IL Meet Of Champions Day 4 Recap: Jump Around

CJ Shoaf was able to bust out some rust at the MOC


The early storyline was of the windy conditions coming from the North, gusting up to 21mph. It was sure to play some havoc on a solid field of competitors inside Hope Academy Track & Field Complex.

The high jumpers had their first crack at windy conditions, unfortunately, they had to jump into swift Chicago wind. The girls got things started, the field of nine was shrunk to two ladies as the rest were not able to clear the 1.57m mark. Natalie Buratczuk of St. Charles North bowed out at the 1.62m mark leaving the competition in the hands of Annika Bynum from Warren Gurnee HS IL. Bynum cleared the next height to secure the win before bowing out at 1.71m (5'5.75") which would have tied her personal best. 

Homegrown product Daniel Mendoza of Chicago Hope regimen during the pandemic shutdown was limited to basketball, apparently, that was all he needed to secure the 6'4" win on misses over the standout 6-10 performer CJ Shoaf of Mahomet-Seymour as well as some rust due to the lack of opportunities to get technical work.

The wind conditions were at the back of the long jumpers, some as fast as +5.0m/s (11mph), but the performances didn't really show up in comparison to performances from athletes less than a week ago. Many coaches and athletes complained about the rock hard surface of the runway, maybe that's true. Jaiah Hopf of Wisconsin Lutheran WI was on nobody's heat sheet, the late entry was the first jumper and quietly put the field away with a 5.80m (19-0.25; +0.0) effort. Maybe someone should have checked her resume so the late-arriving crowd would have been able to catch her personal best. Chicago Whitney Young graduate Lovie Annafi was the only other athlete to crack the 18-foot barrier to achieve silver medal status, Sydney Willits of Glenbrook South was third (17-9.25). 

Isaiah Hopf of Wisconsin Lutheran WI knew he had to bring home the gold or risk riding in the back seat back home after his sister struck gold in the girl's competition. Another late entry, he got the competition started with his first of four consecutive jumps over 22ft, including his winning jump of 22-11.75, an all-conditions personal best. Jayden McCulskie-Green of Sandwich HS was glad to finally be able to get some rust off and hit the runway, his second-place 22-1 effort has him feeling good about his training so far. Malcolm Bevans of Chicago St. Ignatius rounded out the top three with a 21-1.50 effort.