The girls track state meet at Charleston this weekend promises to be a fast one. With many top returners and favorites such as Katelynne Hart of Glenbard West, Alex Morris of Naperville North, Mikenna Robinson of Neuqua, and many other, the talent present will be undeniable.
There are so many storylines to watch in the 3A division-
All eyes will be on the distance queen herself, KK Hart. After winning both the 1600m and 3200m her freshman and sophomore year, she has now decided to go for the coveted but extremely rare distance triple: 800, 1600, 3200. Hart currently holds the fastest time in the state in all three events this season. She will certainly be the favorite to sweep the distance section.
In the 800, other athletes to watch are Erin Reidy of Downers Grove South, who has run a 2:13.79 this season, the comeback kid Olivia Schmitt of Lakes Community who has run a 2:13.29, and Claire Hill of Naperville North who has run a 2:14.3. These three are not out of the woods, however, as there are three other girls hovering around the 2:16 mark. If the race turns tactical, these girls could try to claim one of the top three spots.
In the 1600m, major names to watch will be KK, freshman standout Katrina Schlenker of Batavia, Campbell Petersen of Naperville North, and many more. The mile is loaded with eleven girls in the state this year already have run under five minutes. Notably, this will be a rematch between Schlenker and Hart. Schlenker was a close second to Hart at the IHSA state XC meet in the fall and will be eager to have another shot to dethrone KK.
The 400 has been a largely untapped event this season. There are several athletes to watch including two-time defending state champ Dajour Miles of West Aurora and upstart Mikenna Robinson of Neuqua. Robinson has completely stepped down in distance and contesting the 400 this year instead of the 800 she contested last year. Everyone is eager to know if she can touch Dajour. In the 100m and 200m, the two favorites are Lyn'Nikka Vance of Crete and Ameia Wilson of Danville, both being seniors.
In 2A, Serena Bolden of Springfield Southeast promises to be a force as she contests the 100m, 200m, long jump, and triple jump. Bolden won the 100, long and triple jump at her sectional meet, making her the favorite in those three events. In the 100, other athletes that could challenge Bolden are Raven Moore (also of Springfield Southeast), Seven Hicks of Peoria Richwoods, and Treasure Keyes of Chicago Lindblom. In the 200, the fastest athlete so far this year is Tiera Robinson-Jones of Evergreen Park, with Serena Bolden, Raven Moore, and Treasure Keyes not far behind. As these four ladies go head to head in both the 100 and 200, it is not doubt that sparks will fly. The top three favorites in the 400 include Jayla Campbell of Olympia Fields, Raven Moore, and Jariah Turner. This will be an intense race as all three of these ladies have run within one second of each other. The 1600m star athlete will be freshman Lianna Surtz of Rosary, who also happens to be the IHSA 2A state cross country runner-up. The 3200m fastest athlete so fair this year is sophomore Lydia Roller of Staunton with a 10:50 seed. She will be hoping to fend off Aspen Gordon of Morton, who is not seeded far behind with a 10:54.
In 1A, the 100m promises to be tight with four girls seeded within three-tenths of a second from each other-Madison Davis and Ayana Dublin of Duquoin, Halle Reuter of Nashville, and Tyrah Taylor of Chicago C. Hope Academy. Davis will also appear in the 200m, with Olivia Sturrup the fastest seed at 25.52. In the 400m, girls to watch include Nariah Parks of Belleville Athoff Catholic, Gabrielle Alongi of Duquoin, and Rory Drew of Carlinville. Marianne Mihas of Chicago Latin High School will be making an attempt at winning both the 800m and 1600m. However, she is sure to face a supreme challenge from freshman teammate Ava Parekh in the 1600m. Parekh has also run the fastest time in Class 1A in the 3200m this season, and, similar to Mihas, hopes to complete a distance double.
The 2019 Girls State Track and Field Meet promises to be exciting. Hold on to your hats ladies and gentleman- it's going to be a speedy ride!