Chicago Jumps and Sprints Fest Was A Big Feast

St. Rita HS; Chicago IL-


With so much negative press dominating the city of Chicago airwaves, it is hard to find the positive between street violence, Covid-19, and late summer heatwaves. Leave it up to meet MileSplit IL promoter/coach/kid instructor and mentor, and meet director Pierre Nealon. He always wanted to host a sprint and jumps only competition for track and field athletes. "There are so many distance running festivals that I felt it was time to do one for the speedsters," said Nealon unapologetically. 

With the sun beating down on the patrons inside of Doyle Stadium, it was time to witness some outstanding field event action. With the girls and boys competing simultaneously, you had a choice to either focus on one or both sides of the spitfire barrow.

The girls-

Raelyn Roberson (Glenbrook South) and Riley Ammenhauser (Neuqua Valley) are two of the biggest names in the state in terms of long jumping. Right out of the gate, the stallions dueled strong with 19-foot efforts that put them well ahead of the field- 19'2.75" and 19'2.50" on their second attempts. Roberson was the one to maintain her poise the strongest in 90-degree heat as she hit on another 19-footer. On her last team, Roberson went all out and connected on a legitimate foul 19'11."

Ammenhauser returned for the triple jump and faced a nice challenge from the emerging Mckenna Cinotte (Downers Grove North). Cinotte quickly joined the prestigious 40-foot club (40-1.5 ) on her first attempt. Ammenhauser has never shied away from good competition, unleashed her best effort of the competition with a 40'11.75"- good for US#3 all-conditions but US#1 wind-legal. The nation's top rising senior triple jumper proved she is ready for 2021.

On the track, the fire continued to burn. Rising sophomore Asia Thomas of Chicago Kenwood competed in two events but one was not the 100m. Instead, she took a stab at the 400m in which she polished off the field with ease in a personal best 58.94. It was less than 30 minutes later that Thomas returned in her signature 200m. Barely out of breath, Thomas turned back her teammate Sydney Weaver 25.29-25.76. It shows the athletes have taken advantage of the extra time to stay fit and hold a tremendous competitive advantage.

Marshall Ellis is a rising senior star at Homewood-Flossmoor. Prior to the Covid shutdown, Ellis was the state's leader in the 60m. However, he maintained his work by staying concentrated on the eyes on the prize. Running 11.04 into a very friendly +4.4 tailwind, some pundits stated that Ellis should have run much faster. But his start is still a piece of work. Though later in the final event, Ellis torched the track in the 200m with a state-leading 21.72. Abbreviated season or not, Ellis is deserving of the accolades... earlier rising sophomore Jackson Gilbert of Urbana HS took the 400m in 52.46.

The jumping pit was no stranger to quality efforts. Dillon Peters (Andrew HS) and Antwi Enoch (Romeoville) waged a tough battle in the long jump. Though it was a foul fest, Peters was able to leap 22'6.25" to hold Enoch 22'5.25."

Enoch later joined Malcolm Bevans (Chicago St. Ignatius) and Myles Lincoln (Plainfield South) in the triple jump in a battle of 46-foot plus performers. Bevans easily smashed the facility record on his first two attempts- the second effort was a state-leading 47'8." Lincoln gave it his best try with a 47'2.25" for the silver medal. Enoch was third with a respectable 46'7.25".