All-American KD Young is the top overall thrower in Illinois and will be the centerpiece of field events (Don Rich photo)
The key to winning championships is getting the jump on the competition early. And most times early means before the track events are underway. The often overlooked field events can be a coaching staff's best friend particularly if they have solid jumpers who can use those events as a warm up for the track. Vaulters and throwers have to be factored in too.
Events: long jump, pole vault, high jump, shot put, triple jump, discus throw.
Note: The rankings are based off of the top returning marks from the 2015 outdoor season (some thoughts could include the '15 indoor season).
Key returners: Casey Berberich (Jr., Lebanon), Jenny Kimbro (Sr., Jamaica Sidell), McKendra Barthelme (Sr., Newton), Lexi Grogan (Sr., Serena), Maddie Gossett (Jr., Christopher), Rebecca Waite (So., Milledgeville)
Outlook: Half of the qualifiers from last year's state championship return though the top three have graduated. Class A has been fortunate in having several top flight jumpers in recent years who skied well over 18-feet. The fourth place finisher in Charleston Casey Berberich should keep the streak alive. She reached 17-10.5 from 16-6 the year prior. Another leaper to watch is Jenny Kimbro who as a part-time performer was well over 17-feet. Kimbro's primary events are hurdles and it takes a toll on the jumping legs. Still, she is going to be very dangerous every time out.