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There are only two events on the opening day of the Illinois Meet of Champions. However, there will be major fireworks put on display near the heart of Chi-town.
Location: Hope Academy Track & Field Facility; 725 S. Washtenaw Ave; Chicago
Time: 100m prelims- 3p; 800m- 6p
Day 1 events: 100m, 800m
How to read along: MEET PROGRAM
Breakdown: Despite a carefully planned and crafted event by co-meet directors Michelle Parekh and Dan Daly, it was initially met with skepticism. There were several date changes from the original June 6 date, but obviously changed because of Covid-19. However, a track and field-starved community has grown to embrace this unique format that spans over six days beginning today.
* Ramiah Elliott is a supremely talented young sprinter and a talent to watch out for on Day 1 of the Illinois Meet of Champions
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The first event on Monday will feature a solid field with a key brand name in Ramiah Elliott of Indianapolis North Central. As a freshman in 2019, Elliot took the Hoosierland track scene by storm by winning national AAU titles in the 200m and 400m for her age group. While Elliot is known for her 400m exploits, she will attack in the short realm also. Look for Wisconsin and local products Kiley Robbins and Asia Thomas to oppose her in the final.
The 800m has been a spotlight event this summer with 4x800 record attempts and fast times by newcomers. Three of the top 10-nationally ranked girls are in the field. Maddie Russin (Crown Point IN) and Amaya Turner (Wheeler HS IN) are ranked in the top five and want to go under 2:10. Lucy Peete (Mason HS MI) has run 2:11 recently but 2:10 during the indoor season is here. Another name to watch is Marianne Mihas of Chicago Latin. She clocked 2:10 indoors and primed for one more great race.
Brailyn Johnson (St. Laurence HS IL) and Marshall Ellis (Homewood-Flossmoor IL) are the key names from the prelims to watch out for. Johnson appeared a little rusty at the Chicago Sprints Fest a few days ago but he is capable of running in the 10.80 range. Ellis will be there if he has a good start- the indoor 60m leader has a goal to burn up the track.
And then there is fast section of the 800m. It will have national implications with the addition of US No. 1 talents Brandon Miller of St. Louis, MO and AJ Green of Eastview, MN. Miller, who ran 1:49 as a high school freshman, wants to get the Show-Me-State all-time record. If not, the consolation prize is going after his PR of 1:49.55 and possibly re-taking the outdoor national lead. Green, however, is also strong force that has broken 1:50 in the past and is coming off a very successful meet in Las Vegas in July, where he ran 1:50.75.
* A short video blurb on AJ Green after his first race of 2020 in Texas