Jon Davis Leads Charge For Illinois And The Little Guy

Jon Davis throws up his now patented peace sign in dispatching his foes in Brooks PR Mile (Travis Miller photo)

Jon Davis is from the very small town of Fithian which has a population of 500. Oakwood High School is smaller. The last count by the Illinois High School Association had the enrollment at 300. So it should not have been a surprise to see Davis say on his twitter: "this [victory] is for the small schools. It may as well been for Illinois as well. In the grand scheme of things the 5th most populous state has often been overlooked on the national track and field scene. Rather than go through a laundry list of concerns let's take a look of accomplishments from Renton Memorial Stadium.

  • Kelly O'Brien closed out her historic Palatine career with a 5th place finish in the mile running another personal best 4:47.10. O'Brien moved to US #7 in the sport's chief event and maintain's her position as Illinois' #2 all-time performer/performance. O'Brien came into the Brooks PR affair as an unknown on the national scene. That changed after she placed first as a high schooler at the Magis Miles earlier in the month running 4:48.01. The biggest improvement overall had to be O'Brien's mental state. She was in a place of doubt when running at times prior to this track season. It would be hard for almost any kid who finished dead last in a state championship. O'Brien fell off the cliff toward the end of her cross country season that resulted in a 217th place and mind numbing 22:00 three miler. During Saturday's race, some negative thoughts presented itself a few times. The first was a pace that eventual Annie Hill (Montana) started to stretch out her peers. O'Brien was barely holding on at the bell which she reached in approximately 3:34.8. O'Brien looked to be weathering the storm and then... CRASH! Two girls trip and fall to the track and another scurried into O'Brien's path and knocked her momentum away. When the kicker's pace is underway and you lose your momentum it is impossible to get it back. Kelly fought hard to stay composed and not lose her new position. The final result was a fruitful and satisfying end to a great high school career.

  • William Session was all smiles after doing what he normally does: perform well under pressure. The senior from Belleville East and bound for Indiana University in fall got out well in the Boys 110HH and although he crashed a few hurdles late, he finished third and grabbed a podium spot in 13.98. The head wind played a part in Session not having a faster time.
  • The 100m should be considered a warm up for Josh Eiker of Galesburg moving forward. The U of Illinois bound senior is good at the Century, but his best events in the future is the 200m and possibly the 400m. Although Eiker ran 10.66 and was just .08 behind the winner Brandon Taylor of Texas, he was not going to win because of a lax start. The top five placers were pretty even though out the race.
  • Everything was going well in the 800 for Sandburg's Chris Torpy until a fall that occurred right in front of him with less than 200 to go. Torpy was in line to charge home for possibly a victory until Bryce Hoppel tripped on the rail or foot of Jayquan Williams. The melee almost made Torpy come to a complete stop. He had the lead but the oncoming finish of those behind him including winner Terrell Jackson of Memphis University High School was too much to overcome. Torpy finished 6th in 1:53.88. Heath Warren of Springfield took 7th in 1:55.38.
  • Three IL kids were in the mile: Sean Torpy (Sandburg), Jack Aho (Grayslake Central), and of course Jon Davis. The pace was ripe for Torpy to use his new found leg speed and 800 prowess after the pace did not meet sub 4:00 criteria through the first lap. Torpy tried to move away with 600 into the race to go and held strong until the bell lap. Davis grabbed the lead at 3:07 and moved away strong and held on to win in 4:07.52.  Torpy finished a disappointing 4:16.52 as did Aho way back in 4:20.92