It was another glorious day of track and field in the city of Chicago at the Gately Indoor Track & Field Center
CHICAGO, IL- The second of the Illinois Meet of Champions Showcase was filled with an array of events ranging from the field to the track. There were speedy events of course.
Brandon Battle was the featured figure as time ticked toward the boys 400m championship section. The senior star from Edwardsville HS IL had targeted the all-time indoor record of 48.24 by Proviso West's Juan Coleman. It was a mark that stood since 2000. Not only did Battle want to break it, but he also wanted to smash it.
Battle has come a long way from his sophomore year when he placed 20th in the 3A state prelims. During this journey, he maintained running under 48-seconds something that he had to do. In January, at a meet in Youngstown, Ohio, Battle clocked 48.25 to get the well-deserved hype flowing his way. Several weeks after that in the Morolake Akinosun Invite, he clocked 48.67- well short of what he thought could happen.
Battle got out lightening fast fast over the first lap to the roar of the announcer and crowd. He clocked an unofficial 22.3 and was in the clear of Niko Schultz (Plainfield South) and Jarrett Young (New England Elite). As he came up the homestraight like a torpedo, you could feel the record coming. He did it! The first IL youngster to go under and the verdict was 47.88! It was relief and acknowledgement from his peers abound. At the time it was a US#6 effort and done on a standard track (200m)... Battle would later cruise to victory in the 200m with a time of 21.76 to put a bow on the meet action.
Other boys highlights:
60H: Kalil Johnson (Evanston IL) had the best time in prelim round which was IL#1. In the final, Johnson the first hurdle hard and slipped to last and was out of it. It would be a very close battle between Luke Myszka (Tri-Valley IL) and CJ Shoaf (Mahomet-Seymour). The photo finish showed Myszka the winner in 8.27 to 8.28.
HJ: Shoaf came into the action at 6-4 and proceeded to move up the charts to US#3/6-10. He attempted the magical 7-foot effort.
60: Kyle Burgoni (Unity IL) ran 7.02 in prelim and it would set up a close final. It was virtually five across the finish line but Burgoni dropped another PB and the win in 7.01.
LJ: All eyes were on Daniel Mboyo (Urbana) after he came in undefeated. It was no contest as Mboyo connected on another 22-foot plus performance for the win.
1600: It felt like Wilson Georges (Limestone) was the last one to get in on the action at Gately. Covid-19 prevented his introduction for several weeks. Finally, he test drove the blazing fast track in section 2. First, it was Tim Neumann (Downers Grove South) who in an earlier section ran a PB 4:18.48. Georges led a group behind through a solid first half under 2:10. Georges was in the clear on the final lap and came home with an IL#2 4:14.04