Look for a jumps explosion on the southside of Chicago this Saturday afternoon!
Location: St. Rita High School; Chicago IL
Time: Jumps start (Noon); Track start (2:00p)
Events Order: 100m, 400m, 200m, Long Jump, and Triple Jump. Field size capped between 12-24 athletes per event. FAT Timing for all events, Wind Gauges for jumps and sprints for official rankings. Socially distanced track events.
The skinny: Meet director has always been a strong proponent of bringing fun and excitement to the kids. If you recall during the 2020 pre-season indoor season, he was co-meet director for the Showcase Meet. That successful event may have been a precursor for the time and trials of the Covid-19 era.
The girls jump field will start with two of the state's top long jumpers in Riley Ammenhauser (Neuqua Valley) and Raelyn Roberson (Glenbrook South). Just before the 2020 indoor season was cut short, they were ranked first and second with marks of 19-5 and 19-4 respectively. Though keep in mind that Roberson had jumped 19-7 in a practice meet. On the surface, it may be a stretch to see a 20-foot effort but you never know what the competition may bring out. All-Stater Emily Kim (Vernon Hills) recently joined the field and will look to pop something big before she heads to Purdue University
The boys field posses some hitters that can pop a big one on the hot and sunny day. Enoch Antwi (Romeoville) was the surprise athlete in the horizontal jumps indoor season, COVID-19 ended his shot of make even more noise outdoors, this could be his chance to show everyone what he could have done. Word is that Dillon Peters (Andrew HS) indoor best of 22'1 was on the incorrect take off foot, yikes. The conditions Saturday and some corrective measures could produce something big, stay tuned. The boys of Vazquez Flight Academy were able to get some work in during the shutdown, they may be primed to pop some personal bests.
Girls triple jump could be a good one, five girls are are seeded over the 37 foot mark. The most anticipated outdoor debut of defending state champion Riley Ammenhauser is upon us. Ranked US#3 in the event indoors (41'3.75) to go along with eye opening virtual meet performances the star jumper will look to put her improved technique to test in ideal conditions. Can she pull of a 42ft jump and crack into the top five all-time in Illinois, we shall see? Don't sleep on the jumping ability of Lovie Annafi (Whitney Young), the Loyola (Chicago) signee has cracked the 38ft barrier before and will look for longer marks before she treks up Lake Shore Drive for college. McKenna Cinotte (Downers Grove North) crossed state lines last week to get the rust off, 37'4 was the end result. Look for her to improve her performance now that she is back on Illinois soil. Bria Armstrong recently joined the field, but she isn't in for the sunshine. Look for the Bloom Township senior to be to drop a PR or two. Madison Saunders (Whitney Young) is relatively new to the event, a big PR last weekend in Indiana should have her confidence high for another big performance. Of course there has been a long layoff from the event for most, but once the music and the crowd gets going for these jumpers who knows what that energy may bring.
Boys Triple Jump has its share of heavy hitters as well. Led by indoor list leader Enoch Antwi (Romeoville) who hop, skipped, and jumped on the scene the field looks to give the crowd what they came to see. Malcolm Bevans has been putting in quality work during these summer months, the shut down potentially robbed him of being a household name, Saturday he could get the people talking again. The steady Myles Lincoln (Plainfield South) brings his 45ft personal best to the southside looking to end his summer with a high mark. Vazquez Flight Academy led by Noah Davis (Lane Tech) will make the trek from the northside to show everyone that their side of town jumps too, maybe they'll head back with some medals and White Sox gear. On site and lurking in the wings, though not currently in the field is Dillon Peters (Andrew), maybe he'll get the itch.
The girls sprint field isn't too large, but it has some pop. Asia Thomas (Kenwood) will hit the track twice (200 & 400m), the indoor state leader at 60m lived up to the preseason hype thru the indoor season, this will be her first action against non-teammates. Speaking of teammates, her Hounds and Foxes friend Lindsey Miller (Simeon) who is entered in the 100m caught the track world by surprise dropping fast times indoors, including setting a state lead in the 55m. This will be her first shot at seeing how her work over the past couple of months translate against competition she hasn't seen since March. That competition comes in the form of Windy City Hammer athlete's Sydney Weaver, Tianni Marshall (Kenwood), and Madison Saunders, two all-state athletes who would love to drop some big times in their city with ideal conditions. Tyrah Taylor (Hope Academy) isn't one to sleep on, the multi-sport athlete and all-state sprinter makes her summer debut. Most of the entries in this field are making their debut or looking to improve from a previous meet, let hope they all gain personal bests. Keep an eye on incoming freshman Symone Frison as she looks to make a name for herself
Marshall Ellis was primed to build off his all-state accolades as a Sophomore, but the shutdown had other plans. The state leader at 60m (6.89) ran pretty much solo all indoor, Saturday he will gain a boost in competition in the form of Brailyn Johnson (St. Laurence), the indoor state leader at 55m. Johnson was primed to compete in Class 3A this season to get his shot at Ellis and others, I'm sure they didn't plan on crossing paths in late July. Jovan Marsh (Marist) one of the state's top football players is on break from camp, no better way to stay competitive than challenge two of the state's fastest athletes. Marsh will back Ellis in the 100 & 200m and Johnson in the 100m, who shall have the upper hand? Don't forget about Cameron Yarbrough (St. Laurence) who also showed promise indoor, the long-legged future EIU Panther will look to do damage. The future is well represented as well and we see the outdoor debut of Jahad Henderson (Leo Catholic), Malachi Moreno, and Jackson Gilbert who dropped a sub 52.00-time last weekend in Indianapolis.
We've been without track for so long in Illinois, we are all glad to finally have an opportunity to watch our best athletes sprint the oval and hit the sand. See you Saturday