In 1A, things are looking pretty tight in a lot of events. The long jump could be any of the top three seeds: Dasani Edward of DuQuoin, Julian Samuels of Kewanee, and Brady Webb of Forreston- with them all having jumped between 22'1" and 22'10."
The favorite in the pole vault is senior Kyle Kruthoff of Erie, who has vaulted a foot higher than anyone else in the field with sixteen feet as his seed. The fight for second will be on with both Cameron Witts of Williamsville and Jadon Nuzzo of Sullivan seeded at fifteen feet exactly.
The high jump is stacked with Tristen Tewes or Pleasant Plains, Jalen Oliver of Chicago Leo, Daniel Mendoza of Chicago Hope Academy, and Austin Young of Winchester all having jumped between 6'5" and 6'7."
The shot put should witness a similarly tight match between Greg Zellers of New Berlin, Ghage Lambasio of Knoxville, and Brad Olysav.
The triple jump favorite is Danardo Jones of Elmhurst Timothy Christian, and the discus throw top seed is Joe Kingery of Teutopolis.
The 4x800 promises to be an interesting race between Tremont, Mackinaw, and Morrison, who have all split between 8:06 and 8:09 this season.
The 4x100 will be a nail-biting down to the wire kind of race with only sixteen-hundredths of a second separating Pana, DuQuoin, Rushville, and Spring Valley.
The clear front-runner in the two-mile is Christopher Collet (Sr.) of Seneca, seeded at nine minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
Mason Barr of Colfax Ridgeview hopes to sweep the hurdles, and based on his fastest times in the fields, he just might!
In the flat sprint races, Makail Stanley of Argenta-Oreana is looking menacing with his number 4 seed in the 100m, and his second place seed in the 200m. Other runners to watch in the 100 include Adam Snedden of Princeville, Marshall Walk of Spring Valley, and Steven Brust, also of Spring Valley.
In the 800m run, Shane Yamco of Riverton appears to have this race secured with a three-second advantage over the rest of the field. However, Jacob Landon of Carlinville (one minute and fifty-eight-second seed), who is a senior like Yamco, will have his eyes on winning as well.
The 4x200 is an even match on paper between St. Joseph-Ogden and Gibson City, whose teams have both run one minute and thirty-one seconds.
The top trio in the 1600m run includes Noah McIntyre of Athens, Colby Johnson of Mackinaw, and Tyler Guthrie of Father McGivney. Guthrie has had a particularly impressive season with his already having run four minutes and thirty-one seconds so far, and only being a junior!
The 4x400m relay favorite is Morrison, with a race for second slated to occur between Forreston, Sherrard, Pleasant Plains, and Champaign.
In 2A, Hunter Hendershot of Mahomet-Seymour is the clear favorite in both shot put and discus, with nearly a four-inch lead over his competitors in both events.
Chandlar Ifft of Prairie Central looks set to bring home some hardware in the pole vault with his seed of sixteen feet.
Favorites in the long jump are Isaac Green of Greenville, Brayden Forrest of Dixon, and Ryan Curington of Chicago De La Salle.
Triple jump will be dominated by Khalil Ross of Springfield Lanphier, who bests the field by over a foot.
The favorite team in the 4x800m relay is Dixon with a 7:57.28 seed, with a tight race behind them for second between Stanford (Olympia) and Rockford (R. Christian).
The 4x100m relay winner hopefuls include Thornridge, Rich Central, and East St. Louis SR.
Rich Central will also hope to steal first in the 4x200m but is set up for tough competition from Chicago St. Rita and Mascoutah.
Mathias Powell of Mahomet-Seymour will make his bid to win the coveted 3200m/1600m double in which he is seeded second and first in, respectively. Similarly, Garrett Dixon of Monticello hopes to get on the podium in both the mile and the two-mile with his third place seeds. Other runners to watch in the 1600m and 3200m include 3200m number-one seed Adam Gilbreath-Glaub of Metamora, and Daniel Chen of IMSA in the 1600m.
The 400m triad of competitors to watch consist of Willie Johnson and Marcus Lampley of East. St Louis, and Jerry Harper of Rantoul. Johnson and Lampley are also seeded first and second in the 200m dash, respectively. Teams to watch in the 4x400m are Eureka, Burlington Central, and East St. Louis.
As always, the 3A state field is STACKED in numerous events. In the long jump, Jamal Safo of Crete-Monee has a ten inch lead on the field with his incredible 25-foot jump. The battle for second will be between Kaden Turner of Chicago Heights Bloom and Jalen Hunter of Homewood-Flossmoor.
Zachary Frye of Lake Park has a nine inch best on the field in the pole vault and will hope to bring home first place.
Joe Boyer of Rolling Meadows is the best seed in shot put by nearly two inches and is also seeded fourth in the discus throw. Others to watch in the shot put are Amiri Buchanan of Romeoville, Sam Liokumovich of Deerfield, and Jordan Johnson of Quincy.
The favorite in the triple jump is Quinton Stringfellow of Homewood-Flossmoor by about an inch and a half.
For the 4x800m, it could be a showdown between St. Charles East, Batavia, and Neuqua Valley. These schools have raced against each other all season and surely will not want to lose to one another or any other top schools.
The 3200m run promises to be a great affair with the top four boys: Jack Roberts of Downers Grove North, Brett Gardner of Lincoln-Way East, Nick Trattner of Naperville North, and Rory Cavan of Glenbard West seeds only being separated by one second. Let's throw in cross country champion Josh Methner of Hersey out of respect. Sam Rivera of Whitney Young cannot be dismissed as he defeated Methner once this season. Also in the 3200m run will be freshman standout Micah Wilson of St. Charles East. Wilson was the first freshman to cross the line in the IHSA State Cross Country Championship and could make a few waves this weekend.
Teams to watch in the 4x100m relay are Crete-Monee, Oak Park, and Homewood-Flossmoor. Those three teams, along with Oak Park-River Forest, are also among the favorites in the 4x200m relay.
In both the 100m and 300m hurdles, Victor Cameron of Crete-Monee has run the best time this season. However, Robert Williams of Springfield, JT Lowder of Oak Park, and Jahari Stubbs of Larkin Elgin will seek to upset his flow.
Names to watch in the 100m are Jermarrion Stewart of Collinsville, Cedric Rowzee of Wheaton-Warrenville South, and Marcellus Moore of Plainfield North. Moore has been placed in the mortal status for the moment. Those are also the big three to watch in the 200m dash.
Favorites in the 400m dash are Khullen Jefferson of TF South, Ricky Johnson of Crete-Monee, and Kyle Langellier of Lockport.
As expected, sprinting powerhouses Homewood- Flossmoor, and Crete-Monee will battle it out in the 4x400m run.
The 1600m run field is loaded as well with nearly ten boys within a four-second radius of each other. However, standouts in the race include Thomas Shilgalis of Naperville Central, Charlie Smith of Antioch, Ian Geisler of Huntley, and Andrew O'Keefe of Granite City.
The IHSA State Boys Track Meet promises some very good battles and competition this year. Get ready everyone- it's gonna be a nail-biter!