2019 State Champion: Crete-Monee 41.12
Key Teams: Homewood-Flossmoor, Tinley Park (Andrew), Chicago Heights (Bloom Township), Oak Park-River Forest, Carpentersville (Dundee-Crown), Batavia, Mt. Prospect ([Prospect]), Lansing (TF South), Winnetka (New Trier), Lincolnshire (Stevenson), Elmhurst (York), DeKalb, Oswego East, Naperville Central
Breakdown: Fast, entertaining, and unpredictable are three words that could describe this relay. As we mentioned in the preview intro, it was an electric scene in Charleston last spring as Crete-Monee became the first Illinois team to go under 41-seconds. The Warriors will forever be that team to reach into that magical territory first.
Teams have been bringing the heat these last few years at ovals near you. This could be a top-heavy event this year, based on returners and experience.
Oak Park, Homewood Flossmoor, and Andrew could lead the charge this season. First, the Huskies may be on a redemption tour after not finishing in last year's final. They had a previous best of 41.81 and with three returning legs, OPRF will surely find one more stallion in the deep stables.
Homewood-Flossmoor appears to be the most consistent team over the past four years. The Vikings have produced a state champion and several runner-ups. They also held the state meet classification record at one time. Despite some hefty graduation in recent times, there is still enough depth to make another run at the front of the pack. Junior Marshall Ellis and Ugo Anidobu will lead the charge.
Andrew returns two outstanding speedsters (John Bickel and Mychah Spells) and three legs overall that netted the fifth-fastest time in the state at 42.09. Surely, the Thunderbolts will be able to find one more leg to complete the deal.
This is year one of the 30m exchange zone, times could faster depending on if coaches want to make drastic changes in their relay strategy.