The victorious St. Thomas More 4x800 relay team was all smiles after winning second title in a row
With the spotlight to themselves Friday evening inside the cozy Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University, Class A competitors took advantage of an opportunity to perform at their best. The annual co-ed all-star meet featured many of the state's top track and field stars. Several meet records and season bests were also set in the process.
Key boys bullet highlights-
- Easton Bianchi (Sr., Sterling Newman Catholic) swept both short sprints: 60m and 200m. Already one of the state's elite 60m dashers, Bianchi proved that by blasting the field with a meet record 6.88. After absorbing a dropped baton performance in the 4x200r, Easton toured the 1-lapper in 22.41.
- The anticipated battle in the 800m did not materialize between Riley Wells (Jr., Rockford Christian) and Jacob Bryan (Sr., Illini West). Wells took control of the race right away and pulled away making the battle for second between Bryan and eventual second placer Ian Hussung (Sr., Oregon). Wells, who finished 2017 as the #1 soph in the country, set a meet record as well state leading 1:55.71.
- It was easy money for the future U of Illinois distance star Wyatt Mcintyre (Sr., Athens) who copped the 3200m and 1600m. In the first race, Mcintyre situated himself behind Logan Hall (Sr., Arthur) and Jack Mcnabola (Sr., Chicago FW Parker). Mcnabola put the pressure on the trio with less than four laps to go, but ultimately it was the strength running ways of Mcintyre that trumped both of his friends for the victory. Just like the cross country championship pecking order, Mcintyre 9:22.47, Hall 9:23.93, and Mcnabola 9:24.51.
- It was a split decision on the track for Mason Barr (Jr., Ridgeview) who set the 60HH meet record in the prelims clocking a speedy 8.18. However, it was the final that counted from medals and honor. Connor Artman (Sr., Illini West) got out very well and beat the field to the first hurdle running 8.25. Barr ran 8.33 for second. Barr got revenge in the 400, winning easily and running a meet record 50.42.
- Cameron Getz (Sr., Meridien) came in as the #1 ranked high jumper in the state. He would lose that distinction to 2A's Ethan Posten (Sr., Metamora). Getz and Jorden Tedford (Jr., Warrensburg-Latham) waged a tough battle, but Getz came out on top clearing 6-7 to Tedford's 6-5.
- Hunter Woodard (Sr., Tuscola) upset the favorite Andy Bird (Sr., Warsaw) with a lifetime best SP 57-8.5- the best mark among Class A competitors this season.
- Cameron Witts (Jr., Williamsville) moved up one place from last year in the pole vault to win in a comfy 15-0.
- Rockford Christian showed its dominate ways in the relays by winning two of the three events. The Royals placed second in the 4x8 by a second to Pleasant Plains clocking 8:26.30. Keep in mind that Rockford Christian did not have the state's top half-miler in service. In the last event, Rockford Christian won the 4x4 in a school record 3:30.28.
- The state leader and New Balance All-American shot putter Chloe Lindeman (Jr., Fulton) did not mess around with her competition. Seamlessly accepting her role as the heir to the Warrensburg-Latham legend KD Young's crown, Lindeman toss the ball 48-2.5 on her first attempt for a US #3.
- Bella Uscila (Sr., Elgin St. Edward) had performed a wonderful season up to this point. In her prelim, she ran a US#13/IL#1 7.51. Uscila looked smooth and relaxed heading into the final. It all came to a halt as she pulled up lame with a hamstring injury and fell to the track. Unfortunately, injuries are part of the sport and we wish Uscila a speedy recovery... Janiya Collins (Jr., Madison) took full advantage of Uscila's absence and won the 60 in 7.90 and the 200 in 26.30.
- Arielle Summitt (Sr., Urbana U High) did not run her best races of the season in the 800 or the 1600, but she got two wins. In the first, it was a hot pace followed by no one covering her that led to a pedestrian like 2:20.10 victory. The latter was a comfy 5:17.57 win- five seconds up on the field.
- Laura Krasa (Sr., Judah Christian) completed a great undercover season with her first 3200 title in 11:10.61. Krasa got the lead early and pushed the pace hard and ultimately breaking the field's back.
- Delanie Dykes (Jr., Gibson City) was close to achieving her season best 59.91 in the 400, but a win in 1:00.04 will have to do.
- Freshman Windsor Roberts outlasted the veteran Emma Smith (Sr., Carlinville) in the pole vault. Both athletes finished with 12-0 marks, but Roberts had less misses.
- Danielle Taets (Jr., Orion) repeated as triple jump champion with a class best 36-1.75
- Faith Frye (Jr., Casey-Westfield) came in with little fanfare and exited with a big win in the long jump with a personal best 17-11.25
- Alayna Stalter (Sr., Fisher) had been the favorite in the 60HH all season long and she completed the task with a 9.34 winning effort.
- St. Thomas More of Champaign only needed to stay within a few seconds of the lead in the 4x8 on anchor to give themselves a chance to win. Senior anchor Marguerite Hendrickson pulled her squad through with a strong leg and the team sealed its second consecutive win in 10:07.79