time each day in getting their athletes ready to compete on meet day.


Normal University High senior JD Lafayette took a first big step at becoming the premier 800m in all of Illinois and not just Class 2A after beating the reining 3A state champion and previously undefeated Johnny Leverenz (Sr., Danville) in a come from behind fashion 1:52.43-1:53.14. Lafayette now has the 12th fastest time in the United States.

The Illinois State University signee later placed second in the 1600m to Leverenz in 4:29.40. However, the damage was already done.  The question now is how fast can Lafayette run in the half-mile? He has already exceeded his personal best of 1:55.8 from last year. Earlier in the year Lafayette won the Illinois Top Times 2A title in 1:56.45. He also anchored his team to a second place state finish in last year’s 4x8 relay that ran 7:51. But in answering the question of how fast Lafayette will run is unanswerable. The thought process would be that some Illinois kid will be among the top 10-15 times by the end of the track season is a real possibility. If this is the case, be ready to see a time under 1:51 for sure.

Friendly foes Ebony Mac and Briyahna Desrosiers are the cream of Illinois sprinters


When you are good there is no denying it. Last Saturday at the Midwest Prep Invitational in Indianapolis, Indiana, two of the state’s top female sprinters waged a friendly battle in two events (100/200) and overshadowed two other events even though their teams did not win.

Brooks College Prep senior Ebony McClendon made her intentions of who was the baddest girl in a foreign land with a solid 11.95 prelim banger that led all competitors as well as put them on notice. Ebony Mac would come back 45 minutes to run 24.36 to lead all 200m qualifiers.

McClendon won the 100m final in a meet record/IL#1 11.81 (all-conditions). McClendon would also run down a set of fierce competitors in the 4x1 relay to help her team to a second place finish in 48.54. Brooks was left for dead prior to McClendon’s exploits. McClendon would finish second in the 200m despite severely cramping up near the finish line in 24.50.

Briyahna Desrosiers has had a wonderful season even if she does not improve another step or in time.  But everyone associated with the North Lawndale Prep program knows that the future Texas A&M Aggie has big plans for the remainder of the season. Although Desrosiers is primarily a 400m runner, she has honed her speed for her specialty in the 100 and 200.

Desrosiers ran the second fastest 100 prelim in 12.00 and followed up matters with a second place 12.03 behind friend and foe McClendon. Desrosiers was not complete as came back several hours to run a state best, lifetime best, and second fastest in meet history with a smoking 24.12. It was a race that may have major implications later on in the year.

Desrosiers ran a smooth and controlled 4x4 leg that brought her team from last to second with a scorching 53.6 second leg split.