Where: Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Times: field- 8:30am; running- 9:45am
Teams: Homewood-Flossmoor, Belleville West, Bolingbrook, Cahokia, Bloom, Edwardsville, Westinghouse, Latin, DeKalb, Hillcrest, Oak Park-River Forest, Plainfield East, Sandburg, Oswego East, Thornwood, West Aurora, South Shore, East St. Louis, Whitney Young
How to follow: #HFShowcase20
Pre-Season Power Rankings: HERE
Premium Girls Pre-Season 50: Individuals
The skinny: The self-acclaimed "Power Weekend" is finally upon us! In a nutshell, we should see a vast majority of the best action competing in meets around the state. Notably, this entity will be the center of the running universe.
The Sprints Will Be The Real Star Of The Show-
Much like in previous years at this meet, the speed events will be the main attraction with some headline battles that will be spotlighted throughout the season.
Starting out with the 60HH we get to see a first-hand look in the depth of Homewood-Flossmoor's power three of Jasmyn Hunter (Jr.), Ana-Liese Torian (Fr.), and Kaylah McCall (Sr.) who come in as the top seed in their respective division. McCall will not have it as easy as her teammates as she is scheduled to face one of the most talented fields in recent memory. With names like Veronica Sherrod (Sr.) of East St. Louis Sr., Macee Rivers (So.) of Belleville West, Victoria Spagnola (Jr.) of West Aurora, and Brianna Barwick (Sr.) of DeKalb all returning with all-state medals from last May, the target will be on the back of McCall who is trying to pull off a very difficult double.
McCall will double back in the 60m title that features sophomore Sydney Robinson of Whitney Young and senior Janea Gardner of Bloom Twp. Robinson was one of the most talented underclassmen in the state last season. She is more than capable of taking the gold medal. Gardner enters in her first true challenge this campaign after competing in two easy bird meets?
The 200m is on paper the most competitive event here. Gardner will go head to head against Robinson, senior Akela White of Homewood-Flossmoor, and senior Ta'Jae Jackson of Bolingbrook. White is already off to great start to her indoor season as she has already gone 25.73 at the Arkansas HS Invite.
An absent 400m senior Ashanti Denton of Homewood-Flossmoor leaves a tremendous void in the field but an opportunity for someone to step and shine. Sophomore Alexandria Edison of Homewood-Flossmoor, senior Nia Wood of West Aurora, and Marianne Mihas of Chicago Latin will duel for top honors. It will be interesting to see the diverse talent go at it here. Wood has made her name starring in relays in the past, Mihas is the state 800m leader (2:10.95) with good leg speed. Whitney Young senior Alaina Berry has entered and adds tremendous value.
The fans will enjoy the 4x200m with entrants Homewood-Flossmoor, Whitney Young, East St. Louis, and DeKalb all enter in with some intriguing potential lineups. The host Lady Vikings hold the current state best of 1:44.18- just ahead of Whitney Young by a few inches. Last year's best team, the Flyerettes are entered but success will depend on who they run today. DeKalb could be a wildcard as they ran a solo 1:47.09 two weeks ago at the Rockford Auburn Girls Invite.
The fortunes of the 4x400 could go through the host Vikings and the Flyerettes return with only one member of their 3:52.96 relay. The legacy of the Eastside's 4x400m has been very high over the past couple of years and this group will have a big test of living up to that legacy.
The Distance Events Looks To Be A Proving Ground For Talent-
With Ava Parekh of Chicago Latin sitting this meet out do to a very hard double two weeks ago at the UK Invite it really leaves the door open for new talent to showcase themselves.
In the 800m we will see our only bonafide stud in the field as Marianne Mihas of Chicago Latin is running for the first time since her big performance at the UK Invite. The real race will be for second as emerging talent will be looking to shine. Arianna Burkes of Plainfield East is a star in the making after a great summer that saw her run 2:20.29 and barely miss out on an all-American spot at USATF National Junior Olympics. Watch for talents like Morgan Ede of Oswego East and Alyssa Mayhew of West Aurora who are potential breakout talents.
The 1600m looks to be a two-girl race that can really show what these two have to offer. Bea Parr of Chicago Latin might be a potential breakout runner of the year as she has already gone 5:14.42 in the 1600m at the Proviso West Showcase a month ago. Riley Knoyle of Edwardsville is also entered into the field. The Tigers runner was an all-stater during the xc season and has the potential of going sub 5:10.
The 3200m we might see a breakout performance from another xc all-stater Josephine Welin of Oak Park-River Forest improved by a minute this past fall. The Huskies standout took 16th place at the state meet and will be looking to challenge 11:25 this weekend.
We Might See Some Surprises In The Field-
In the high jump we see a lot of unproven talent with anyone in field being capable of winning on the correct day. Brooke Allen of Edwardsville enters in tied for the best seed mark of 5-2. The problem is she jumped 5-2 back in 2018. She has gone 5-1 this year already at the SIU Girls HS Invite, she might be in line for a big performance. Brianna Barwick fo DeKalb is an interesting name to see in the field because much like Allen, she has jumped 5-2 since 2018. Barwick's situation is a little different though as she hasn't even truly jumped since the 2018 indoor season. In that time, Barwick has greatly improved her hurdles which actually may have helped her high jump. Don't be surprised if Barwick cracks 5-5 here. We can't forget about Anya Okorafor of Homewood-Flossmoor who is the only returning state qualifier in the field and went 5-3 last season.
The long jump will be test as we will see if anyone is able to eclipse the 18-0 mark. Jasmyn Hunter of Homewood-Flossmoor is the one of only two athlete in the field that has done so in the past as she went 18-2.25 last summer. The Viking's star though has been focused is coming off her cheer season recently and showed some track rust only going 15-7.75 at her home opener. Lovie Annafi of Whitney Young is the other athlete as she enters with the top seed in the field as she looks to win both the long jump and triple jump. Bria Armstrong of Bloom Twp has already had a great start to her campaign going 17-4.25 last week at her home meet. One good leap could definitely get her over the hump. Then, of course, you can't forget about Victoria Spagnola of West Aurora who qualified for state last year and will be making her season debut.
Yasmin Ruff of Oak Park-River Forest will be the main attraction after going 12-3 just a few weeks ago. Ruff's performance was a breakout one of hers as her previous PR was 11-6. Can she top that performance here?
The shot put will look to showcase a potential rising star in the throws as Christine Nosike of Thornwood is the top seed. She has already gone 41-3.75 just this week at the Thornwood Open.