Homewood Flossmoor Girls ABC Invite Gives Return On Investment

Dajour Miles and Mariya Hudson brought some major fireworks to the #HFABC Girls Invite


There is always a concern when hype precedes a big meet that is chock full of talent. In the case of the Homewood-Flossmoor ABC Girls Invitational, it was weeks of strategic planning that meet officials targeted such an occasion. Aside from the host team, the recipe needed a top notch mix of distance, field, and relays to make things right. On Saturday, everything seemed to come together for the assembled teams. In the latest MileSplit Illinois power rankings, there were 3A #1 West Aurora and 2A #2 Cahokia as well as several other top teams from around Chicagoland. But it was The overall depth of Oak Park-River Forest that got the job done for combined team championship.

The aim for first year Homewood-Flossmoor coach Zontavious Johnson was to bring a top notch girls invitational to Illinois and in particular Chicagoland. "We don't always get the best kids in the state competing each other," said Johnson formerly of Chicago North Lawndale. Kudos to Johnson and his staff for soliciting some of the best talent in the state.

Jocelyn Long (Jr., Barrington) ended her winter slumber with a solid performance in the 3200. Long quickly got herself established right away leading every lap. It was close for the initial 800 which was 2:38 but by the mile in 5:25 it was over. Long cruised home in 11:15.56.

To kick off the relay events it was Palatine in the 4x800 relay. The Lady Pirates will be a team to watch in the 4x800 relay this spring. The MSL distance starlets are always a perennial team on the distance side of things. For the first time this season Coach Joe Parks put out a semi solid line up which opened with a 2:27 leadoff and then a steady diet of 2:31s and change. The final result was a fleeting 10:05.11. The time would be the third fastest mark in the state. 

Homewood-Flossmoor senior Jaimie Robinson completed a solid day without competing in her signature triple jump. A runner up spot in the long jump was just the first ingredient for the future U of Alabama star. Though the Vikings were disqualified in the 4x2, they had initially ran another state best 1:44.04. However, they were disqualified for an infraction on the backstretch. An infuriated Robinson would not there. She laced the track shoes once more and motored past Young for a statement win in the 200m 25.11-25.34. 

Other top state performances:

  • Imani Carothers (Jr. Chicago Brooks) dropped an IL #1, US #18 8.83 in the 60m Hurdles in her season debut. Carothers was a disappointed that her basketball season ended on a sour note, but she knows that track and field is her bread and butter. It was no contest from the starting blocks as the lanky but powerful Carothers darted down the track well ahead of the competition. LaQwasia Stepney (So., Cahokia) placed second with the state's #2 mark 9.36. Carothers had won the long jump earlier in 19-1.75.
  • Dajour Miles got her first official start in a West Aurora uniform. The newstart sophomore who transferred from Waubonsie Valley has been nothing short of spectacular. Already one of the nation's young and talented long sprinters, Miles dropped down to the 60m to confirm her leg speed. In opposition would be defending outdoor 100m champion junior Amira Young of Chicago Whitney Young. Miles got out well as did Young and true to form was a photo finish. Miles clocked IL #1 7.70 to Young's 7.72. The two stallions shared friendly acknowlegement afterwards. Illinois track fans are going to enjoy the company of these two for the next two years. Miles would later add a 400 first place medal over the outstanding senior Mariya Hudson of Cahokia. Miles and Hudson quickly separated from the pack with Miles leading the charge. Hudson tried to oppress Miles at 250 but could not gain ground. Miles won 57.56-58.05. Miles completed her day with another 57.xx leg in the 4x4 relay leading her team to victory over Lincoln-Way East 4:10.32-4:12.34- good for IL #2 and #3. 
  • Kameesha Smith (Sr., Thornwood) was very emotional at different points of the meet. Perhaps she was upset by her performances in the long jump and 400. But a 5-6 clearance in the high jump makes the second best performer in the state of Illinois.
  • Senior teammates Lila Wine and Mary Blankemeier of Oak Park-River Forest both cleared 10-6 in the pole vault. Wine was awarded the win on less misses. Blankemeier was one of the top performers in distance running as a freshman before injuries took over.
  • Three girls threw the shot over 41-feet but it was Lauren Ladere of Lincoln Way East that prevailed 41-7.25
  • Kelsey McLauren of Barrington moved into the state's #3 spot with a grueling triple jump win 36-9.25