Power Weekend Begins With Homewood-Flossmoor Girls ABC Invitational

Dajour Miles put a charge into the meet at the University of Kentucky last weekend with a sizzling performance in the 400m (Mark Capapas photo)

The speed-

The #HFABC17 is going to be ABSOLUTELY LOADED with talent! Let's start with Dajour Miles. The former grade school prodigy came into high school with tremendous hype and expectations thrust upon her. The initial returns were great when she ran a state leading 55.42 indoors at the UK Invite. Unfortunately, that would be the highlight for Miles. The subsequent action was a joint parting of ways at Waubonsie Valley High School. Miles would finish out the school season training on her own and finished with a strong summer track season. "Cinnamon" as she referred to in closed circles has now come full circle. Now a sophomore at West Aurora fresh off of basketball season, Cinnamon strolled into the spacious Nutter Fieldhouse and blazed a then US#1 54.25 which later was slightly downgraded to US #2. The main thing is now is the brimming happiness and the sense of greatness that is to come. 

The first event to watch is the 60m. Two state champions will pit against one another in Amira Young (Jr., Chicago Whitney Young) and Mariya Hudson (Sr., Cahokia). Young won last year's 3A state 100m title with an IL #3 11.79. Hudson took 3rd last year in the 2A tilt, but won the 2015 state crown. Young is the state leader at 7.74 while Hudson will be opening her season. Add in IL #6 Miles and this could be the race of the year outside of the Illinois Top Times.

The 200m: The top 3 ranked girls in IL are in the same section. One is the reigning 3A state champ Amira Young- Dajour Miles and Jaimie Robinson make up the other two and are ranked top 75 nationally.

In addition to Miles in the 400m, there are 3 ranked girls in the top 10 in the state. Likkaya Keyes (Jr., Rich South) and Taylor Wright (So., Lincoln Way East) are #5 and #8. Hudson cannot be overlooked. She is a former state champion with a personal best 54.79- second in stature only to Miles. 

The #2 ranked 60m hurdler Rajiah Andrews (Sr., W. Aurora) is in the field. Two all staters are making their debut including a two-time reigning defending state champ Imani Carothers (Jr., Chicago Brooks)

The field events- 

There will be three 19ft long jumpers in the field! The current state leader is Jaimie Robinson and she will be dueling a reigning 2A state champ & record holder Imani Carothers. There are three other top 10 ranked jumpers in the field: Kameesha Smith (Sr., Thornwood), Andrews, and Sydney Jones (Jr., Chicago Kenwood). Hudson is a part-time jumper who has skyed 19-0.5 several seasons ago. 

The High Jump won't disappoint. The IL#3, 7, & 8 will challenging one another for the crown. Kameesha Smith, Ololade Ayoola (Sr., Lincoln Way East) and Madison Myrick (So., Homewood-Flossmoor) are the main figures here. Ayoola, who is a great 400 runner, has placed 2nd in the state HJ in 2015.

Four of the state's top 10 ranked shot putters will be in the building if you like throws. Upstart Oluwasheyi Taiwo of Thornwood has improved mightily last year with a good 43-9 indoor career best. 

Unfortunately, there will not be a sighting of Robinson in her signature triple jump event. Her teammate Trelyn Newkirk (So., Homewood-Flossmoor) is IL #3 and emerging this season. Her personal best is 36-5.25.

Jess Streepy (So., Palatine) ranked 16th in the state last year in the pole vault. Advancing to the state meet was probably a wonderful occasion despite not making the final. 2017 has been a good start for Streepy who has cleared 10-feet which is good for 12th place. Lila Wine (Oak Park River Forest) is the state leader at 10-10. 

The relays-  

The host team leads the state in the 4x2 at a solid 1:44.63, they'll look to wow the crowd. Challenges will come from the #5 team Kenwood and 4 other all-state units. 

The showstopper aka the 4x4 looks stacked. Three top 15 ranked teams plus units we know have some major players make their debut. Barrington leads the charge in the IL #2 spot clocking 4:12.86. They will be followed by Whitney Young, Homewood-Flossmoor, and Kenwood.

The 4x8 will feature Mid-Suburban League distance powers Barrington and Palatine. Both schools have won state championships in this event and both school are regularly among the state and national leaders. Barrington has clocked 10:11.12 which is good for IL#4. 

The distance field will be puncuated by Jocelyn Long in the 3200


Jocelyn Long (Jr., Barrington) makes her season debut in the 3200m. The all-state distance runner is coming off of an outstanding cross country season where she placed 7th in the 3A race running 16:43. Moreover, her 7th place finish on the state track is something fans should know. Long has a personal best of 10:47 indoors. She may not hit that mark but she should destroy the fieldhouse record.

4x8 all stater Anna Buckstaff (Sr., Palatine) will be the favorite in the 800m. This will be an opportunity for the fans to see another potential Pirate emerge in an event they are famous for. Fellow teammate Danya Lloyd enjoyed a great xc championship season that netted all state honors. Lloyd will take on the competition in the 1600m and look for her to bust out with a new personal best effort.