It was a great day for Windsor Roberts who is transitioning into one of the best vaulters in the country
Greensboro, NC- If you are a baseball fan then you should be familiar with the term salvaging a series. If not, the team refers to teams that typically play three or four-game series. The squad that wins the first two games (or three of four) of the series is the clincher, but the team on the losing end can often find solace by taking the final game. It is a moral victory of sorts and the "loser" can then move on.
In the case of Illinois kids, it was a tremendously long weekend in searing temperatures and high humidity. Earning All-American medials or even top ten finishes seemed like a stretch. However, there was a silver lining at the end of the tunnel. Among the top performances from local talent was the emergence to stardom for Windsor Roberts. The one-time youth star has actually been under the microscope of a national championship before under the tutelage of renowned pole vault coach Mike Cockerham of the Flying Dragons.
Roberts, who just completed her sophomore year at Tri-Valley HS, was ready for the big time. The two-time 1A state champion went right to work in Flight 1, clearing the first two heights without a miss and moving on to 12-6.25. Her opponent was fellow small-school state champion freshman Kenna Stimmel from tiny Margaretta, OH HS. Stimmel kept the pressure on and did not record a miss until after she cleared 13-0.25. Although Roberts had two misses en route, she was confident in her ability to win the flight and place well overall. She made the 13-0.25 height and later went over 13-5 for the win. It was an all-time state best for Roberts. Her mark stood until national record holder senior Chloe Cunliffe of West Seattle, WA won the event with a sweet 14-4.75 clearance. She attempted to break the national record but missed on all three tries at 14-8.25.
The rest of the best-
- Sam Liokumovich (Sr., Deerfield) completed his high school career with a third-place finish in the boy's championship Shot Put. "Big Sam L" heaved a new personal best 65'2.25" which is US#11.
- Chandlar Ifft (Sr., Prairie Central) joined his little sister Lillianna Ifft (Fr.) in garnering some additional hardware. Chandlar fought hard to get the 6th place spot and final Championship Pole Vault All-American berth with a 16-1.25 effort.
- Chloe Lindeman (Sr., Fulton) did not get her first outdoor national title, but she did earn high All-American honors in the Shot Put, heaving the iron ball 47-5.25 for fourth overall; the upstart Jayden Ulrich (So., East Alton-Wood River) took 6th in a new personal best 46-11.75- IL#3/US#21.
- York Boys got a nice 4th place finish in the Emerging Elite DMR with a time of 10:24.79- IL#1.